Washington Mills


Lawrence, MA




  • Banc of America CDC
  • City of Lawrence


Jason Baker

AHF’s 2007 redevelopment of Washington Mills Building No. 1 as mostly market-rate housing marked the largest single private investment in downtown Lawrence in decades. This 240,000-sqft former textile mill was one of dozens that had propelled the city’s economy in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. In the 2000’s, City officials designated the Reviviendo Gateway neighborhood for investment and created a zoning overlay district to encourage the reuse of abandoned historic factories. Combined with the proximity of Lawrence’s intermodal transit center and Essex Street commercial corridor, this advantageous location made Washington Mills the perfect candidate to become this neighborhood’s first major mill rehabilitation project.

Our partner in this smart-growth undertaking was Banc of America CDC, the nation’s largest bank-owned community development corporation. Together, we renovated Washington Mills into 155 market-rate, residential live/work units, augmenting Lawrence’s housing stock while preserving the city’s rich industrial history. Additionally, we brought over $40 million of investment to Lawrence, a city that has struggled economically for decades, and turned the lights back on in a district that had seen little new residential or commercial activity. Since the completion of the Washington Mills project, Lawrence has enjoyed an influx of private investment into the Reviviendo Gateway that has enabled the revitalization of other vacant mills in the neighborhood.



The Washington Mills project received a 2008 National Preservation Award from the National Trust for Historic Preservation; a Tsongas Award from Preservation Massachusetts; and was recognized by U.S. Congresswoman Niki Tsongas and the Massachusetts House of Representatives.

Let’s work together.