Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze Cumberland Lincoln 03-18-2021

The Valley Breeze Newspapers serving the Northern Rhode Island towns of Cumberland, Lincoln, Woonsocket, Smithfield, North Smithfield, Pawtucket, North Providence, Scituate, Foster, and Glocester

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10 CUMBERLAND MARCH 18-24, 2021 | VALLEY BREEZE | CUMBERLAND LINCOLN EDITION now. Gately owned about a dozen old mills, he said, and he has the impression that the estate is work- ing on offloading them. The Breeze reported back in 2016 on how Gately, of Winchester, Mass., had purchased the old textile mill, where generations of northern Rhode Islanders had produced cot- tons, silks and woolens from 1903 to when a final rug maker closed in 2014. Gately said then that he likely wouldn't be interested if not for the river flowing through the backyard of the mill, calling it "truly a special place." He said he couldn't imagine a better setting. In 2016, Gately was proposing 45 to 50 apartment units covering 1,200 to 1,500 square feet apiece in what he called a "downtrodden neighborhood," including high-end finishes and many with river over- looks, with a gym also part of the plan. Essentially, he said, it would be a place to live, work out, eat and drink, with everything priced a bit below average. Gately said then that the property was brought to his attention by a printer looking for a new space, and that he planned to accom- modate that company and other businesses as part of a project that could have added up to $20 mil- lion. Other properties belonging to the developer five years ago were said to be in South Boston, Dorchester and Nashua, N.H. Gately raved about the reception he received from former Mayor Bill Murray and other town officials. "Rhode Island may be the worst state to do business, but Cumberland certainly isn't," he was quoted as saying five years ago. The latest project comes at a time of strong redevelopment interest in Valley Falls and Broad Street, including plans for transforming the old Ann & Hope Mill into mostly new residential units. Broad Street is also undergoing a $17 million reconstruction project through Cumberland, Central Falls and Pawtucket. While redevelopment of old mills have the potential to be the big- gest game changers for the area, residents over the past week have expressed consternation as hun- dreds of trees have been leveled at the corner of Broad Street and Mendon Road to make way for the new Residences at Broad, a mixed- use project from E.A. McNulty and J.H. Lynch & Sons. An original master plan for that project, which will also require extensive removal of earth, was approved back in 2007, remaining in effect until 2018 when the Planning Board granted preliminary plan approval. The plan there, reported exten- sively by The Breeze, includes 23 units, 11 in one building and 12 in the other, and 4,500 square feet of commercial space on the ground floors. Cumberland, one of the fastest- growing communities in Rhode Island according to data, continues to see strong interest in new hous- ing. Ongoing projects include the Hunting Hill condos off Mendon Road and the Hidden Meadows housing development near the Diamond Hill Reservoir. Stevens said he's still waiting to hear back from the owners of the Ann & Hope mill with revised plans for redeveloping their prop- erty. The Ann & Hope store closed last year. The Breeze reported in 2017 that the Naushon Company Plant had landed a spot on the National Register of Historic Places, bringing Gately a step closer to accomplish- ing his vision for the mill. Gately had been waiting for tax credits to come through before starting work on his vision for the building, and the historic designation helped secure the money to make the proj- ect feasible. Gately purchased the 4-acre prop- erty for $180,000 by paying off tax liens and redeeming deeds held by the town and former Valley Falls Fire District. The 77,000-square-foot building was previously owned by Thomas Conley of East Providence. The Valley Breeze is committed to keeping quality news stories like this one free to our readers. You can be a huge part of this local journalism suc- cess story by making a one-time or monthly contribution to what we do every week at valleybreeze.com/support. Thank you as always for reading. BREEZE PHOTO BY ETHAN SHOREY The NAUSHON MILL on Meeting Street in Cumberland. MILL From Page One

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