Lowell

choo

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 2, 2008
Messages
1,273
Reaction score
0
Re: Lowell 2015 update

What's the rationale for no residential? Not even mixed? (I'm not familiar with Lowell but this seems to go against the grain of other small cities seeking to bring in residence and mix use)
 

palindrome

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 11, 2006
Messages
2,203
Reaction score
0
Re: Lowell 2015 update

I too am a little perplexed by the no residential reasoning.

Is there any reason this area needs a master developer? Can the city not just go parcel by parcel?
 

reverend_paco

Active Member
Joined
Oct 15, 2012
Messages
352
Reaction score
4
Re: Lowell 2015 update

I too am a little perplexed by the no residential reasoning.

Is there any reason this area needs a master developer? Can the city not just go parcel by parcel?
I can only guess myself, as someone who lived in Lowell for 8 years relatively near this location.

My guess is that the city feels that the downtown and surrounding area is already fairly residential. Most of the area within the canals (at least near the hamilton) already hosts nice loft buildings for residential.

Like a lot of other formerly great cities and current gateway cities Lowell probably believes in revitalizing the downtown with a relevant mix (office) that can draw people into the city.

Lowell already has some major employers, but they live on the periphery. If their vision is to revitalize, I understand their reasoning.
 

stefal

Active Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2015
Messages
585
Reaction score
31
Re: Lowell 2015 update

Small update on Lowell:

UMass is investing quite a bit on their facilities recently.

Yesterday they announced they're beginning a 2 year renovation and addition to two of their eight engineering/science buildings, totaling ~$80 million. Yesterday Gov. Baker also announced an additional $10 million in funding for the renovation of a UML Property downtown. (Boston Business Journal)

This past spring they officially opened a new business center:



 

Patrick

Senior Member
Joined
May 25, 2006
Messages
3,280
Reaction score
0
Re: Lowell 2015 update

I can only guess myself, as someone who lived in Lowell for 8 years relatively near this location.

My guess is that the city feels that the downtown and surrounding area is already fairly residential. Most of the area within the canals (at least near the hamilton) already hosts nice loft buildings for residential.

Like a lot of other formerly great cities and current gateway cities Lowell probably believes in revitalizing the downtown with a relevant mix (office) that can draw people into the city.

Lowell already has some major employers, but they live on the periphery. If their vision is to revitalize, I understand their reasoning.
I understand their reasoning too. Lowell probably doesn't want to just be a bedroom. They want independent significance, and that comes from commercial presence. I think the central cities are looking to do the opposite, increase residential, so they can become 24/7 places. It depends on the city's existing perspective/role in the larger metro area I think, and as an outsider Lowell appears to be mostly bedroom (despite its obvious local service establishments and probably a few other notable commercial presences).

Another reason could be that residential development is often perceived as having a negative impact on school costs whereas commercial development pays taxes without adding to spending too much.

Lastly, if this is city owned land, there could be greater environmental cleanup costs associated with a residential use, which would decrease the offering price for the land from a residential developer, or increase the pre-sale burden on the city. Just speculating but it seems like that could be a factor given location.
 

reverend_paco

Active Member
Joined
Oct 15, 2012
Messages
352
Reaction score
4
Re: Lowell 2015 update

Holy Smokes. That would be beautiful, but my internal skeptic thinks that there is no way a $900K condo would sell down there. I say this as a huge Lowell fan (I still own two condos there and lived there for eight years).
Did some sleuthing and found a proposal on the Lowell city site (kinda a PNF) for this project. I'll grab some screenshots later, but here is the PDF.

https://www.lowellma.gov/DocumentCenter/View/2267
 

Brad Plaid

Active Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2013
Messages
944
Reaction score
4
Re: Lowell 2015 update

Good project but those cornices are ridiculous. Get rid of them and the design is a decent bit of modernism. They are grossly over-sized and not at all necessary. That kind of traditionalist detail has no place here.
 

Lrfox

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 16, 2006
Messages
2,497
Reaction score
10

reverend_paco

Active Member
Joined
Oct 15, 2012
Messages
352
Reaction score
4
Re: Lowell 2015 update

^Agreed. And is the small surface lot REALLY necessary?
I totally agree, but I wonder if they actually own the lot. The diagram shows there being a property line between the building and the parking lot.
 

reverend_paco

Active Member
Joined
Oct 15, 2012
Messages
352
Reaction score
4
Re: Lowell 2015 update

I totally agree, but I wonder if they actually own the lot. The diagram shows there being a property line between the building and the parking lot.
Yup. The lot parcel 1950-11 is owned by someone else:



The next two lots down (1950-1 and 1695-21) Davidson are owned by the developer but not the parking lot.
 

kingofsheeba

Active Member
Joined
Aug 22, 2013
Messages
285
Reaction score
0
Re: Lowell 2015 update

It's from last month, but the Lowell Justice Center has been topped off. This building is f'n massive. Easily the most visible building in the Mill City. I have mixed feelings about this. On one hand, it'll be able to house other courts and consolidate them to one convenient place. On the contrary, a building of that size gives me the feeling that it'll just be a massive criminal justice factory with the poor, non-whites and disabled on the receiving end of a gavel. A courthouse shouldn't be this monolithic but it is.

http://www.lowellsun.com/news/ci_31441158/lots-heavy-lifting-crane-operator-lowell-justice-center
The new Lowell Justice Center will provide state-of-the-art facilities for the Superior, District, Probate & Family, Juvenile, and Housing Courts of Middlesex County, according to officials.

The building will provide new space for the Middlesex County Registry of Deeds, District Attorney, and a resource center for self-represented litigants. The 3.

3-acre site will have 17 courtrooms. The estimated completion date is fall 2019.
 

reverend_paco

Active Member
Joined
Oct 15, 2012
Messages
352
Reaction score
4
Re: Lowell 2015 update

It's from last month, but the Lowell Justice Center has been topped off. This building is f'n massive. Easily the most visible building in the Mill City. I have mixed feelings about this. On one hand, it'll be able to house other courts and consolidate them to one convenient place. On the contrary, a building of that size gives me the feeling that it'll just be a massive criminal justice factory with the poor, non-whites and disabled on the receiving end of a gavel. A courthouse shouldn't be this monolithic but it is.






 

Portlander

Active Member
Joined
Apr 14, 2010
Messages
514
Reaction score
0
Re: Lowell 2015 update

Thanks for the update reverend, has the "One" project on Merrimack Street broken ground yet?
 

stefal

Active Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2015
Messages
585
Reaction score
31
Re: Lowell 2015 update

Thanks for the update reverend, has the "One" project on Merrimack Street broken ground yet?
No, but there is a fence around the site. I'm not sure if that's related or if the fence has been there for a while, though.
 

Top