Project aims to redevelop damaged buildings in downtown Springfield

Hampden County

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – A groundbreaking was held Monday night for an $11.5-million housing project in Springfield.

The project includes 60 new market-rate rental apartments. They’ll be located in the historic Willy’s Overland building on Chestnut Street in downtown Springfield.

The building sat vacant for years and was badly damaged in the 2012 gas explosion. In fact, it was once slated to be demolished, but Springfield’s Historical Commission managed to save it. Now Davenport Companies is redeveloping it into a place to live.

Juan Prieto, the Manager of the project told 22News he is excited for the development of Willy’s Overland and downtown Springfield.

“I think the city is really, you know, post-tornado, post gas explosion on a real curve of growth and the casino was probably the first step and some of the other projects that have happened downtown are really exciting and we’re glad to be a part of this,” said Prieto.

The company has built similar buildings around the country, including one in Detroit, Michigan that has also been successfully repurposed for residential use.

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