Haverhill City Council approves 18-unit mid-rise apartment building on former hardware store site
Despite concerns about the lack of parking, Haverhill City Council last night gave its approval for the construction of an 18-unit building on the site of the former Arthur Sharp hardware store on Middlesex Street, near the Roma restaurant.
Developer Alan Sfeir has asked Council to approve three zoning ordinance waivers for his waterfront property plan. These included the authorization of 18 units on the quarter-acre site which is only zoned for five, allowing a 91-foot-tall building where there is a 55-foot height restriction and allowing 18 parking spaces instead of the 27. Problem, the developer previously agreed to a stipulation that it provides access to Mayor James J. Fiorentini Bradford’s rail trail, including providing public parking spaces.
While councilors support the project as a whole, it was the parking issue that made many of them hesitate, including councilor William J. Macek.
“I think it’s a terrible idea and I think it can only lead to problems. Why can’t the public park park on the street? I don’t like this part. Personally, it almost makes me want to not vote for it as much as I love the project, ”he said.
Faced with councilors’ concerns, Sfeir told them he would push for the public parking requirement to be removed.
“I understood that we allow access through the building to the bike path but not to the parking lot. I am with you 100% on this. This complicates matters. I do not support this. I’m definitely going to focus on not doing that, ”he promised.
Sfeir said he expects construction to begin within the next six to eight months and be ready for occupancy in less than two years. He said each unit will be approximately 1,000 square feet and will be leased for approximately $ 2,000 per month.
With Sfeir’s promise to work towards eliminating the public parking requirement and his acceptance of an additional requirement from Deputy Director of Public Works Robert E. Ward that the building’s sewer service be Connected to an existing sewer line downstream of the building, Council voted 6-2 to grant the waivers with Council President Melinda E. Barrett and Councilor Joseph J. Bevilacqua opposed. Councilor Colin F. LePage was absent.