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Something BIG is Happening in Lawrence
Paula Porten

While Orit Goldstein is awaiting approval of North Andover Town Meeting for the 40R zoning change to her smart growth project,  (see story, right) Lawrence is well on the way of its of having it’s own “smart growth” community all under one big roof. 

Thanks to the efforts of Robert Ansin, Founder, CEO and President of MassInnovation, LLC, the Wood Mill at 250 Merrimack Street is undergoing a major overhaul, converting the once thriving textile mill into a mix of apartments, condominiums, office space, entertainment venues and shops. 
Ansin’s project is called “Monarch on the Merrimack,” because, as Ansin says, “ the project started as a caterpillar and is blossoming into a beautiful butterfly.”

As with Orit Goldstein’s Lucent project, Bob Ansin is also quite proud and enthusiastic about his smart growth project.

Ansin purchased the Wood Mill building two years ago and has been slowly converting the massive structure that once housed thousands of Lawrence textile workers into a compact community within a community.

Ansin says that he is giving tours of the site at “Monarch on the Merrimack” complete with rooftop penthouse-lofts that can be purchased at pre-construction  rates.

Ansin is also seeking retailers and entertainment venues to move into the Wood Mill, such as restaurants, bookstores and other commercial development to bring a community feel to the building.

Ansin’s plan calls for parking in the lower level garage that will be available for outright purchase and penthouses on the top floor, overlooking the Merrimack River.

The building was scheduled for it’s grand opening to coordinate with the new Patricia McGovern Transportation Center grand opening on December 6, 2005. The transportation center is directly across the street from the Wood Mill Building.

William Wood built the textile mill in 1906 and today there is over 1.3 million square feet of space available.

The building is minutes from Routes 495 and 93, and stands across from the new MVRTA intermodel [??] transportation center.  The building is located 45 minutes from Boston by commuter rail, with excellent access to mountains, the shore and new Hampshire.

The project is in phase 1 called:  live, work, play. The design calls for retail stores located on floors 1 & 2, with office space on floors 3-6.

Residential space is split with condos separated on one side of the mill and rentals on the other. There will be 195 units, with 75 rental and 120 condominiums. Some units have mezzanines, private terraces and roof decks. Ansin says he has had a “tremendous response” in recent months including a jazz club, restaurants and even Café Paradiso from Lowell have signed on as tenants. 

For further information, you can call  978.683.2901 or check out the website at www.massinnovation.com

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The December Edition of the Valley Patriot
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