NEWS & EVENTS
* The City of Lowell Division of Planning and Development is presenting a Best Practices Seminar for Retailers, Restaurant Owners,and storefront services businesses in Lowell on Tuesday, February 26, 2008 from 8:00 AM to 10:00 AM with retail consultant Christine Graber. Snow Date is March 4, 2008, same time and place.
Hamilton Canal District News
* Restaurants vie for retail space in new city garage
* City officials and executives with Trinity Financial, the Boston-based development firm that will carry out the city's ambitious plans for the Hamilton Canal District, reportedly are near to a deal. Groups iron out details for JAM plan
* The most recent session of the Hamilton Canal District planning process conducted by the Boston-based development firm Trinity Financial was held on January 5, 2008.
Information about and from previous sessions can also be found here: The first session was held on December 5th with working groups scheduled for the coming weeks and another charette in January. Previous articles described the process for public input for the various meetings: Dec. 5 "listening session" at Lowell Memorial Auditorium. . The flyer for the event.
* The Center City Committee's own Janet Leggat has formed a niche business called SeaMaster Cruises to consult those with a bug for the sea.
* The new city garage on Middlesex Street is scheduled to open by the end of January.
* The Boston Globe has embarked on a series of editorials about Massachusetts cities and their future. The first editorial was about Lawrence.
* Ken Lavallee is sworn in as Lowell's new Superintendent of Police.
* Middlesex Street from Central Street to the Lord Overpass will become two-ways on October 17th. as part of the redevelopment of the JAM area. Click here to see previous article on changes to Middlesex St. traffic .
* the Lowell Transitional Living Center at 189 Middlesex St. comes under scrutiny at a recent City Council Meeting.
* Enterprise Bank is poised for downtown growth
* Lowell's Downtown Constant Welles Emporium, run by Janet Pitzer for 18 years, changes hands
*City officials embrace new 'creative economy'as outlined at the recent Lowell Plan Breakfast featuring Dan O'Connell, the state secretary of the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development.
* The Cambodian Mutual Assistance Center (CMAA) has moved from Jackson Street to its new home on Cross Street.
*Longtime Assistant City Manager Matt Coggins is moving to the private sector.
* Acting Police Chief Ken Lavallee has been named Permanent Police Superintendent, bring a congratulatory editorial from the Lowell Sun.
* When Globe Correspondent Alan Wirzbicki questioned Lowell's renaissance, saying "Lowell has achieved national fame for its turnaround. But the revival is overrated, analysts argue, and now cities are looking for new models", he quoted UMass Professor Bob Forrant. Bob has written a "Focus Feature" for the Lowell Sun explaining his comments and the reasons for them in an article entitled Putting Lowell to work.
* Picture a City Transformed: The City chooses Trinity Financial to develop the Hamilton Canal District and expand the downtown.
* Long-time Center City Member Bob Flynn, Director of Northern Middlesex Council of Governments to step down Nov. 1.
* Taste of Cambodia- Tepthida Khmer Restaurant has opened on Chelmsford Street in Lowell.
* Lowell Chinese restaurant sold, to become Japanese eatery
* City officials are using postcards to attract big-name retailers to downtown Lowell.
* Mossie's Sandwich Shoppe closes after nearly 30 years of doing business in downtown Lowell.
* The Downtown Summit
>The third session of the Downtown Summit was held on Thursday, June 21, 2007 at the Doubletree Hotel. City Manager Bernie Lynch presented the elements of the plan to renew the downtown including returning to the marketing slogan "There's a lot to like about Lowell".
>Anne Chalupka and UMass Lowell Professor Robert Forrant give their thoughts on the downtown in a Focus article in the Lowell Sun on April 22.
>The second session of the Downtown Summit was held Tuesday, March 27, 2007 at the Doubletree Hotel. Attendees were divided into four groups and interacted succesivly with four groups of presenters on Retail Recruitment & Retention, Marketing, Traffic & Parking, and Public Infrastructure.
>This was a follow up to the First Session that was held on Wednesday, January 24, 2007. At that session, featured speakers stimulated plenty of ideas from the audience of about 150 representing all facets of downtown Lowell. Read some of the quotes from attendees.
* The downtown will become an artist's stage with the Artwork in the Windows project in July.
* DoubleTree manager Pierre Merehj will walk away proud when he takes a new position in Annapolis, MD.
* The Parking Garage on Middlesex Street is going up quickly, and the City is looking for retailers for the ground level.
