CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – The long-abandoned Lyman Mills could be making a comeback in downtown Chicopee.
The Baker-Polito administration awarded a $2.64 million grant to help turn the mill building into an apartment complex. Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito came to Chicopee on Thursday to celebrate the first steps in converting the mill into housing.
The $6 million project will turn the old textile mill into 110 market rate apartments.
The $2.64 million MassWorks grant will support infrastructure upgrades to water and sewer lines necessary to move the project forward.
Polito said creating more housing will support a thriving downtown.
“What that will do is be a catalyst for more economic development in downtown Chicopee,” Polito told 22News. “You have more people living here and working here that will need to go to restaurants and shops, and be part of the ecosystem here in Chicopee.”
The renovation is part of the city’s effort to revitalize the West End Mill District. The Governor’s office said infrastructure improvements made for the mill will enable develop of the neighboring Cabot Mill as well.
Area residents said more apartments would mean more money for businesses.
“My family owns a lot of small businesses out in Connecticut, and I notice as they build apartment complexes and stuff, it actually does help the smaller businesses,” Julio Rivera of Chicopee told 22News. “I think there’s a lot of centrally located businesses around here, and I think that would definitely help boost the economy around here to have a lot more apartment buildings.”
Construction on the mills is expected to begin in the spring.