Since its start in 1986, Lawrence CommunityWorks (LCW) has demonstrated a commitment to in-depth neighborhood and project planning that reflects the needs of neighborhood residents. While we are proud of the many different contributions that the organization has made in Lawrence, there’s no impact more visible than our real estate development projects, especially in the North Common neighborhood and the City’s historic Mill District.
To date, our track record includes the development of 258 units of affordable owned housing and rentals with $120 million in funds raised and invested to make it all possible. Since 1999, the incidence of vacant/abandoned properties in the North Common has been halved from 30% to about 15%.
With the input of residents, we’ve also prioritized commercial and community facilities and parks and playgrounds—resulting in a portfolio of completed projects that reflect our shared desire for a more equitable and sustained revitalization of Lawrence.
Lawrence residents have expressed a strong preference for owner-occupied, multi-family homes that are both affordable and honor the historic character of the North Common neighborhood. Our real estate development projects reflect these local priorities and provide an accessible pathway to homeownership.
Completed in 2007, this project provides 10 units of green townhouses for homeownership in addition to a tree preservation effort.
Union & Mechanic
Built on 4 vacant lots, this low-impact development was completed in 2006 and provides 5 units for homeownership along with the adjacent Alleyway Community Gardens.
These duplexes offer 8 units of affordable homeownership along with a playground, earning it the 2001 HUD and National Home Builders Gold Award for Affordable Housing.
Union & Milford
Unlike our multi-family homeownership projects, this development created 5 detached single-family homes in 2019 and are offered to first-time low-income buyers.
In addition to homeownership, Lawrence residents continue to face an ongoing affordable rental housing crisis—especially for units that are safe, clean and well-managed. Our affordable rental real estate development projects help address this top community concern.
With an adjacent playground and green space, this rental apartment complex includes 38 units.
This smaller-scale apartment complex is made up of 5 affordable, well-maintained rental units.
Casa di Anna
On the corner of Newbury and Haverhill, this affordable rental housing project offers 18 units.
Farnham Street Project
These 4, triple-decker buildings have been rehabilitated to now provide 11 affordable rental units.
Union Crossing Phase I
The redevelopment of the Southwick Mill Building led to 60 units of green and affordable workforce and family housing in 2011.
Newbury & Garden Project
Once made up of 8 foreclosed properties, including 2 historic row houses, this rehabilitation project is stabilizing the neighborhood.
Union Crossing Phase II
The 2017 redevelopment of Duck Mill created 73 units of green and affordable workforce and family housing along with commercial space, parking and streetscape improvements.
Reviviendo Family Housing
This project developed 17 units of affordable rental housing in 3 historic structures and a vacant lot, winning the 2003 National Trust for Historic Preservation Award for Affordable Housing and the 2006 Fannie Mae Maxwell Award.
Community & Commercial Space
In addition to housing solutions, our completed projects in Lawrence include much needed commercial spaces and community gathering places that serve the surrounding neighborhood.
This commercial space in Union Crossing includes 26 creative/artist studios and office space, the vast majority of which is under lease with active tenants.
The acquisition and minor renovation of the former St. Laurence O’Toole rectory building was completed in 2007 as a home base for LCW programs and college partners.
This 2007 renovation of the former St. Laurence O’Toole Catholic School building created a community learning center to house all of LCW’s adult and youth programs.
Parks & Playgrounds
Thanks to a partnership with Groundwork Lawrence, we have developed passive parks, playgrounds and community gardens in the North Common. These projects have transformed vacant lots and brownfields into safe open spaces that contribute to the quality of life for families and children.
Formerly an industrial laundry, this 2.7-acre park was transformed from an abandoned and contaminated vacant lot into a safe and beautiful gathering place with community gardens and open-air classrooms. The park was completed in 2007 thanks to a unique partnership between LCW, Groundwork Lawrence, the City of Lawrence and Bank of America.
The North Common Neighborhood Reviviendo Playground was built by community volunteers after the space sat vacant for more than a decade. The 10,000 sq. ft. lot is now the site of a playground, green space, flowers and a picnic shelter—welcoming all to enjoy.
See What’s in the Works
Get up to date on the real estate development projects that are in progress and in our pipeline.
Do you have questions about our real estate development projects, past or present? Get in touch with our team to learn more.