Beacon Communities to Host Groundbreaking at North Square at The Mill District

Beacon Communities will host a groundbreaking ceremony at 2 p.m. on June 14 with state and local officials and community members for a long-awaited mixed-use development at North Square at The Mill District.

Located in the heart of the Pioneer Valley and less than a mile from the University of Massachusetts campus, North Square at The Mill District will be a new sustainably designed, mixed-income and mixed-use community surrounding a traditional New England village green. It will provide housing for people who work in Amherst and the immediate area. Of the 130 new apartments, 26 will be set aside for households earning up to 50% of the area median income and the balance will be for workforce and market-rate residents. This pet-friendly community will include new, fully accessible apartments and will have direct access to the Pioneer Valley Transit Authority (PVTA) bus system.   In addition, North Square will provide commercial retail space for 8-10 new business opportunities, public and private open space, a new children’s play area, and amenities for residents.  Construction as well as permanent jobs will be created.

“The Town of Amherst and state housing finance agencies have been incredibly supportive of innovative ways to address the challenges of the cost of housing in Massachusetts, where apartment rental and home prices have increased at the fastest rate in the nation,” said Dara Kovel, president of Beacon Communities Development. “They have supported public private partnerships and practical approaches to expanding the supply of housing to control costs and improve communities,” she said. North Square at The Mill District was made possible in partnership with The Town of Amherst, Department of Housing and Community Development, Boston Community Loan Fund, US Bank, and MassHousing Partnership (MHP).

The project is located on the current site of a sawmill on land owned by the W.D. Cowls family.  Every generation since 1741 has redeveloped this site to suit the needs of that generation of the Cowls family. With a nod to the sawmill that was once the center of activity, the area is known as “The Mill District – Eats, Art & Entertainment.” This pedestrian-friendly destination with a mix of retail, restaurants, services, and proximity to the Mill River Recreation Area will be a hub of activity for Amherst residents.

The first building will be ready for residents and commercial tenants in summer 2019. For information about the residential development, please contact or 413.345.6600. For information about retail space, please contact Pat Kamins, leasing agent for W.D. Cowls, at 413.253.2515.