Loft 550, Malden Mills, Lawrence, MA USA by The Architectural TeamLocation: Lawrence, Mass.
Builder:Keith Construction Co.
Architect:The Architectural Team
Number of units:75
Unit mix:One- and two-bedrooms
Rents: $450 to $1,300

WinnDevelopment used state and federal historic tax credits to transform two historic mill buildings into mixed-income housing, 95 percent of which has been set aside for workforce housing. Today, the 1860s-era buildings are known as Loft Five50 and offer 75 apartment units that are twice the size of those in most modern communities, with windows that follow 20-foot ceiling heights and exposed wood beams.

Residents can choose from one-, two-, and three-bedroom floor plans, and with rents ranging from $450 to $1,300 per month, the property is 100 percent occupied.

Located on 2.6 acres along the city’s main commercial thoroughfare, the buildings were part of a 1 million-square-foot industrial complex called Malden Mill and shared utility connections between them. The developer had to unravel those connections, in addition to negotiating 26 different easements and shoring up old brick culverts that ran under the foundations of the buildings. These underground sluiceways, which once allowed water to power the mill’s machinery, needed to be fortified with concrete foundations to support new structural loads associated with the stairwells and bearing walls necessary for residential development.

Extensive on-site amenities include an indoor play area complete with climbing structure; an indoor track; a chalkboard wall and soft seating area; a fitness center; a lounge/billiard room with catering kitchen; a media room; and outdoor patio areas. In addition, residents can enjoy walks along the Spicket River.