Ames Shovel Works Redevelopment
PROJECT HISTORY & DESCRIPTION:
- Public Information Sessions on the Rental of Shovelworks Apartments - all will take place in the Board of Selectmen's Room at the Town Offices, 136 Elm Street, Easton, MA:
- May 9, 2013 at 6:00 PM
- May 22, 2013 at 6:00 PM
- June 12, 2013 at 6:00 PM
If you have any questions, please call Connor Read at (508) 230-0501.
- Rental Information for Prospective Renters (April 2013)
- November Project Update from Woodard and Curran
- June 8, 2012 Shovel Works Groundbreaking Program
- Press Release June 5, 2012
- Preservation, Restoration & Redevelopment
- Town Support
- Sewer & Wastwater Treatment
ECAT Coverage of the Groundbreaking on June 8, 2012
The historic Ames Shovel Works property is an important part of Easton. The story of the Oliver Ames & Sons company plays a large role in the history of the Town, while the unique and well-preserved buildings the company once occupied still have a major place in North Easton Village. With the support of the people of Easton, an effort is underway to revitalize the vacant complex into much-needed housing, while restoring and preserving nearly all of the structures for future generations. The property's new owner completed their purchase of the property and began construction in April of this year.
Since the Ames Shovel Company ceased local operations in 1953, the factory buildings have been used by a variety of office, warehouse and light industrial businesses. One structure to the west of Main Street became a residence, while the structure north of Oliver Street is now occupied by the YMCA. However, in recent years, the heart of the complex became mostly vacant. In 2007, the property’s owner proposed to demolish several of the historic structures and construct multi-story apartment buildings. Many in the community were opposed to this, either due to the very high density of units the project would include, or due to the loss of historic buildings that would be entailed.
In 2009, with the guidance and encouragement of a dedicated group of residents, Beacon Communities proposed to purchase and redevelop the site with a plan designed to better meet the community’s needs. As ultimately approved by the Town, plans include 113 homes located in preserved historic structures, as well as park-like open space, a wastewater treatment plant to serve the site and surrounding areas, and a small building for civic use.
- Future View of the Property (note that plans have changed slightly from this view)
- Demolition Comparison: Former v. Current Proposal
- Planned Layout
- Final Plans and Elevations (large file)
In 2010, residents approved the use of Town Community Preservation Act funds to help make the improved proposal possible. This included: the $3 million purchase of a Preservation Restriction to prevent demolition and major alteration of the significant historic structures on the property; and a $4.5 million loan toward the redevelopment of the property. Additionally, a “tax increment financing” (TIF) district was approved; this provides the developer with a reduced tax rate for its initial period of owning the property.
The Town will construct and operate a Wastewater Treatment Facility (WWTF) on the Shovel Works property. The WWTF will serve the homes being constructed at the Shovel Works, as well as nearby homes and businesses. This will help to address the need for sewer service in North Easton Village, which has small lot sizes, high groundwater, and a high rate of septic system failure. Through a Town Meeting vote, residents have approved the use Town funds to design and construct the WWTF. The Town will recoup these funds over time as sewer users pay their sewer bills (similar to debt on water facilities being paid back through water bills). The Town has set up a “Sewer Enterprise Fund” to manage the financial activities of the sewer service and WWTF. With independence from the Town’s General Fund, the Sewer Enterprise Fund will allow operating costs, fees, and capital projects to be charged to the sewer users, rather than the whole Town.