Mixed-Income Housing Project at Ludlow Mills to Begin in 2022

BusinessWest (August 18, 2021)

With state financing now in place, construction is expected to begin in early 2022 on a $29.9 million project to transform the landmark Mill 8 at the historic Ludlow Mills complex into 95 mixed-income apartments for adults 55 and older and a center for supportive healthcare services, Westmass Area Development Corp. and WinnDevelopment announced.

The Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development recently announced new tax credits and subsidies to support the next phase of the ambitious adaptive-reuse project, focusing on the section of the 116-year-old complex that contains the clock tower shown on the town’s seal. The Mill 8 project follows the successful transformation of Mill 10, which offers 75 units of mixed-income housing for adults 55 and older.

“There is a three to five-year wait for vacancies in the Residences at Mill 10, proving how vitally important it is to deliver additional quality apartment homes to seniors in and around Ludlow,” said Larry Curtis, president and managing partner of WinnDevelopment. “The continued support of the Baker-Polito administration was the last piece of the financing puzzle needed for us to begin the next phase of work to preserve and revive one of the town’s most treasured historic assets.”

Overseen by WinnDevelopment Senior Vice President Adam Stein and Senior Project Director Lauren Canepari, the project has received enthusiastic support from local, state, and federal officials representing Ludlow. The town has committed state and federal money for several key infrastructure improvements, including the ongoing construction of Riverside Drive and the addition of a wastewater pumping station for the area. In addition, the National Park Service has committed federal historic tax credits to the effort.

Support from the Baker-Polito administration includes federal and state low-income housing tax credits, as well as money from the state’s Affordable Housing Trust Fund, Housing Stabilization Fund, and HOME program.

“As Westmass continues its redevelopment of the Ludlow Mills, we are excited to see the long-awaited Mill 8 transformation begin. Westmass will also benefit from this as we will retain the majority of the first floor for commercial development.”

The 95 apartments to be built inside Mill 8 will cater to a wide range of incomes, offering 43 affordable units for rent at 60% of area median income (AMI), 40 market units, and 12 extremely low-income units available at 30% of AMI. The first phase of the project, the Residences at Mill 10, is 88% affordable.

“The cost of housing is one of the single greatest challenges facing our Commonwealth, and that challenge has been amplified dramatically by the pandemic,” state Sen. Eric Lesser said. “This development will be a welcome addition to Ludlow with 95 new affordable housing units. It will unlock opportunity and alleviate some pressure for housing access right here in Western Mass.”

Gov. Charlie Baker added that “projects like Mill 8 that bring mixed-unit, affordable housing to the community are an important part of the solution required to address the Commonwealth’s housing crisis, and our administration is proud to support them. Unlocking additional opportunities for community and economic development across the state will require more housing of all types in every corner of Massachusetts, and this project stands as an example of how we can continue making progress toward our goals.”

Mike Kennealy, secretary of Housing and Economic Development, argued that the Commonwealth’s housing crisis will be resolved only by the production of more housing — and through more projects like Mill 8. “Thanks to their many partners and the town of Ludlow, these new units will be specially designed for families of all incomes and with supportive services to help people stay in the community they call home.”

In addition to modern apartments, the project has partnered with WestMass Eldercare to create a 5,000-square- oot Adult Day Health Center inside the building that will provide on-site, enhanced supportive services to residents of Mill 8 and Mill 10, including nurse visits, a service coordinator, healthy-living programming, and transportation to the nearby Ludlow Senior Center.

“I am proud to see the public and private partnership between federal, state, and local government with Westmass Area Development Corp. and WinnDevelopment to breathe new life into the iconic Mill 8,” state Rep. Jake Oliveira said. “ As the project enters its next stage, I’m excited to see the clock tower mill building that adorns our town seal to finally become fully functional once again.”

The redeveloped property also will contain common area amenities, including on-site laundry facilities, on-site management, a fitness room, a resident lounge, and several outside recreation areas to serve future residents.

