Attorney General Martha Coakley's Office Enters into Brownfields Agreement That Clears Way for Redevelopment of Former Appleton Mills Complex in Lowell
The property is part of the vacant former Appleton Mills complex on Jackson Street which was contaminated with oil and hazardous materials from industrial uses dating back to the 19 th century. Under the Brownfields covenant signed today, Trinity is committing to address contamination at the site in accordance with state cleanup regulations, and to redevelop the parcels they own on Jackson Street into 130 affordable loft-style apartments to be marketed as artist live/work space.
"Brownfield Covenants are powerful tools that allow cities rich with history, like Lowell, to preserve its past and move into the future," said Attorney General Coakley. "Redeveloping this former textile mill in downtown Lowell will restore long-abandoned land to productive use and provide an economic boost to this area. The developer's plan to incorporate green elements into the building like energy efficient appliances is also a great way to modernize and attract people to this project."
"As one of the first Brownfields projects to be reviewed under Massachusetts' new streamlined permit review process, we are thrilled to see this tremendous milestone being achieved for the Hamilton Canal District project," said Commissioner Laurie Burt of the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP). "Our staff has been working with the city and developer for more than a year to resolve technical issues and provide assistance to advance this important project, allowing us to achieve our shared goals."
The Brownfields Covenant limits Trinity's liability related to the contamination in exchange for complying with MassDEP cleanup standards and completing the redevelopment of the 130 affordable units.
The Appleton Mills project is the first redevelopment project within the Hamilton Canal District, a 15-acre area of former industrial land for which the City of Lowell has developed a Master Plan to redevelop into a mix of residential and commercial projects. The developers are affiliates of Trinity Financial, the district's master developer.
"I applaud Attorney General Martha Coakley for her efforts with the redevelopment of Appleton Mills. This is an example of what keeps the City of Lowell moving forward," said City of Lowell Mayor Bud Caulfield.
The Appleton Mills project will feature many environmentally-friendly components, including efficient systems and Energy Star appliances. It will also include a historic rehabilitation of existing mill buildings, and improvements to area infrastructure, including sidewalks and new and rehabilitated bridges over canals that will connect the building to the downtown neighborhood.
The Attorney General's Office is dedicated to facilitating cleanup and redevelopment of contaminated and underutilized properties through negotiating agreements that provide liability relief to those involved in the redevelopment. The office works closely with property owners, developers, municipalities and state and federal officials in cleaning up and redeveloping contaminated properties throughout the Commonwealth. In 2008, the office amended its Brownfields Covenant Program regulations to streamline the application process for future agreements and to create new incentives to redevelop abandoned or underutilized contaminated properties.
Brownfields Covenants are developed through close coordination between the Attorney General's Office and MassDEP. Benjamin Ericson, Chief of Attorney General Martha Coakley's Brownfields Unit, and Assistant Attorney General Betsy Harper handled negotiations for the agreement, in coordination with MassDEP Brownfields Coordinator Catherine Finneran, MassDEP Northeast Region Brownfields Section Chief Joanne Fagan, and MassDEP Attorney Lucas Rogers.