Affordable apartments planned for vacant Southbridge mill

By District Energy posted 09-19-2017 00:00


Brian Lee, Worcester Telegram & Gazette


SOUTHBRIDGE - A developer, only weeks after unveiling a $20 million makeover of the lobby of the Mercantile Center in Worcester, revealed a pair of ambitious projects in the former American Optical campus that he owns.

Charles “Chip” Norton, Jr., president of Franklin Realty Advisors, wants to convert a vacant mill building at 5-15 Case St. in the Southbridge Innovation Center into 48 “affordable” apartments.

Mr. Norton also announced a six-year contract to transform a traditional, off-line electric power plant into a state-of-the-art cogeneration facility. Franklin Realty Advisors’ contract is with Trane Commercial Systems. A division of Ingersoll Rand, Trane will design, build, maintain and guarantee resultant energy savings. Construction is expected to begin this month with a target completion date of December.

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