Community leaders get first look at Paragon Mill makeover
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) — Community leaders including Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza, Lt. Gov. Matos, and other community leaders were given a first look at the rehabilitation of the Paragon Mill Tuesday.
The mill was once on Providence’s most endangered spaces list.
The mill will soon offer 101 units of low to medium income housing.
“I’ve seen over the years how it has been plighted, it’s been forgotten,” said Mayor Elorza. “To see it come together, to see it renewed like this, it’s really special. This is going to be a big boom for the entire neighborhood and by extension, the entire city.”
The Paragon Mill produced wool for 60 years, beginning in 1898. Powered by the Woonasquatucket River, it ceased operations in the 1960’s.
The Alexander Company, a real estate development company leading the construction, will develop 44 affordable housing units and 57 workforce units.
“When it’s plight, it’s taking down the neighbors with it,” says David Vos, Project Manager for Alexander Company. “When you create it into the crown jewel, you’re bringing the neighbors up. We’re improving the neighborhood in that way just by removing something that’s been a drag on this area.”
One Olneyville resident explained, “It reminds me of back in the day, when everyone was able to find a job easily and have a good time working. With more people like that, more business opportunities are going to open up and it will be great for the community.”
Lt. Governor Sabina Matos, who used to represent the Olneyville area on the Providence City Council, explained, “It’s actually been very emotional to be here in the building. One of the things I was always worried about was that one day this building would be up in flames. I’m so happy that we’re saving the building and making it a part of the community.”
The Alexander Company says there is already a waitlist for the complex, and units will be filling up as soon as September.