Lawrence’s former textile factory converted into mixed housing

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The first phase of Lofts Pac10 consists of 180 one, two and three bedroom apartments. State and federal funding, including $40.8 million from MassHousing, helped cover the $73 million cost.

The first tenants moved into the building at the end of 2021, with full occupancy expected by the end of this year. Phase 2 will add 96 units in a remaining 550,000 square foot section of the building.

Daniel McCarthy, Lawrence’s planning director, said the city is thrilled the project is coming to fruition.

“Lawrence, like any community, needs housing because we are very small in terms of land,” he said, “and the greatest potential for development is in some of these abandoned or underdeveloped industrial buildings. used.”

He said the development also addresses the city’s preference for housing for people of varying incomes and space needs.

‘We like to see one, two and three bedroom apartments’, he said, ‘a mix of empty nests, young professionals and families – one of our greatest needs is quality family accommodation .”

The 180 apartments include 130 affordable units — 18 for households earning up to 30% of the region’s median income, which in Lawrence is currently $114,000 for a family of four — and 112 units for those earning up to 60%. There are also 40 “labour” units for households earning up to 80% of the region’s median income, and 10 at the market rate.

A series of unforeseen events, including the pandemic and multiple water leaks that damaged a total of 90 completed units, delayed the conclusion of construction by approximately two years.

“It was a surprisingly long ride, but we stayed on the horse,” said Scott Reed, managing partner of Oregon-based Reed Community Partners, citing help from MassHousing. “From start to finish, they remained committed to doing whatever it took to ensure this project brought 180 high-quality, mostly affordable homes to Lawrence.

Erected in 1910, the building near North Canal was known as Upper Pacific Mills Worsted Mill Number 10, according to Joshua Blevins, director of development for Reed Community Partners. He said Pacific Mills had a second location elsewhere in Lawrence.

Factory number 10 produced worsted wool, which was used for garments such as suits and uniforms. With a high demand for military uniforms, the factory flourished during World Wars I and II, Blevins said, but closed in 1957, at a time when much of the region’s textile industry moved to South. Over the following decades, the building was used largely as a warehouse.

Reed Community Partners bought it in 2016, seeing it as a good fit for the company, which specializes in the redevelopment of large historic buildings and the transformation of underused sites.

“These grand old buildings are our bread and butter, and it made sense to seek one out in a part of the country that was home to the Industrial Revolution,” Blevins said. “We were also excited about Lawrence as a city that we believe goes far, and we wanted to be part of that journey.”

The project included a number of elements to preserve the historic features of the building, including the construction of large wooden windows – all made by specialist teams on site – replicating the original 1910 windows.

McCarthy said the project will benefit the city’s economy, noting, “Having a wide variety of housing types in the downtown area brings residents with disposable income, which will help local small businesses. .

Agree Blevins, “When you have people living there, going out to shop at the bodega, buying coffee and donuts, stopping at the store to buy shoes for the kids, that’s what makes these city centers organically sustainable.”

John Laidler can be reached at [email protected].

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