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Historic New England, an independent preservation organization, has announced it will pursue a transformational redevelopment initiative in Haverhill, Massachusetts.

The initiative will encompass more than three acres of historic buildings and vacant property in the city’s downtown, with a new cultural destination and mixed-use district offering approximately 600,000 square feet of potential development anchored by the new Historic New England Center for Preservation and Collections. Early design concepts also include retail and commercial space, artist live-work space, housing and a hotel and other uses.

The budget for the project was not disclosed.

“We are committed to establishing a very public presence in Haverhill,” said Vin Cipolla, president and CEO of Historic New England, who stated his organization has “38 museums across the region, majestic farms and landscapes, and award-winning programs for both children and adults. We believe it’s now time to open our collections headquarters in Haverhill, reimagined, to a wide audience with exhibitions and education programs, to benefit the local community and visitors from around the region and the world. Our downtown real estate can be activated to make a dynamic contribution to Haverhill’s center, while helping us carry forward our mission to share New England’s history.”

Haverhill Mayor James J. Fiorentini added, “We are thrilled with this incredible and transformative development, the latest and one of the best of our 20-year efforts to redevelop downtown. We rezoned downtown years ago making projects like this possible, but it took Historic New England and their team to bring it to fruition. Historic New England’s bold, future-oriented vision for this new cultural district is tremendously exciting given its potential impact on strengthening the many facets of the greater Haverhill community. This project puts Haverhill, once again, on the map and will bring thousands of visitors every year to our downtown and will be an incredible boost to our downtown restaurants and businesses.”

Photo: Adam Moss / Flickr Creative Commons

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