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Lawrence’s Riverwalk Mill Redevelopment Advances with Financial Backing from Eastern Bank and MassDevelopment

October 28, 2011

Mark Sternman, MassDevelopment, 617-330-2034 & 617-780-6186

Eastern Bank has provided a $28.37 million financing package and MassDevelopment has provided a $6.5 million New Markets Tax Credit financing and $3 million loan for Riverwalk Partners LLC, which is redeveloping the Riverwalk Mill complex in Lawrence. These funds will help Sal Lupoli construct 210,000 square feet of new and redeveloped commercial space in two office buildings, including renovating 350 Merrimack Street and constructing a new building at 290 Merrimack Street, as part of the second phase of this project.

“Eastern Bank is excited to be taking part in Lawrence’s revitalization, both through our financial commitment to the Riverwalk project and through the recent opening of our 96th branch location on Essex Street in Downtown Lawrence,” said Jan Miller, Executive Vice President of Commercial Lending for Eastern Bank. “We are particularly pleased to be partnering with Sal Lupoli, a man with unparalleled commitment to improving our communities through job creation and responsible growth.”

“This project marks another major milestone in the transformation of Lawrence’s historic mill buildings undertaken by Sal Lupoli,” said MassDevelopment President and CEO Marty Jones. “MassDevelopment is pleased to help this visionary developer create and keep jobs in this key Gateway City.”

Eastern Bank’s financing package consists of a $9.87 million New Markets Tax Credit leverage loan, a $7.5 million project construction loan, and an $11 million New Markets Tax allocation through a partnership with Affirmative Investments, Inc. The renovation of 350 Merrimack Street will add 136,000 square feet of rentable office space, and the new 64,000-square-foot building at 290 Merrimack Street will include retail and office space. The project’s sponsor, Salvatore Lupoli, has completed the first phase of the Riverwalk Mill complex redevelopment, which included building and renovating more than one million square feet of the mills. The Riverwalk Mill now houses medical, law, and commercial tenants, as well as a number of state agencies and a Lawrence Police substation. Employment in the complex increased from 600 to 3,000 during the first phase of redevelopment.

“I’m proud to have NxStage Medical, a leader in transforming health care, as a future tenant in the revitalized Riverwalk Mills,” said Salvatore N. Lupoli. “And the real winner here is the City of Lawrence, which will benefit from this project. Thank you to Eastern Bank and MassDevelopment for leveraging the investment that made this next step forward possible.”

MassDevelopment, the state’s finance and development agency, works with businesses, nonprofits, financial institutions, and communities to stimulate economic growth across the Commonwealth. During FY2011, MassDevelopment financed or managed 277 projects generating investment of nearly $3.7 billion in the Massachusetts economy. These projects are projected to create 10,291 jobs (2,507 permanent and 7,784 construction) and 1,323 housing units (309 new and 1,014 rehab).