“Since Westmass began this project over 10 years ago, it has always been a priority to get Mill 8 redeveloped,” said Antonio Dos Santos, board chair of Westmass Area Development Corp. “This building has the marquee presence of the entire mill complex, and we are excited that the transformation of this iconic building will be getting underway soon.”

Nearly 43,000 square feet of space on the first floor of Mill 8 will be available for lease to local businesses.

“As Westmass continues its redevelopment of the Ludlow Mills, we are excited to see the long-awaited Mill 8 transformation begin. Westmass will also benefit from this as we will retain the majority of the first floor for commercial development,” said Jeff Daley, president and CEO of Westmass Area Development Corp. “As we pull together different uses in the mills complex, housing is one of the priorities, and we are excited to partner again with WinnDevelopment with the continued support of the Baker-Polito administration.”

The design and construction of Mill 8 will meet the standards of Enterprise Green Communities (EGC), an environmental certification program for affordable housing that includes milestones for water conservation, energy efficiency, healthy materials, and green operations and management.

More: BusinessWest

Ludlow Mills Clock Tower Building Soon to Be Home to 95 Apartments

MassLive (August 9, 2021) – The $29.9 million renovation of Mill 8 – the clock tower building depicted on the town seal – will begin early next year at the Ludlow Mills Complex on State Street.

WinnDevelopment will transform the 230,000-square-foot Mill 8 building into 95 mixed-income apartments for adults 55 and older and a center for supportive healthcare services.

More: MassLive

Westmass Helps Identify and Manage All Aspects of the Economic Development Process

NEREJ (May 28, 2021) – The Westmass Area Development Corporation (Westmass) is an experienced, private not-for-profit industrial and business development corporation created to promote and assist business growth in western Massachusetts. Westmass accomplishes these goals by developing properly zoned and fully permitted industrial park land resources and assisting organizations with development and redevelopment real estate opportunities at the crossroads of New England in the four western-most counties in Massachusetts.

Westmass has been successfully developing industrial and business park resources for more than 60 years and as a result today it has the most experienced and knowledgeable staff available to assist companies seeking a prime western Massachusetts business location. Westmass’ demonstrated record of success includes development of over 2,500 acres in 13 industrial parks and projects; enabling the build-out of over 12 million s/f of commercial space and residential units; leveraging $400 million in invested resources on our developments; and helping create over 10,000 jobs.

MORE: www.nerej.com

Westmass Strives to Become a More Impactful Force in Economic Development

BusinessWest (May 26, 2021) – The primary role of the Westmass Area Development Corp. — as the agency recently stressed in a letter to area stakeholders — is to “to manage the entire economic-development process — from conception to completion.” How it performs that role is changing and expanding, however — not just in its portfolio of development and property reuse, including its industrial parks and the ever-intriguing Ludlow Mills project, but as a valuable consultant for businesses and communities with a vision.

The letters, 150 of them, went out earlier this month.

They were sent to mayors, economic-development leaders, and other officials in communities across the four counties of Western Mass., dozens of area cities and towns, and served as introductions, invitations, and reminders all at the same time.

Officials in those communities were and are being invited to take full advantage of the talent and resources available at Westmass Area Development Corp. — the not-for-profit economic and real-estate development firm established in 1960 by state-enabling legislation — to help with a wide range of projects, from urban-renewal plans to environmental permitting; from complex site-related issues to specialized tax incentives.

The reminder part? Well, Westmass has been offering this kind of assistance to area communities almost from the start, but under the leadership of Jeff Daley, who took the helm at the agency in the summer of 2019, consulting work has become a much larger part of the business plan for the agency, which is promoting such services more heavily — and in a number of ways.

Like with those those letters, which quickly get to the heart of the matter.

MORE: www.businesswest.com

EPA Selects Six Projects in Massachusetts to Receive $3+ Million for Brownfields Cleanup and Assessment

EPA.GOV (May 13, 2021) – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is announcing that six grantees in the state of Massachusetts have been selected to receive $3,011,510 to assess and clean up contaminated properties under the agency’s Brownfields Program. These funds will support under-served and economically disadvantaged communities around the state in assessing and cleaning up abandoned industrial and commercial properties. The Mass. grant award announcements are among 151 communities across the nation to receive 154 grant awards totaling $66.5 million in Brownfields funding through its Multipurpose, Assessment, and Cleanup (MAC) Grants.

