75-Unit Adaptive Reuse Loft Building Opens North of Boston
- Nov 26, 2012
By Veronica Grecu, Associate Editor
Boston-based WinnDevelopment recently inaugurated a 75-unit apartment community constructed from two vacant buildings that used to be part of the former Malden Mills factory in Lawrence, MA. Originally named Malden Knitting, the factory was founded in 1906 in the town of Malden and produced wool clothing and later military uniforms. After World War II, the company relocated to Lawrence and expanded operations to include dying, printing, fabric finishing and, in late 1970s, the first branded synthetic apparel fabric known worldwide as Polarfleece.
In 1995, a fire destroyed three of the factory’s nine buildings, which led to 1,400 workers losing their jobs. Despite the company’s efforts to pay the workers for the following three months and a $450 million reconstruction investment completed in 1997, Malden Mills went bankrupt. After owning and operating the factory for three generations, in 2007 the Feuerstein family sold the 29-acre property to Versa Capital which rebranded the company as Polartec, LLC.
WinnDevelopment acquired two buildings totaling 160,000 square feet for $3.19 million and, according to a report by EagleTribune.com, broke ground on Loft Five50 in late 2010. By using a combination of grants and incentives from the State’s Department of Housing and Community Development, HUD, MassHousing, Massachusetts Historical Commission (MHC), Massachusetts Housing Partnership, National Park Service and the City of Lawrence, the adaptive reuse project created around 100 construction jobs and three permanent jobs.
While maintaining the unique details of the historic mill, the design by The Architectural Team, Inc. (TAT) created a modern, loft-style apartment community with LEED-certifiable one- and two-bedroom units, as well as two-bedrooms with dens. As previously mentioned by EagleTribune.com, 72 apartment units are affordable with rents ranging from $950 for a one-bedroom to $1,150 for a two-bedroom apartment with den.
The apartment building also includes a fitness center, an indoor theater, a lounge area, a play room for children, an outdoor patio and a private parking garage.
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