* The Lowell Police Department held a meeting with downtown neighbors on Wednesday, April 25th at City Hall where one of the issues discussed related to problems with certain activity in the downtown when the bars close at 2:00 AM.
Kathleen Marcin, President of the Downtown Neighborhood Association, wrote a letter to the Editor following that session asking people to work together to solve the problem.
* City aims to boost teen job options
* UTEC opens its new quarters, is praised as haven for city youth
* After 33 years, CCC board chairman steps down, gets a "thumbs up" from the Lowell Sun.
* The downtown location of Gary's Ice Cream will close by the end of this week and will soon be replaced by a sandwich shop.
* Construction on the parking garage in the JAM Area is proceeding on schedule.
* The United Teen Equality Center (UTEC) is starting to move into their new home on Hurd Street.
* Thai restaurant to open at Sun site.
* Olive That & More Deli adds more than olives to its p.m.nosh.
* Lowell Co-operative Bank is planning to open a new office in March
* Lowell's 7th annual WinterFest was a great success.
* Two new restaurants are coming to downtown soon.
* The City of Lowell has hired Theresa Park as the new Director of Economic Development.
* The Young Professionals of Greater Lowell announced they have secured TV Personality Bob Froehlich to speak at their May event.
* Pub-crawlers beware, police cracking down on unruly behavior.
* Sales and foot traffic were down this holiday season. The city has organized a "downtown summit" for Jan. 24 to address merchants' concerns.
* The wheels of the ambitious Hamilton Canal Project are slowly moving ahead.
* In response to the Center City Committee report on crosswalks, the Lowell Police Department began a crackdown on motorists who impede pedestrian movement.
* The Center City Committee expressed its thanks and congratulations to departing Police Superintendent Ed Davis.
* Deputy Superintendent Kenneth Lavallee will serve as interim police superintendent during the search for a full-time department head.
* Long Range Planning Subcommittee Draft report on Paige Street.
* City leaders urged to promote nanotech center
* Friends Fabric Art to relocate to Western Avenue.
* Picture Perfect: Bob Pare Photography turns 'empty shoebox' into downtown studio
* Cambodian entrepreneurs are finding success in trying new ventures in the city according to a Boston Globe story.
* Popular downtown Greek restaurant hopes to double in size, add condos as the Athenian Corner plans expansion.
* Dancing Into Downtown: Downtown Dancewear opened in August at 122 Merrimack St.
* With the help of the Greater Merrimack Valley Convention and Tourism Bureau, the City maps out a tourist-friendly way to see Lowell.
* Lowell warming up for fun at the 2006 Southeast Asian Water Festival on August 18 and 19.
* Professionals are betting on Downtown Lowell Service-oriented businesses to attract city's new condominium residents.
* Lowell Jumps Feet First Into Downtown Fun with the first of summer-long biweekly block partys on Middle and Palmer Streets in downtown Lowell.
* The closing of Woodcraft Furniture on Merrimack Street has prompted some officials to call for the stepping up of recruitment of new businesses.
* Gregg Croteau, Executive Director of the United Teen Equality Center, a Lowell-based anti-gang and youth outreach agency, has received a prestigious award from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Community Health Leadership Program.
* The African Cultural Association celebrated its 6th annual African Festival on Saturday, June 24th.
* Boston Business Journal says that Enterprise Bank is among the 'Best Places to Work' in Massachusetts.
* In a letter to the Editor of the Lowell Sun, Steve Syverson, President of the Arts League of Lowell (ALL) and LZ NUNN, Executive Director of the Cultural Organization of Lowell (COOL) say that Culture is Lowell's hottest new industry.
* City Councillor George Ramirez envisions a downtown mall formed by closing off Palmer and MIddles Streets to sutomobile traffic.
* The recent increase in homeowners in downtown Lowell has also resulted in an increase in the number of dogs. Unfortunately, some owners have created an issue because they are not picking up after their dogs.
* A new coffee shop opening this week on Gorham Street promises to bring a slice of Seattle to New England. Hand-roasted beans, baristas schooled in the art of latte making and a comfortable atmosphere is the mission of Cafe Aiello.
* The Young Professionals of Greater Lowell hosted former GE Executive Jack Welch at the Lowell Memorial Auditorium.
* Boott Mill apartments are nearly full.
* Cambodia's Ambassador to the United Nations, Widhya Chem, visited Lowell as part of the New Year Celebration and spoke at Middlesex Community College of Cambodia's joy and pain
* The Center City Committee, Inc. held its Annual Meeting on March 28th and presented an award to Chuck Carney and the City Parking Department for making a positive impact on the downtown.
