Press Release: 2021-11-24

Trahan, Donoghue Announce Completion of Critical Land Exchange in Lowell

Trahan, Donoghue Announce Completion of Critical Land Exchange in Lowell:

Washington, November 23, 2021

LOWELL, MA – Today, Congresswoman Lori Trahan (MA-03), a member of the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests, and Public Lands, and Lowell City Manager Eileen Donoghue announced the completion of a critical land exchange between the National Park Service and the City of Lowell. This exchange has paved the way for construction of the Hamilton Canal Innovation District’s mixed-use neighborhood, establishing parking, housing, and commercial space just blocks from Lowell’s most historic sites.

“The completion of this important land exchange between the City of Lowell and Lowell National Historical Park represents our strong commitment to economic innovation right here in the Mill City,” said Congresswoman Trahan. “With new, mixed-use development right around the corner from our city’s most historic sites, we’ll ensure that residents and consumers alike are able to take full advantage of all that the Hamilton Canal District has to offer. I’m grateful for all the work my predecessor, Congresswoman Tsongas, put into this project, and I’m proud that we’ve built on those efforts to achieve this long-anticipated milestone. I look forward to our continued work to further this important investment in Lowell’s economic growth.”

“The Hamilton Canal Innovation District represents one of the most promising opportunities for mixed-use development in Massachusetts,” said City Manager Donoghue. “Once fully developed, the district will transform Lowell by doubling the size of our downtown, strengthening our commercial and residential markets and creating a new gateway to the City. From the earliest stages of the HCID’s planning, completing this land exchange was identified as a critical component in realizing the district’s full potential. The City of Lowell is grateful to all of the parties involved in this effort and ensuring that it reached a favorable outcome.”

The land swap was initiated by former Congresswoman Niki Tsongas (MA-03) during the 112th Congress when legislation was passed to authorize the U.S. Secretary of the Interior to exchange any land or interest within the boundaries of the Lowell National Historical Park for any land or interest owned by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the City of Lowell, or the University of Massachusetts Building Authority. Under the leadership of former Lowell National Historical Park Superintendent Celeste Bernardo, the park transferred ownership of its parking lot off Dutton Street to the City to facilitate redevelopment of the area as part of the 15-acre Hamilton Canal Innovation District.

The $38 million, 903-space parking garage finished in December of 2020 marked the Hamilton Canal Innovation District’s first completed ground-up construction project. The garage includes 300 spaces designated for the Lowell Justice Center and will provide parking for the mixed-use development projects currently under construction. 

Additional public infrastructure has recently been completed in the Hamilton Canal Innovation District, including a new signature bridge spanning the Hamilton Canal, and streets F and G, which will provide access to the district from Dutton Street and Canal Street. A ceremony dedicating the bridge to Congresswoman Tsongas is anticipated to take place in 2022.

The Hamilton Canal District’s first private development on parcels 8 and 9 is also nearing completion. The mixed-use project will comprise 125 units of housing and 5,000 square feet of commercial space, and is expected to reach completion in March 2022.