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Dec. 4, 2012

WinnDevelopment Opens 160,000SF Mixed-Income Multifamily Community in Lawrence, Mass.

By Keith Loria, Contributing Writer

Lawrence, Mass.—WinnDevelopment, the real estate development arm of WinnCompanies, has opened Loft Five50, a 160,000-square-foot mixed-income community in Lawrence, Mass.

Located at 550 Broadway, the property was developed from two buildings on the historic former Malden Mills manufacturing site and the 75-unit building also maintains unique architectural details of the historic mill, such as exposed brick and wood beams.

“Here you have an iconic mill and adjacent to it, a state of the art factory that still employs 1,000 people and you are able to feed off each other. It’s not just an isolated piece from the past but a goal for the future,” Larry Curtis, WinnDevelopment’s president and managing partner, tells MHN. “We can put this historic site back to use to serve the Lawrence community and to accomplish another important step in the city’s revitalization.”

Loft Five50 consists of modern loft-style one- and two-bedrooms, as well as two-bedroom with den apartments. All units are LEED certifiable and feature high ceilings, large windows and ample closet space.

“The principal amenity is the ample square footage. They are extra large units in contrast to what the market is providing,” Curtis says. “In addition, it offers high-quality, energy-efficient appliances, excellent kitchen and bathroom layouts with high quality fixtures and not the stereotypical low-income housing.”

On-site amenities include a spacious indoor theater, fitness center with a studio for yoga, a community room with a catering kitchen, lounging area with billiards table, a children’s play room with climbing structures, chalk wall, an outdoor patio with lounge chairs and bistro tables, parking and a landscaped courtyard and river walk with direct access to Manchester Street Park.

“It’s Riverfront with direct access to the park,” Curtis says. “We built a walking environment. It’s in the city but it feels like you have a backyard.”

Located north of Boston and less than two miles from Interstate 93, Loft Five50 is within walking distance of restaurants, groceries, shops and schools in downtown Lawrence.

“The community itself is on the verge of revitalization and clawing its way back to economic health one building by one building,” Curtis says. “That leads to other economic activity. We are already on Stage II of the project that will be low-income housing.”

Winn worked with 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 to secure financing for this project, which created approximately 100 construction jobs and three permanent jobs.

“This is our 17th mill that we’ve rehabilitated in recent years, each one better than the next,” Curtis says. “This would not have been possible without the collaboration and perseverance of city, state and federal officials and many of Lawrence’s community leaders.”

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