Appleton Mills is home to individuals and families in 130 affordable apartments geared to individuals earning no more than 60 percent of Area Median Income and some as low as 30 percent of Area Medium Income. These residents include a significant number of artists who receive a preference on the waiting list, in keeping with the city’s goal to foster a “creative economy” for its downtown.
To qualify, artists must be certified by a review committee composed of one local non-resident artist and two representatives from Trinity Management and/or Trinity Financial. All residents must be income-qualified by Trinity Management’s Compliance Department. The waiting list is open, but there could be as much as a one-year wait before an apartment becomes available.
Appleton is also one of 40 properties across the state that are participating in the New Lease for Homeless Families program, with a set-aside of 4 two-bedroom apartments for formerly homeless families who have passed certain benchmarks, per program management.
Appleton was the first building to be completed, in April 2011, of the planned $800 million rehabilitation of the whole Hamilton Canal District, which will eventually become a bustling neighborhood of retail shops, professional offices, and more apartment buildings. The $64 million historic restoration of Appleton, which had been derelict and crumbling for many years, features studio, one- and two-bedroom units of much-needed affordable housing in a city that is on the rebound after decades of stagnant growth.
The millWORKS Gallery and management office at Appleton features “before” and many visitors stand in awe at the transformation. Common areas include the gallery, which is in the five-story open atrium with skylights; a community room; a laundry; and a fitness center. Apartments feature high-ceilings, hard-wood floors, granite countertops and stainless steel appliances. In recognition of the achievement, Appleton received the Paul E. Tsongas Award for historic preservation on May 2, 2012.
The grounds feature a stunning fountain at the entrance to the cobbled courtyard. A number of apartments have private decks, and all residents are welcome to enjoy the small decks on each floor as well as the large fifth-floor deck that offers wonderful views of the city – particularly popular on the Fourth of July.
Appleton artists are very active in the arts community of Lowell. They sponsor their own Open Studios, host events for the annual “JAMBAREE” put on by JAMBRA (the Jackson, Appleton, Middlesex Business and Residents Association), and take part in the city-sponsored annual Open Doors event.
Located by three canals in this historic mill city, Appleton is close to the National Park Service office and the vibrant shops of the downtown area, which offer many different cuisines in the various restaurants, fashionable clothing for young and not-so-young, books and gifts galore.
Schools are nearby for the children, including a charter school right across the street. Parking is available for a small charge at the city garage, also across the street.