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The Merrimack River flows through downtown Haverhill mostly out of public view, hidden behind a concrete flood wall and old brick buildings.
But now the river is poised to take a star turn with Harbor Place, a development that promises to bring a new dynamic to Merrimack Street.
Office and retail space, apartments, restaurants, and a boardwalk are planned as part of the multimillion dollar project proposed by the Greater Haverhill Foundation and the Planning Office for Urban Affairs in Boston.
An entire city block — starting at the old Woolworth building at the corner of Main Street — will be torn down starting in spring, opening up 1½ acres of waterfront land.