Image courtesy of Jowamar Cos.

A Methuen development firm will use financing from Reading Cooperative Bank and MassDevelopment to construct housing and a food hall in a downtown Lawrence project set to begin next month.

Jowamar Cos., co-founded by the husband-and-wife team of Johan Lopez and Walkiria Manzueta, specializes in developing multifamily housing and mixed-use projects in Massachusetts’ Gateway Cities.

The firm is acquiring and renovating a pair of contiguous buildings to create a new 5-story complex including 24 market-rate apartments and retail space, including a food hall known as Cafeteria with offerings from seven local restaurants.

Reading Cooperative Bank provided a $6.6 million loan for the project, located at 115-123 and 125 Essex St.

Construction is scheduled to begin in July, according to MassDevelopment, which is a 50-50 partner with Reading Cooperative Bank on the loan and provided a guarantee.

“The number one way to bring back a community’s downtown is to build housing so people can live there and shop there, and this project in Lawrence does just that,” former Lawrence mayor and current MassDevelopment President and CEO Dan Rivera said in a statement.

The properties are located in a MassDevelopment Transformative Development Initiative district, a program designed to revitalize Gateway Cities’ downtowns.

Completion is scheduled for June 2024.

Food Hall to Anchor Downtown Lawrence Development

by Steve Adams time to read: 1 min