RUSSELL, Mass. (WWLP) -Former Strathmore Paper Mill property projected to be residential, mixed-use area
Jacob Trudeau purchased the property over four years ago at an auction for $15,000 and his brother, Andrew Trudeau became his managing partner. The two property owners first had plans to turn the Strathmore Paper Mill into a cannabis business park before a massive fire had destroyed the building in June 2020.
During the pandemic, both owners decided to focus on their small real estate firm Trudeau Creative Investments. The firm specializes in renovation projects and ground-up builds for Airbnb’s in the hilltowns of the Berkshires.
Just six months ago, the owners turned back to the 7.5-acre purchased property and came up with a new plan for it. The property is to be developed into a residential mixed-use, to bring the property and surrounding area back to life as well as create jobs and housing.
Plans for Development include:
- 160 high-end rental units with a mix of one, two, and three-bedroom dwellings. 32 units are allocated to affordable housing.
- 30 Aspen style condos with an old mill feel, overlooking the river.
- Five-story open office space for college students, entrepreneurs, and residents. A rooftop lounge and small observatory are to also be included.
- A vertical farm company with a ground floor market, café, and roastery.
- Restaurants, hiking and bike shop, fitness and spa center.
The Pioneer Planning Board and architects Clark and Green for Great Barrington have undergone a land use assessment. The assessment focused on the mill property, Woronoco mill, and the old elementary school in the town. Residential and mixed-use are to be economic drivers for the area, according to the results of the assessment.
SLR Consulting, an environmental consulting company will be working alongside the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) required guidelines for this project to develop.
The next steps for the property are as follows:
- A Brooklyn based architect is to draft preliminary plans to present to lenders, to the town and state officials for approval
- Seeking a local construction company to take on-site work
- Seeking Investors for a potential Joint Venture opportunity
As the project progresses from its early stages, Trudeau says the property will be a place that will bring the community together in a valley of the Appalachian Mountains on the Westfield River.