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November 9, 2015

WinnDevelopment breaks ground on $24.2M Fitchburg mill conversion

PHOTO/EMILY MICUCCI Gilbert Winn, principal of WinnCompanies, addresses a crowd a ribbon cutting at Worcester apartments two years ago. WinnDevelopment broke ground on a Fitchburg mill conversion project on Nov. 5.

Boston-based WinnDevelopment has broken ground on a project that will transform a 110-year-old Fitchburg mill into 96 mixed-income apartment units.

The company said the three-story building, which formerly operated as the Fitchburg Yarn Mill and is located downtown, will contain 57 market-rate units and 39 affordable unites, 29 of which will be reserved for residents earning 60 percent or below of the area median income (AMI). The other 10 will be reserved for residents earning 30 percent or below the AMI. Constructed is expected to be complete in May 2017 and cost approximately $24.2 million.

The long-vacant Fitchburg Yarn Mill sits on a 7.4-acre site on Main Street, along the Nashua River. It was one of the city’s 16 textile manufacturers that once thrived in Fitchburg, beginning in the early 20th century.

The Massachusetts Housing Partnership, a public affordable housing organization, has issued a $2.8 million loan to Winn. To date, the agency has provided $50 million in financing construction of more than 1,200 apartment units in the state, according to a statement from Winn.

As a groundbreaking ceremony was celebrated last week, Gov. Charlie Baker also announced a $3 million MassWorks award to improve road infrastructure in that area of downtown Fitchburg.

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