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Apartments planned for Wingate Street building

June 22, 2023 : The Eagle Tribune, Mike LaBella

HAVERHILL — Developer Ted Ammon is planning to renovate a historic five-story building located at 45-51 Wingate St. by adding 15 apartments on the vacant upper three floors.

Built in 1900, the building features several active retail units on the first floor, including The Peddler’s Daughter Irish Restaurant and Pub and Shoe City Urban Bistro, which will remain onsite.

The building’s upper floors, which were previously used as office space, have been mostly vacant for more than 10 years. Ammon plans to construct nine studio units and six one-bedroom units.

Twelve units will be rented at market rate and three units will be designated affordable, using federal HOME grant funds from the city of Haverhill. They will be rented to households earning up to 60 percent of area median income, which is $71,160 for a four-person household.

Mayor James Fiorentini said this is one of the last buildings in downtown Haverhill to be redeveloped since the city began its downtown renaissance 20 years ago.

“For many years people thought these old, under-used buildings were undevelopable because they lacked elevators and parking so they stayed vacant for far too long,” Fiorentini said. “We started in the early 2000s by changing zoning and parking rules, but the real key to this project was construction of the nearby MVRTA parking garage, which will provide parking for these future residents.”

Ammon, owner of 45 Wingate St. LLC, said his Wingate Street project combines historic preservation with much needed affordable housing downtown.

“The historic fabric of Haverhill is incredible, and trying to preserve that while also meeting the demand for housing, especially housing that is affordable for our residents, can be challenging,” Ammon said. “But we are excited to meet both needs with such a great project. Our residents will enjoy all of the downtown amenities while also being right next to the MBTA commuter rail for easy access into Boston.”

Newburyport Bank provided a $1.38 million construction-to-permanent real estate loan to Ammon’s company, while MassDevelopment provided a $1.38 million construction-to-permanent real estate loan and a $381,510 bridge loan. MassDevelopment also enhanced the financing with a mortgage guarantee.

“Newburyport Bank is proud to partner with MassDevelopment in supporting Ted Ammon and the continued redevelopment of historic downtown Haverhill,” said Newburyport Bank Senior Vice President Jeff Dickinson. “We are excited to play a role in expanding much needed affordable housing in the area.”

“Haverhill has done a great job of making its downtown a destination for eating and access to the Merrimack River for recreation and community activities,” said MassDevelopment President and CEO Dan Rivera. “By adding much-needed housing on underutilized upper floors, the city is bringing it to the next level by maximizing the mixed-use potential of longstanding buildings.”

MassDevelopment has previously supported projects led by Ammon. In 2020, the agency provided a $2.32 million loan to help Ammon redevelop the vacant former “Magnavox” building located at 21-27 Washington St. into two ground-floor commercial units and nine market-rate rental housing units on the three upper floors.