Lower Millyard Project

Lower Millyard Project Overview

For over 20 years, the Lower Millyard has experienced a lot of activity, including:

  • Numerous studies and plans
  • Realignment of Water StreetLower Millyard Aerial Photo
  • Environmental remediation
  • Redevelopment of old mills into collaborative and flexible work spaces for manufacturing, breweries, office, and other new businesses
  • Relocation of the Department of Public Works outside downtown
  • Development of Heritage Park 
  • Opening of the Riverwalk Trail

With all of this activity over such a long period, we wanted to take an opportunity to regroup and revisit what the vision is for the Lower Millyard District. What is/are the best use(s) for this District, including City-owned land and historic buildings? How do we make a stronger connection to our transit/community center? How can we make a stronger connection between the Lower Millyard District and our Central Business District? These and other questions will be the focal points of the visioning process.

To create this vision, the City applied for a grant to secure the services of the Urban Land Institute (ULI) to convene a Technical Assistance Panel (TAP) to guide us. The TAP was a several-day-long process where 8 ULI members (who are experts in land use) evaluated the reinvestment and redevelopment opportunities present in the Lower Millyard District. To guide the development and implementation of the vision, the City established a Lower Millyard Task Force. This Task Force has collected information, studies, plans, data, and other resources to help the ULI TAP establish a baseline and understand the opportunities and challenges in the District. The Task Force was also instrumental in creating a list of stakeholders who can help us develop an implementable vision. Stakeholders were interviewed as part of the ULI TAP process.

The ULI TAP's work was presented at Visioning Session on Tuesday, May 4th at 6 pm. The live presentations can be viewed below, as well as the PowerPoint slides:

Live Presentation Part 1 | Live Presentation Part 2 | PowerPoint Slides (PDF)

View the Final TAP Report (PDF)

More details will be shared on this project as it progresses! We are very excited about this opportunity and hope to engage as many stakeholders as possible in the development of this vision.  

Project Timeline

  • This project began back in September 2020 when the City applied for a grant to conduct a visioning session.
  • We were officially awarded the grant in January 2021 to work with the Urban Land Institute.
  • Work commenced with the development of the Lower Millyard Task Force in late February 2021. 
  • In March 2021, we met the ULI Co-Chairs and conducted a walkabout of the District to orient everyone. The Lower Millyard Task Force was present, as was MassDevelopment.
  • On April 16, 2021, a Briefing was conducted with the ULI Technical Assistance Panel (ULI TAP) to introduce the resources available and answer any questions
  • On April 30, 2021, the ULI TAP will conduct a site visit to physically introduce everyone to the District. 
  • On April 30, 2021, the ULI TAP will conduct interviews with key stakeholders 
  • On May 4, 2021 at 6PM, ULI TAP Visioning Session (presentations can be found above)
  • Early Summer 2021 - Report from ULI TAP will be delivered to the City - View Report (PDF)

Project FAQ

  • Where will I find updates about the project?
  • I would like to volunteer to participate in this project! How can I find out more?
    • We are always looking for people interested in creating and realizing a vision for the Lower Millyard District! For more information about how to participate, please contact the Office of Community and Economic Development at 978-388-8110 or email the Office of Community and Economic Development.
  • If I have questions about the project, who do I call?