The adaptive reuse of this former shoe and leather factory reactivates a prominent downtown site with 62 units of affordable housing. Originally constructed in 1918, this eight-story building remained vacant for a number of years, and local leaders consider its transformation an important step in Haverhill’s revitalization and goal of expanding rental housing options.
TAT’s design vision respects the historic character of the attractive concrete-and-masonry structure, while crafting a contemporary living experience with a mix of 15 one-bedroom, 41 two-bedroom, and six three-bedroom units. Restored original elements include the large six-foot-high windows stretching the full width of each structural bay along with exposed concrete ceilings, columns, beams, terracotta block walls, wood floors and the original elevator doors that have become focal points of each floor. Amenities include a community room, fitness center, bike storage, children’s playroom, and laundry room. Located within walking distance to the commuter rail and major bus lines, 98 Essex Apartments is the latest in a line of major recent projects transforming downtown Haverhill, including TAT’s recently completed Harbor Place, just a few blocks away on the Merrimack River. As part of MassHousing’s pioneering $100 million Workforce Housing initiative, seven apartments are reserved for formerly homeless families and six are workforce housing units for moderate income residents.