Lee Northern Mills Public Visioning Event Set Thursday08:26PM / Monday, August 18, 2014
LEE, Mass. — The town is seeking input from residents on the reuse of four historic mills in the area.
A visioning event will be held on Thursday, Aug. 21, from 5:30 to 9 p.m. at the Greenock Country Club on West Park Street.
The town, the Berkshire Regional Planning Commission and a team of consultants are working to develop a community-driven plan for the four closed Schweitzer Mauduit International mills. Community input is being sought for the areawide vision. The event will include case studies of successful mill site reuse, and will allow community members to envision the future of Lee's mill sites and how they will fit into the community.
BRPC is urging residents to bring friends and neighbors to participate in the conversation.
The event begins with an open house at the country club's Fiddleheads Grille with a picnic at 5:30 and the welcome at 6, followed by findings, questions, case studies, revitalizaton and reuse, and group visioning. Exhibits and desserts will fill the final half hour.
The town of Lee received a $175,000 Brownfields Area-Wide Planning Grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to began study of the economic redevelopment of the mills in the town's north quarter – Eagle, Columbia and Greylock, and Niagra in Lenox Dale. EPA created the planning program to assist with community involvement, research planning and implementation strategies related to brownfields cleanup and reuse.
Three of the mills, Columbia and Greylock, and Niagra, were purchased early this month by Niagara (Wis.) Worldwide, operating as Lenox Development LLC. The limited liability company bought six parcels, including the mills, in Lee and Lenox for a total price of $1.5 million, according to state land records.
Developer Jeffrey Cohen hopes to pour $60 million or more into the fourth mill, Eagle, to redevelop it for commercial and residential use.