Acorn has successfully renovated three historic mill buildings in New Bedford, Massachusetts into award winning loft style communities.
The Lofts at Wamsutta Place
Wamsutta Place features spacious loft style apartments situated in a half million square foot mill building listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The brick mill structure was built in the 1860s as part of the famed Wamsutta Mills. At its peak the firm employed 2,100 workers who operated 4,450 looms. Wamsutta invented percale – a tight weave which is still in use today – to produce first quality sheets that supplied the world’s finest hotels and cruise ships.
As manufacturing left Massachusetts, the Wamsutta Mills fell into disrepair. Acorn leadership recognized the building’s potential and decided to undertake the challenging task of renovating such a daunting project in an unproven market. The original beauty of the mill building has been restored, and the interior space divided into luxury loft style apartments outfitted with modern amenities. The apartments feature original bird’s eye and tiger maple floors, stainless steel appliances, granite countertops, central heat and air conditioning, high ceilings and exposed beams, expansive windows, walk-in closets, video intercom systems, and in–unit laundry hookups.
The complex provides ample parking which includes a heated, secure underground garage. It offers a pet friendly environment, and landscaped grounds with the tallest flagpole in southeastern Massachusetts. Wamsutta’s original clock tower, preserved and renovated, is a local landmark. When the Lofts opened in 2007, the project garnered the Delano preservation award and numerous city and state citations. It was featured as New England Real Estate Journal’s project of the month.
Built in 1896 by textile merchant William Whitman and designed by renowned architect Charles Makepeace, the former Whitman Mills once hummed with 4,610 looms and 177,608 spindles. In more recent years, after the textile business left the area, the building saw several redevelopment attempts stall and sat dormant until Acorn became involved in 2008.
Today, the space has been re-imagined into Victoria Riverside Townhouse Lofts, offering premium loft style apartments enhanced with modern features and premier amenities. The Lofts were designed to take advantage of the building’s extraordinary charm and include bright and open two story living rooms with oversized windows, refinished original maple hardwood floors, soaring ceilings with exposed bricks and pine beams, granite countertops, and a heated and secure underground garage. The building is peacefully situated on its own private stretch of riverfront, boasting views of the Acushnet River and the surrounding wildlife.
When Governor Deval Patrick cut the ribbon and opened Victoria’s doors in 2011, the building was dubbed a “magnificent rehabilitation.” Its adaptive reuse has earned the Sarah R. Delano Preservation Award, as well as numerous other private, city, and state awards. The conversion was featured as a cover story in the New England Real Estate Journal, and is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Situated on the banks of the Acushnet River with stunning views of the opposite wildlife sanctuary, Riverbank Lofts reopened its doors in 2014 as one of the area’s most desired apartment communities.
Before its conversion began, many developers had shied away from the site. It required the resolution of several difficult Ch. 91 waterways permitting matters, as well as the delicate negotiation of complicated cross easements and relocation of major utilities in place due to the building’s former life as a manufacturing mill. The building fell into disrepair, and its fate was uncertain. Although it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places, it was nearly demolished in 2009.
That’s when Acorn stepped in.
Acorn successfully addressed each issue, and preserved the building and converted the interior to 126 premier loft-style apartments. Each apartment retains historic charm with refinished original hardwood flooring and exposed brick, while also featuring modern stainless steel kitchen appliances, granite countertops, soaring 14-foot windows overlooking the river, and 18-foot ceilings with exposed beams and planks. Riverbank Lofts is proud to be a smoke-free and pet-free facility, and boasts amenities including a secure heated garage, a top notch exercise facility, tenant garden plots, community room, and a riverfront walkway. The project highlights modern technology in its roof mounted photovoltaic array, central fresh air exchange system (ERV), and high efficiency HVAC units. The conversion has earned numerous awards and has been featured on the covers of The Standard Times and the New England Real Estate Journal.