LUDLOW, Mass. (WWLP) – The old clock tower and mill buildings in Ludlow are being revitalized, and an early phase of the rehabilitation effort is already complete. Ludlow’s Riverwalk, a 1.1. mile stretch of paved pathway, allows residents a place to peacefully stroll along the banks of the Chicopee River.
The $600,000 project is part of a much larger effort to revitalize the mills, a project that is expected to take about 20 years. Once it is complete, the mills complex will include a mix of industrial and residential buildings.
One of those residential buildings will be for seniors. Work has already begun on that, and the building is expected to be ready for occupancy in the fall of next year.
This is the first time in a century that town residents have been able to enjoy a clear view of the river from behind the mills.
“Beacuse this was an industrial plant, it was pretty much fenced off from the neighborhood, the community for about 160 years. So the Riverwalk allows us to have the benefits, the public health benefits of exercise and good health, but it also gives us a chance to bring residents in the community to the river’s edge, where it’s very pristine and very beautiful,” said Ken Delude, President of WestMass Development. WestMass helped put together the Riverwalk project in conjunction with HealthSouth and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.
Currently, the Riverwalk is about a mile long, but as the mills project continues over the next 20 years, this Riverwalk will be expanded along the river. The next work on the Riverwalk will involve adding lights, benches, and trash cans along the route. They also plan on adding signage that tells the story of the Ludlow Mills.
“I think it’s going to be fantastic, they’ve opened up the river to the town so i think that’s great, I’ve got a friend that’s thinking about buying this building and turning it into a beautiful restaurant right on the river, i think that’s awesome,” said Ron Krestschmar, a business Owner in Ludlow.
In total, the mills project is expected to cost about $300 million, and bring more jobs back into the community.