HAVERHILL—Five units of additional housing are coming to the downtown district with the City Council’s unanimous approval of developer Phil Rice’s plan to update long-vacant floors above Olivia’s restaurant.

Councilors Tuesday heard the local electrical contractor’s proposal to renovate what Rice deemed the “under-utilized” second, third, and fourth floors of 4 Bachelders Court.

“I believe this project is in the best interest of the City of Haverhill in that it provides needed market rate housing in the inner city area without the requirement to add additional utilities to service the project,” the developer said.

Rice’s proposal was supported by Economic Development and Planning Director William Pillsbury, as well as other city stakeholders on the Conservation Commission and Fire Department.

“The redevelopment of the current Olivia's restaurant building into a mixed-use market rate project is a strong positive indication of the private sector confidence in investing in Haverhill,” Pillsbury said in a letter of support submitted as part of Rice’s application.

No exterior construction is necessary, with the exception of cosmetic painting and mortar joint repair work, Rice said.

Ten parking spaces are available for tenant use 300 feet away in a vacant lot owned by Rice at 17-35 Locke St.

Councilors Tuesday were grateful for Rice’s commitment to bringing additional housing to the waterfront district. “I can’t say enough about your continued investment in downtown,” Thomas Sullivan said.

Michael McGonagle agreed, telling Rice that “everything (he) touched in the city is top shelf.”

Recommended for you