“Through our Brownfields Program, EPA is delivering on the Biden Administration’s commitment to lifting up and protecting overburdened communities across America, especially communities that have experienced long periods of disinvestment and decay,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. “These assessment and cleanup grants will not only support economic growth and job creation, but they will also empower communities to address the environmental, public health, and social issues associated with contaminated land.”

“These new EPA Brownfields funds are more important than ever, because the ongoing pandemic has impacted the economy and redevelopment throughout New England,” said EPA New England Acting Regional Administrator Deb Szaro. “Today’s investment of EPA Brownfields assessment and cleanup funding provides a much-needed boost for economic development and job creation in many of New England’s hardest hit and underserved communities.”

MORE: www.epa.gov

Ludlow Keeps Building and Improving

BusinessWest (December 8, 2020) – Despite the unprecedented challenge of COVID-19, the town of Ludlow keeps building and improving. As coronavirus rates continue to rise across Massachusetts, Manuel Silva, chairman of the Ludlow Board of Selectmen, said officials in town are closely monitoring the number of cases there.

A long-time selectman who served an earlier term as chairman, Silva said the pandemic has brought more challenges than a typical year. Like most places, Ludlow Town Hall is closed to the general public except by appointment. Silva said some town functions, such as the town clerk and tax collector’s offices, are conducting limited public business from the rear of the building, where they can offer service through a window. “It almost looks like an ice-cream stand,” he said with a laugh.

While Ludlow Mills features several ongoing projects (more on that later), Silva wanted to talk to BusinessWest about a few prominent municipal projects that are nearing completion.

For example, construction on Harris Brook Elementary School is progressing, with a good chance that students will begin attending next fall. Harris Brook is being built to replace Chapin and Veterans Park elementary schools, with the new school located on what used to be playing fields for the adjacent Chapin School.

It’s possible the old buildings may be repurposed and given a second life, Silva said. “We are looking at doing a study on both Chapin and Veterans Park to see what other use the town might have for them.”

He and other town officials are scheduled to tour Harris Brook and inspect the progress that’s been made on it. Once the new school is complete, Ludlow will receive reimbursement from the state for nearly half the cost of the $60 million project.

Another project nearing completion involves road improvements to Center Street, a main artery in Ludlow. Because the street is also part of Route 21, a state highway, the Commonwealth paid for most of the $5.6 million in improvements.

MORE: www.businesswest.com

Antonio Dos Santos Named Board Chairman of Westmass Area Development Corp.

BusinessWest (July 8, 2020) – The Westmass Area Development Corp. board of directors has elected Antonio Dos Santos its new chairman, replacing Carol Campbell as her term expires.

Dos Santos joined the board in 2011 and has served in numerous roles, most recently as vice chair. He is a partner at the Springfield-based law firm Crear, Chadwell, Dos Santos & Devlin, P.C., specializing in business, commercial real estate, and commercial lending.

Dos Santos brings years of leadership and commitment to the Westmass board as Campbell’s term concludes after three challenging years. Amid the unexpected passing of former President and CEO Eric Nelson in 2019 and hiring new President and CEO Jeff Daley in October 2019, Campbell’s management and commitment to Westmass has ushered in a strong financial and operational base for success in the years to come. She will assume the role of immediate past chair and continue to serve on the executive committee.

“Westmass has been developing projects in Western Mass. for over 60 years. I am honored to take on the role of chairman of the board for such a distinguished and recognized entity,” Dos Santos said. “Westmass continues to grow its portfolio of development opportunities, in particular the Ludlow Mills preservation and redevelopment, an exciting project which is quickly approaching $100 million in investment and represents significant economic development for the region. We are poised for growth in the years ahead, and I am excited to do whatever I can and whatever our board can to ensure Westmass is still doing business in the next 60 years.”

MORE: www.businesswest.com