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Town of Athol Seeks to Renovate 25 Exchange Street With Support From Predevelopment Program, Adaptive Reuse Study

April 6, 2011

Kelsey Abbruzzese, MassDevelopment, 617-330-2086 & 617-448-9077
Phil Delorey, Town of Athol, 978-575-0301

The Town of Athol has issued a request for proposals for developers to buy and create an adaptive reuse for the former Maroni Furniture Building at 25 Exchange Street, a 14,000-square-foot municipally owned facility in the heart of Athol's Central Commercial District. As a preliminary step in the plan to find a reuse for the property, the Town commissioned a study to provide information about the site and its reuse potential. Highlighting this information reduces predevelopment costs for interested developers and shows clear examples of options supported by the property, existing regulations, and the Town of Athol.

MassDevelopment provided this service to the Town through the agency’s real estate predevelopment program, contracting with Winter Street Architects of Salem to prepare the study. The study found that while the building is vacant and in need of deferred maintenance, 25 Exchange Street is structurally sound and suitable for commercial and residential adaptive reuse.

“Helping prepare this site for development and managing that process fits MassDevelopment's mission of creating housing units and eliminating blight throughout the Commonwealth,” said MassDevelopment Executive Vice President of Real Estate Richard Henderson. “We have great hopes for what's to come at 25 Exchange Street and look forward to seeing future development at the site.”

25 Exchange Street was built in 1874 as the Kendall Boot Factory. After the factory left in 1887, the building changed hands a number of times and was transferred to the town in 2008. Athol hopes the building will be redeveloped as an efficient, cost-effective mixed-use project, with residential units above commercial space.

“The town is looking forward to the redevelopment of this property and hopes to offer assistance to any person or organization that is interested in the project. Athol is very optimistic about the opportunity this property represents,” says Phil Delorey, Director of Planning & Development for the Town. “We have had the building evaluated with the help of MassDevelopment and Winter Street Architects, and we are moving forward with obtaining zoning changes that come along with the proposed change in use.”

Those interested in copies of the request for proposals and the adaptive reuse study can request them by emailing planning@townofathol.org.

MassDevelopment, the state’s finance and development authority, works with businesses, financial institutions, and communities to stimulate economic growth across the Commonwealth. During FY2010, MassDevelopment financed or managed 238 projects in 104 communities across the state generating investment of nearly $1.4 billion in the Massachusetts economy.