While the City of Lawrence faces challenges like affordable housing, economic hardship, and systemic racism, Lawrence CommunityWorks (LCW) continues our long-standing commitment to creating vibrant neighborhoods and empowered residents.
Our approach to real estate development reflects a response to the highest needs of residents and demonstrates our ability to make transformative changes in the community, from the ground up.
By 2030, we want Lawrence to be widely known as a vibrant and safe city of promise and opportunity: a great place to live, learn, work and play.
Our team is working to unlock the most difficult-to-develop properties, ones that are burdened with tax, legal and contamination issues, and turn them into high-quality and productive spaces. The results are visible symbols of renewal that contribute to the health and financial stability of our neighbors. These projects also generate substantial tax revenue for the city and often attract other private market investment in the area.
LCW has 15 years of experience redeveloping the eastern end of Lawrence’s historic Mill District to create a more vibrant and equitable neighborhood. DyeWorks is a capstone project that looks beyond housing to create a neighborhood center of essential services. To make physical and economic well-being more accessible to residents, DyeWorks is designed to address upstream contributors to systemic racism and poverty.
With pre-development planning and fundraising already underway, the DyeWorks project is on track to redevelop a 35,000-square-foot vacant building into a full-service Latinx-owned grocery store, health center, community gathering spaces and WiFi hub, and the new home of our Movement City youth program. This vision not only leads to healthier lives and local jobs but also fosters neighborhood connections, creates a safe family environment, and strengthens the Lawrence tax base.
The transformation of Lawrence’s Mill District wouldn’t be complete without the Island Parkside project. While the neighborhood has seen a recent rebirth as new housing and commercial uses have reclaimed most of the mill buildings and developable land, the area has a few crumbling and blighted scars owing to its historic past.
Island Parkside will redevelop a 2-acre portion of a 4.3-acre lot adjacent to Union Crossing and a new city park to offer 80 units of affordable rental housing—addressing the overwhelming demand for quality rentals in the city that are accessible to low-income families. The project spans 2 different buildings constructed in 2 phases, and it will include a youth community center developed by SquashBusters Lawrence and parking to support the commercial activity at DyeWorks.
As its name suggests, Island Parkside will also address the community’s priority to develop safe, outdoor recreational spaces for families. The adjacent park provides access to the banks of the Merrimack River and the plants and animals that call it home. When the new buildings are complete, residents and neighbors will be able to enjoy this wild and welcoming environment.
Phase I is focused on a new building on the northernmost portion of the site that will include 40 units of 100% affordable rental housing for families and individuals making 60% or less of the area median income (AMI), with 40% of the units dedicated to those making less than 30% of AMI. Amenities in the building will include a laundry room, fitness room, bike storage room, and access to open space with views and walking trails along the Merrimack River.
The project will provide family housing in an area within walking distance to the commuter rail, three of Lawrence’s largest employers, a college and an elementary school, three parks, two museums, and more. The major shopping area is two blocks away. To learn more about rental units at Island Parkside, contact our real estate team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Phase II of the Island Parkside project includes the demo of the existing vacant industrial building and the new construction of a 5-story, 40-unit building that will sit south of the Phase I building. In addition to robust resident services, there will be community spaces, access to outdoor recreation, open space, and views of the River.
Sharing the first floor of the building will be SquashBusters Lawrence’s (SQBL) Youth and Community Center. SQBL is a youth recreation program that uses the sport of squash combined with academic enrichment, mentoring, and community service to provide young people with support and access to opportunities. The Center will occupy roughly 18,000 square feet, including classrooms, squash courts, a fitness center, locker rooms, and office space. Outside of program hours, the facilities will be open to residents of the Island Parkside development, local community groups, and other organizations.
Newbury Street was once a thriving piece of Lawrence, offering a mixed-use corridor of businesses, homes, and churches. Population shifts, mainstream church divestment, arson, and larger economic challenges have all contributed to the blighted face of the street. While new investment by LCW and private homeowners have brought back some activity, there’s an opportunity to more fully transform the area into a vibrant part of the North Common neighborhood.
The Newbury Street Corridor project will untangle the property hurdles that exist today—title inconsistencies, tax delinquency, fragmented ownership, a variety of liens, and environmental issues—and transform 9 parcels into a 33-unit infill development. Our plans include revitalizing 80% of remaining vacant lots and buildings into residential units, neighborhood-accessible parking, and commercial spaces.
Combining redevelopment with green space investment, the Marriner Building project will offer residents, businesses, and recreationists a new opportunity to thrive in Lawrence. Located in a prominent location on Broadway and adjacent to the City’s planned Rail Trail, the 450,000-square-foot former mill is currently owned by LCW and is targeted for mixed-use redevelopment as affordable residential and commercial offices.
Like many of our real estate projects, this development offers a chance to build on the momentum already happening in the area, and the adaptive re-use of the mill building helps maintain affordability for residents. For businesses, the immense scale of the building and its access from Broadway opens up new possibilities including an incubator space, retail establishments like restaurants, and indoor entertainment.