For Immediate Release - July 05, 2011

Governor Patrick, Congresswoman Tsongas, Attorney General Coakley Celebrate Opening of Appleton Mills in Lowell

Investments in Gateway City lead to job creation, economic activity and affordable housing

LOWELL - Tuesday, July 5, 2011 - Governor Deval Patrick today joined Congresswoman Niki Tsongas, Attorney General Martha Coakley and Mayor James L. Milinazzo in celebrating the ribbon-cutting for the mixed-use development Appleton Mills, as part of the Hamilton Canal District plan. To date the project has created 130 affordable housing units and generated approximately 575 jobs for the City of Lowell.

"We are committed to making investments in projects like these that bring economic opportunities to residents and businesses in Lowell," said Governor Patrick. "The Appleton Mills Project is an outstanding example of job creation, affordable housing and revitalized infrastructure in our Gateway Cities."

"The development will bring vibrancy to the downtown Lowell district and provide an attractive place to live and work for residents," said Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray. "Investing in affordable, mixed-use developments in our Gateway Cities is important to both the residential and business opportunities in our communities."

Governor Patrick has supported the economic revitalization of downtown Lowell through a $16.45 million MassWorks Infrastructure Program Grant for the Hamilton Canal District as well as $3.8 million from the Department of Housing and Community Development to advance the Appleton Mills project. The affordable housing units are a welcome economic boost for downtown Lowell and, with planned commercial and retail space, will attract residents to the district.

"Today's opening of the Appleton Mills lofts represents the first major piece of the new Hamilton Canal District which is creating nearly two million square feet for commercial, retail and housing space as well as hundreds of new jobs right in heart of Lowell," said Congresswoman Tsongas. "This transformational project is a testament to what can be accomplished when federal, state and local partners work cooperatively."

"These projects mark the best kind of development - growth that creates jobs, housing and other benefits while at the same time making our communities cleaner and safer," said Attorney General Coakley. "Once an abandoned and dilapidated property, the new Appleton Mills demonstrates why the successful redevelopment of brownfields is such an important part of our economic recovery."

"The mixed-use Hamilton Canal District builds upon the successes of the past thirty years as Lowell continues its revitalization as a first class mid-sized city; and the Appleton Mill project is the first step in making our vision of the District a reality," said Lowell City Manger Bernard Lynch. "Soon we'll have over a hundred new artist residents contributing to the energy and vitality of the City. Like all projects in Lowell it couldn't have happened without a confident vision of what could be achieved and a collaboration with the our partners in the private sector and with the state and federal government especially Congresswoman Niki Tsongas and the Patrick-Murray Administration who truly understand what it takes to make these important projects a reality."

When completed, the Hamilton Canal District Plan will boast 1.9 million square feet of mixed-use, transit-oriented development. The total development will create 725 units of housing, 555,000 square feet of retail space and up to 425,000 of commercial/office space. The $64 million project is collaboratively supported by private developer Trinity Financial, the Commonwealth's Growth District Grant initiative, $43 million in private equity provided by MetLife, a permanent mortgage of $1.6 million from Mass Housing and a $34 million construction loan from Mass Housing. The Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) supported Appleton Mills with approximately $3.8 million in subsidy funds as well as federal and state low-income housing tax credits, which generated over $30 million in equity for the project.

Today's celebration of Appleton Mills' opening highlights the Patrick-Murray Administration's commitment to investing in Gateway Cities like Lowell.

The Administration has implemented the following strategy to make all of the state's 24 Gateway communities centers of economic activity:

  • Make long-term investments in education, innovation and infrastructure, with special attention to the growth potential of each city's entrepreneurs and small businesses;
  • Leverage the potential of each community's distinctive assets, including their educational, medical and cultural institutions, and their historic buildings and neighborhoods;
  • and Connect Gateway Cities to other local, state and global centers of innovation and economic activity.

In keeping with this strategy, the Patrick-Murray Administration has made the following Gateway City investments:

  • $1,855,536,592 in Chapter 70 Education Funding and Unrestricted Local Aid in 2009
  • Over $1 billion in active construction contracts through MassDOT
  • $12,198,550 in Gateway City Parks grants for park projects in 22 cities
  • $97,724,534 since 2007 in public safety grants for police and fire departments and non- profit agencies to maintain staffing levels and combat violence
  • $17,484,882 since 2007 in Workforce Training Grants