WORCESTER TELEGRAM & GAZETTE Historic Mill Takes Top Bid - Site Housed Colonial Press
By Karen Nugent
As seen in TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF
CLINTON- Lancaster Mills, one of the town's oldest landmarks, was sold at auction this week for $2.2 million to a New Hampshire developer that specializes in condominium conversions.
The 16-acre parcel at 55 Green St. was sold to Brady Sullivan Properties of Manchester, N.H., according to Jerome J. Manning of J.J. Manning Auctioneers, who handled the sale.
Mr. Manning said yesterday that Brady Sullivan representatives have no definite plans yet for the old textile mill, but were surrounded after the sale Wednesday by state and town officials offering assistance to develop the 323,000-square-foot building for commercial use.
Town officials and residents have opposed turning the mill, which has been vacant for years, into condominiums or other housing.
Before the auction, Lincoln Properties, the previous owner, had attempted to market it for retail or commercial use for two years before devising a plan to build 211 apartments. That would have meant tearing down part of the mill. However, the Massachusetts Historical Commission decided last July that the complex is historically significant and cannot be destroyed.
The mill produced gingham and was later the site of Colonial Press, Clinton's largest employer ever. It was built in 1844 by the founders of Bigelow Carpet Co. and renovated in 1981.
The property has 292,000 square feet of industrial space, which could be divided into 23,000-square-foot sections. It has three loading docks and parking for 750 cars.
The value of the property is assessed by the town at $3.7 million.
Brady Sullivan has converted several old mills into condominium complexes in southern New Hampshire, including mills in Manchester, Derry, Hooksett, Laconia and Pembroke.