Central Maine Growth Council is proud to present its annual Developer of the Year award to North River Company, owner of the Lockwood Mill complex in downtown Waterville. Anthony Gatti, vice president and partner of Waterfront Maine, an affiliate of North River Co., accepted the award on North River’s behalf. The award was presented at Central Maine Growth Council’s Annual Meeting Celebration, sponsored by Kennebec Savings Bank, MaineGeneral Health, and Northern Light Inland Hospital.
North River Company is a pivotal force behind downtown Waterville’s revitalization. In 2017, the real estate development firm purchased Hathaway Creative Center, a former mill whose redevelopment has played an important role in the city’s emergence as a healthcare, technology, and knowledge-based hub. The mixed-use space provides market-rate housing in the city center, and among other businesses, houses MaineGeneral Health, GenoTyping Center of America, and Bricks Coworking & Innovation Space.
In June of this year, North River Company purchased two former mill buildings adjacent to Hathaway Creative Center, collectively known as the Lockwood Mill Complex. The $1.5 million purchase and subsequent redevelopment of over 165,000 square feet will mark a new milestone in the revitalization of downtown Waterville. Situated in an Opportunity Zone overlooking the Kennebec River in the southern section of the downtown district, the Lockwood Mill complex will soon be home to approximately 9,000 square feet of commercial space, new parking spaces, and 65 residential units constructed within Phase One of the redevelopment, with an additional approx. 65 units slated for Phase Two.
“Under North River Co.’s leadership Hathaway Creative Center has become a major anchor of Waterville’s downtown revitalization, and the planned redevelopment of the remaining Lockwood Mill buildings is a thrilling opportunity to create additional vibrancy within, and enhance the aesthetics of, the downtown district,” explains Garvan D. Donegan, director of planning and economic development for Central Maine Growth Council. “Moreover, the North River Company team is exceptionally talented at identifying the needs of businesses within high-growth industries, whether established institutions or startups, and creating the site inventory to attract these businesses.”
The redevelopment will be partially financed using federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC), which were awarded to North River Co. in November 2019. Administered by MaineHousing, LIHTC are allocated according to a competitive process scored through the Qualified Action Plan; only one-third of Maine project applicants received LIHTC funding in this round. The tax credits are a key source of funding for the first phase of the Lockwood Mill redevelopment, which will include 47 units of workforce housing.
“The award of LIHTC funding is a testament to the vibrant quality of life and strong demand for workforce housing in downtown Waterville,” explains Christopher Flagg, president of North River Company. “We look forward to increasing and updating the inventory of high-quality residential and commercial space in the riverside downtown district and we appreciate the support of the community as we redevelop an iconic part of the city.”
Central Maine Growth Council thanks the North River Company team for their significant contributions to Waterville’s revitalization, and looks forward to celebrating the redevelopment of the Lockwood Mill complex with the region’s 2019 developer of the year.
Last modified: December 20, 2019