* According to a story in the Boston Globe Northwest Weekly, Lowell's latest plan for renewal is bringing in homeowners.
* In spite of some recent business closings,downtown Lowell is poised for a new round of expansion.
* The 6th Annual WINTERFEST celebration was a great success for downtown Lowell.
* The Lowell Plan is exploring moving the High School out of downtown .
* The Lowell Sun will move to the Textile Museum building on Dutton Street and its current offices will be transformed into condos and retail space.
* The Lowell Sun recently ran a two-part story on retail in downtown Lowell. The first part talked about recent store closings, and the second part about opportunities for growth. This was followed by a call for patience in the development of retail activity, and a letter from the City's Director of Economic Development, Brian Connors, urging folks to shop locally.
* Commonwealth Magazine, a publication of MassINC compares Lowell and Worcester in an article this month.
* City's local cable access grows to 4 channels
* Statewide business group fetes Lowell
* Santa's ready to light up Lowell at the annual holiday parade on Saturday, November 26th.
* Mark Coddaire of Marx Running Store is the new President of the Downtown Lowell Business Association and says he is hoping to form a unified voice for businesses in the center city.
* Greg Harding of Giovanni's in downtown Lowell is expecting a good holiday season.
* "Destination World", Lowell's monthly cultural odessey is worth the trip.
* A story in the Boston Globe Northwest Weekly reports there is a new concept for artists: co-op lofts being tried in Lowell.
* The Lowell Development and Financial Corporation (LDFC) celebrates 30 years of success at its Annual Meeting.
* NECN's popular restaurant show TV Diner was taped at Lowell Memorial Auditorium. The show will air on Nov. 12th.
* The Boston Globe reports that Cities are backing restaurants as lures as one way to increase downtown viability, and cites Lowell's Downtown Venture Fund as a sucessful tool.
* The building that formerly housed Evos has been sold, and the new owners will open a Ribs restaurant to replace it.
* Panini are perfect autumn fare -- warm, toasty, hearty grilled sandwiches bursting with taste, texture and intriguing ingredients.
* Local happenings in early October are summarized in the latest Downtown roundup
*Ice Cream maker Gary Frascarelli is Up on Downtown Lowell as he moves his business to 129 Merrimack Street, next to the Mambo Grille.
*The Center City Committee joined with other downtown players to sponsor the second annual Welcome Newcomers to Lowell Night on Thursday, October 6th at the Enterprise Bank Parking Lot on Middle Street.
*The new bus schedule in downtown will test the LRTA changes with the start of high school classes.
Maria Bayles, who co-owns the Downtown Lowell Thrift Store with her husband, Roy, got her business career started by working at a clothing store her mother owns in Ecuador.
* Spices of Life: The new Lowell One Stop International Market & Deli on Bridge Street curries international flavor.
* Elaine LaCrosse is the latest entrepreneur lured to downtown Lowell, opening Antiquities & More at 187 Central St. late last month.
* Jim and Effie Dragon’s $800,000 investment in Central Plaza in Lowell has paid dividends. Half-filled only a few years ago, the plaza now has just a sliver of space available after the latest tenant, a Powerhouse Gym franchise, . opened last month.
* A recent Globe article compares the downtowns of Providence and Worcester.
* Changes on LRTA horizon. Meetings on tap to discuss plans for new ‘bus hub,' route alterations.
* Developers are taking $108M to the banks -- the banks of the Merrimack in Lowell where new housing is being built.
* White-water rafting on Concord River reveals another side of Lowell
* Close to 75 volunteers haul out 100 bags of trash from Lowell canals, saying 'It's time for us to take action'
* Lowell Sun Chairman Kendall Wallace says in his weekly column that Lowell has reclaimed its past as a center of culture, arts, and economy.
* An eclectic group of Greater Boston professionals have formed a company called Vollusia Inc. and signed a lease for a third-floor office at 134 Middle St.
* The Center City Committee conducted a survey of Downtown Organizations asking for information about their mission, purpose, and role in the downtown.
* City Officials get firsthand look at downtown renaissance
* What's happening in the downtown?
* The City of Lowell will buy Barney's Block for $700,000. Purchase called key to Hamilton Canal development.
* Lowell Dunkin Donuts franchisee takes Portuguese credit union spot
* Retailer Gary Schneider signed a lease this week to open a sporting goods store on Market Street, and plans to open a trendy athletic shoe and sporting goods store in the McCartin building's Market Gallery.
* Lowell Plan looking at development options in Hamilton Canal area.
* Congressman Meehan helps steer $2.5 million in federal loans to Boott
Mills for condos and commercial space.
