HAVERHILL — Additional housing could be on the way in Haverhill's downtown waterfront district should city councilors approve a developer's plan to build five residential units above Olivia's restaurant Tuesday night.
Phil Rice, a local electrical contractor, has full approval from city departments — including the Fire Department and Conservation Commission — to transform the building into a mixed-use property by constructing the units. Councilors will hear his proposal at Tuesday night's meeting, with the public invited to offer feedback before a vote.
In his petition, Rice stated the project aligns well with Haverhill's intention to breathe new life into dormant properties. According to the developer, the upper floors of 4 Batchelders Court, which once housed a brewery for Krueger Ale, have not been used in more than 30 years.
“The site will now have a residential component, which would continue the diversity that the city has been looking for,” Rice said.
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 at 17-35 Locke St.
Also on Tuesday, the Council plans to hear a petition from Attorney Robert Harb to convert three floors at 21-27 Washington St. into nine residential rental units. Should the council assent, his special permit hearing would be scheduled for Feb. 25.
The potential for new pockets of housing builds upon Mayor James Fiorentini's effort to revitalize the downtown district through mixed-use efforts.
During his inaugural address, Fiorentini spoke of the importance of making the stretch of Washington and Merrimack streets feel like home for the 2,000 residents who live and 1,700 who work there.
“Downtown growth doesn't cost the city — it pays the city,” he said.
A stone's throw away from the potential new property on Batchelders Court is both 24 and 98 Essex St., which offer more than 120 units of market-rate and workforce housing.
Both locations were former factory buildings used during the city's manufacturing and shoe industry boom in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.