EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA


January 29, 2008

Cadillac dealership razed for CVS; Empty Marble Motors building finally comes down

HAVERHILL - The former Marble Motors building in Lafayette Square is coming down, and a new CVS Pharmacy will rise in its place this year, providing a boost to a gritty neighborhood on the edge of downtown.

Managers of Danley Demolition company of Fremont, N.H., said they should be finished razing the former Cadillac dealership by early this week. Construction on the CVS should start there by spring, said William Pillsbury, the city's economic development director.

The $2.5 million project includes construction of the building, 59 parking spaces and traffic and road improvements to the square.

The CVS will bring about 70 full- and part-time jobs.

Marble Motors closed in October 2005 after selling cars for 85 years. The 1.2-acre property is at 144 Lafayette Square.

Haverhill already has three CVS stores, but there are no pharmacies in the area of Lafayette Square, downtown and upper Broadway.

The property is 1.2 miles from CVS and Walgreens pharmacies that opened last year across the street from one another in Monument Square. The Lafayette Square store will be the city's fourth CVS and the eighth major pharmacy in Haverhill, including two recently built Walgreens and two Brooks pharmacies.

Pillsbury said the CVS will be a positive addition to residents moving into new apartments and condos downtown.

"It's really going to be a tremendous boost in the arm to the whole square area," he said.

Dorothy Johnson, 61, has lived at 20 Lafayette Square for 11 years and has to take a bus to stores to do her basic shopping because she does not own a car.

The CVS will be a convenient walk away, she said.

"Everyone here has been hoping for one," Johnson said of the pharmacy. "We don't have anything down here except for bars and a dollar store that just got here."

Gamil Mikhail, owner of Telly's Pizza at 133 Lafayette Square, is unsure whether a CVS will bring him more business, but the new pharmacy is generally good for the square, he said.

"A new CVS, maybe, will increase business," Mikhail said. "Maybe it will bring people here. We're hoping."

The CVS is being built by Hecht Development of Concord, Mass., which did not return calls for comment.

The square is a major crossroads in the city. Essex and Winter streets flow into the square next to Little River on the south side, and Broadway to the north by St. Joseph's School.

Hecht has agreed to make traffic improvements to Lafayette Square to handle the additional traffic the pharmacy will bring.

The pharmacy will pay about $36,000 a year in property taxes, city officials said.


Lafayette Square CVS

Replacing: Marble Motors Cadillac dealership

Developer: Hecht Development of Concord, Mass.

Investment: $2.5 million

Jobs: 70 full and part time

Parking spaces: 59

Tax impact: About $36,000 a year to the city

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