* The Boardinghouse Park Summer Music Series lineup is announced.
* Lowell is considered a hip place to be.
* Looking for adventure? Try white water rafting on the Concord River in downtown Lowell.
* New Artist Workspace planned for Western Avenue building.
take proactive approach in meeting with downtown residents.
* Snow Parking? The city is wrestling with the issue of
parking garage use during snowstorms.
* The Joan
Fabrics Building on Jackson Street is under consideration for
development into condos.
Building filled up.
council awards downtown parking spaces for condos.
* In on the Ground Floor: Andrew Jacobson plans to open
coffeehouse in downtown Lowell condo complex to be called Brewed
* The 2005 Winterfest
celebration in downtown Lowell was a great success.
* The Fairburn Building condo
space is filling fast .
* Enterprise Bank Chairman and CEO George Duncan announces that
bank's stock will now be listed on NASDAQ.
Editor Dan O'Brien says An
investment in Enterprise is an investment in Lowell's growth.
* Parking commisioner Chuck Carney says Security
better at city garages
* The Battambang Market on upper Merrimack Street is planning
move to Central Plaza, one of several Downtown
Comings and Goings.
* The Massachusetts Cultural Council has awarded a grant to a
COOL led collaboration of 26 agencies for Destination
World, a celebration of the diverse culture represented in
Lowell. Please refer to the minutes of November 30, 2004 for a detailed
summary of the proposal.
* As part of the Hamilton Canal District renewal plan, the Freudenberg
Plant on Jackson St. will be demolished.
* The Center City Committee handed out awards
for improving the downtown to several housing developers at its
Meeting February 1st.
penthouse wins approval after controversy over Who
owns Lowell's skyline? . The conflict is common: the rights of
developers against those who want to keep the landscape unspoiled.
of skyline proves thorny legal issue
* More high-end
condos for Lowell.
Study shows having the UTEC Teen Center downtown does not
increase grafiti or vandalism.
*The Lowell National Historical Park has bought
some of the railroad tracks it has been leasing for the historic
trolleys that run downtown.
* New condos at Lawrence
Mills offer riverfront views.
* Sun Publisher Kendall Wallace asks "Could a trolley
system be the next big thing in downtown Lowell?"
*Members of the Urban Land Institute (ULI) Team that visited
Lowell last November returned for a panel
discussion with local developers on the success of housing
development in Lowell.
*Lowell's new Parking Director, Chuck Carney, visited the Center
City Committee recently to talk about the changes
in the Parking garages in downtown Lowell.
*Janice Pokorski has turned the plot next to Lowell's Revolving
Museum into living
*A new flower shop, Les
Fleurs has opened in the McCartin Building on Market Street.
*Shoppers are Looking for Seasonal
Bargains in Downtown Lowell in light of the state of the current
* The Life
Alive Organic Cafe opened its doors on Middle Street last week,
releasing a ray of sunshine and the smell of good cooking.
* The Southeast
Asian Water Festival was cut short by the rain but attracted
35,000 for the festivities. Pictures
from this year's event.
* The City is looking for funds to repair the cobblestones
that are the cornerstones of city streets' character.
Grille's first day is hot, hot, hot! New Lowell restaurant so
popular it runs out of food
* Lowell couple plan to rehab rundown city
building on Middlesex Street.
* Dressing up the downtown: Ernie Middlemiss is planning a men's
clothing shop downtown the likes of which haven't been seen in
* A summer
camp for Cambodian teens keeps them off the streets and out of
Dempsey-de Mari is the new Downtown Coordinator and several
new stores are planning to open by the Folk Festival.
*Planners see Hamilton
canal district as 'blank canvas' for growth.
*DeCordova Museum director creates an
oasis of art and serenity in downtown Lowell.
* Immigration was important to Lowell's
past and to its future in the form of cultural
* Nancye Tuttle writes about the shopping
experience one can get in downtown Lowell.
* A non-profit group in the City of Providence, RI has submitted
Improvement District (BID) proposal to the City Council for
approval according to a Providence Journal article.
new look making old mills a hot commodity according to a Boston
The Lowell Plan and city
officials hired a premier team of development consultants from the
Urban Land Institute in Washington, D.C.. The nine-member panel of
experts toured the city and reviewed reams of planning documents in
November 2003, Their findings are presented in a report
issued in April 2004. Lowell Sun Publisher Kendall Wallace wrote
in his April
17th. column as well as his May
1st. column about his enthusiasm for what the report holds for
the future of Lowell.