Over the past few years, Forge Village has seen the Abbot Mill Complex transform from an abandoned textile complex into a vibrant residential community. Several buildings in the complex still need renovation, and on Thursday that renovation effort got some state-level support.
Massachusetts Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Jay Ash was at the Abbot Mills on Thursday to present a $200,000 grant from the Massworks program. That funding will assist with water-related infrastructure improvements that will be needed for the second phase of the Mills’ rejuvenation.
The first portion of the Abbot Mills complex was permitted in 2005, and 129 luxury apartments were officially opened in August 2013. The other portion of the mills were owned by Courier Corporation, which also had an office building adjacent to the property on Town Farm Road.
Earlier this year Courier Corporation announced that it would be closing that facility and Abbot Mills Developer Chris Yule began efforts to begin renovation of that second portion of Abbot Mills as well.
Courier was unable to provide needed water resources for the renovated property, but Yule was able to find assistance from the town and state in this grant.
“I just want to thank everybody for the opportunity to work here in Westford, to be part of something that’s just a building or a development,” said Yule.
Westford Town Manager Jodi Ross introduced Ash and State Representative James Arciero, who also aided in the grant process.
Arciero recalled his memories of the mills from prior to their renovation as well as the effort it took to transform them.
“(Yule) took on this daunting task. I’m sure there were a few naysayers at the time thinking this couldn’t get accomplished, but Chris looked outside the box,” said Arciero.
Over a hundred applications were submitted from municipalities across the Commonwealth, with recent nearby grants going to $4.7 million in infrastructure support for the Hamilton Canal District in Lowell and just under $1 million for an assisted living facility in Dracut.