Ludlow Mills Riverwalk Project Moves Forward
LUDLOW — The Westmass Area Development Corp. has announced that it is seeking bids for phase one of the Riverwalk project, part of the approved Ludlow Mills Preservation and Redevelopment Master Plan, and has advertised for bids from contractors. Bids will be opened on Aug. 21, with construction expected to begin in the fall.
The Riverwalk is one of the early commitments that Westmass made to the town of Ludlow and its residents, and is being funded through a partnership between HealthSouth and Westmass. The Riverwalk will offer public space for foot traffic and passive recreation, opening up the Chicopee River to Ludlow Mills businesses and residents of Ludlow. This phase of the project will start near Center Street, just east of the town common, run along the river toward the new HealthSouth Hospital, and then return through the proposed future park and reconnect with the recently installed municipal sidewalk system on State Street. This initial phase of construction is expected to cost more than $500,000.
“The solicitation of bids to construct the Ludlow Mills Riverwalk represents another important development as the project begins to realize its potential as a significant mixed-use economic resource for Ludlow and for all of Western Mass.,” said Kenn Delude, president and CEO of Westmass. He noted that the Ludlow Mills project would not have been possible without the support of the Western Mass. legislative delegation, particularly the efforts of state Rep. Tom Petrolati and state Sen. Gail Candaras.
Together, the proposed Riverwalk and future public park will cover approximately 52 acres, or roughly one-third of the Ludlow Mills project site. Westmass intends to convey that entire area to the town so that it will remain in public use. These open spaces and recreational areas are intended to integrate the Ludlow Mills project into the neighborhood and community, said Delude, and also support the many existing and new businesses that are attracted by the vibrancy of the Ludlow Mills.
Redevelopment of the Ludlow Mills complex over the next 15 to 20 years will create and retain more than 2,000 jobs and stimulate up to $300 million in private investment, he said, adding that the initiative is a mixed-use project with a primary focus on commercial and industrial development.