The former Lockwood Mill is seen in the distance from atop the Lockwood Hotel in downtown Waterville earlier this month. The city’s Planning Board this week granted developers an extension on their plans to redevelop the mill building. Their proposal calls for 65 apartments on upper floors of the southernmost wing of the building. Rich Abrahamson/Morning Sentinel file

WATERVILLE — The Planning Board on Tuesday voted to reapprove plans for a more-than-$30 million project to develop apartments and commercial uses at the former Lockwood Mill at 6 Water St.

The 7-0 vote followed a request by Dan Jacques and Mariah Monks of North River Co. to reapprove the plans with a five-year extension. The board previously gave its OK for apartments in that building and for the development of the adjacent former Lockwood Mill at 8 Water St.

A city ordinance requires that once a project receives approval, the developer must start construction within a year and complete it in two. Jacques, director of Maine operations for Waterfront Maine and North River Co., said the project was slowed by the COVID-19 pandemic and other issues related to financing.

Monks, a director at North River, based in New York City, said plans call for 65 apartments on upper floors of the southernmost wing of 6 Water St., the building closest to the Ticonic Bridge. The units would all be considered affordable housing tied to local median income.

Jacques said North River is looking to close the last week in January with financing through Maine State Housing Authority, also known as MaineHousing. Asbestos abatement has been ongoing and in the spring the company will start other work.

“It is probably a two-year approximate process for phase one,” Jacques said.


Board member Bruce White said he was aware the financing was delayed because of additional construction costs and asked if any other issues could derail the project.

Monks, the project manager, said the mill redevelopment is primarily funded through tax credits — low-income tax credits from MaineHousing, and historic tax credits from the National Park Service. The project also received federal American Rescue Plan Act funding and North River is working with Kennebec County commissioners to work through loan documents.

“Overall, I feel very confident about the financing that we have in place,” Monks said, adding there’s always a risk of construction cost increases.

“If that does increase, we will need to rejigger our capital stock and look for more money,” she said.

White said people he has spoken with about the project are excited about its potential.

The southernmost wing of the building at 6 Water St. would be developed as part of a first project phase, and the wing parallel to Water Street would be done later, according to Monks. The cost and details of the second phase have yet to be determined.


Redevelopment of the 66,000-square-foot, two-story building at 8 Water St. could be done as part of phase two, according to Monks. Details of plans for that building are not finalized.

The third North River building, the Hathaway Creative Center at 10 Water St., was developed several years ago and has 67 apartments on upper floors and office, retail and commercial space on the lower floors.

In other matters, the board voted 7-0 to approve a request from Trafton Properties LLC to reapprove, with a three-year extension, a plan to build a 120,000-square-foot commercial building at 4 Trafton Road.

The building would be used for warehousing, according to Harry Kajoian of Trafton Properties. He said he could not comment further. Garvan Donegan, director of planning, innovation and economic development for the Central Maine Growth Council who has been working with Trafton Properties, said Monday the building is for a business that would do value-added precision manufacturing.

The board Tuesday also approved a request by Trafton Properties to build a 41,233-square-foot, 117-space parking lot with associated driveways and stormwater facilities at 977 West River Road. Andrew Kurmin, of Gorrill Palmer consulting engineers of Gray, said the lot will be located at the corner of Trafton and West River roads.

Related Headlines

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.