Lawrence: The North Canal District

Great Neighborhoods is supporting the work of a group of strategic partners including a coalition of community developers, business people, and city leaders to transform the historic North Canal Mill District by redeveloping the vacant, under-used mills with a mix of commercial and residential uses. The goal is to create a healthy and appealing urban neighborhood that will provide homes for a range of income levels, jobs for local residents, open space and environmental improvements and expanded transit choices like walking and biking.

10-year Goals (2021)

  • Create 200 units of housing in the North Canal District.
  • Establish five miles of community paths in Lawrence that connect low-income neighborhoods to parks and commercial areas.
  • Establish three regional destinations for retail and services.
  • Establish a municipal Master Plan that includes land use, infrastructure, transportation, and economic development strategies.

Highlights  (2012)

  1. Completed construction on 60 affordable rental units at Union Crossing and hosted a ribbon-cutting with more than 200 residents, public officials, and supporters.
  2. Created a viable financial model for the 28,000 square foot commercial development at Union Crossing Phase One.
  3. Completed  construction of The five-mile Spicket River Greenway
  4. Worked with WalkBoston  to conduct walking audits to identify strengths and weaknesses of neighborhood connections to the Greenway.
  5. Worked with the Merrimack Valley Planning Commission (MVPC) to conduct a feasibility study for a new shared use path along a rail corridor that links Lawrence to Manchester, New Hampshire.
  6. Conducted “placemaking” workshops with Project for Public Spaces that created an action agenda for the North Canal and mobilized residents and community leaders.
  7. Helped found We Are Lawrence, a local movement to improve the perception of the city.

Working Documents

Related Links

Strategic Partners