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Eagle Mill Receives Funding to Kickstart Development in Lee

August 21, 2019
Press Release

Lee, MA – United States Congressman Richard E. Neal joined State Senator Adam Hinds, State Representative Smitty Pignatelli, town officials and representatives from Eagle Mill to announce $400,000 of historic rehabilitation tax credit funds in partnership with the Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth William Galvin’s office. Today’s announcement of funding is the first step toward the redevelopment of the site.


“Today’s announcement is a big one for the town of Lee and all of Berkshire County,” said Congressman Neal. “The redevelopment of Eagle Mill will undoubtably jumpstart economic vitality in this region with the creation of jobs and an increase of tourism in this corner of the state. I am proud to have led the fight against the elimination of the Historic Tax Credits in the recent Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2018. These tax credits transform buildings like these and breathe new life into them for years to come. As Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, I remain committed to the preservation of tax credits like this one because they work. Congratulations to all those involved in this great endeavor.”


"Without the assistance of Congressman Neal and his staff, we would not have achieved this milestone for our Eagle Mill redevelopment,” said Jeff Cohen, Principal Developer of Eagle Mill. “Massachusetts historic tax credits are essential for the economic feasibility of the project and because of Congressman Neal's facilitation of the project, we will be able to deliver affordable housing, market rate housing, a new hotel, a joyous community-orientated food hall, office and retail space, and hundreds of new jobs to the Town of Lee."


"As we transition from an industrial economy to one that uses our regional strengths, including tourism, the redevelopment of vacant buildings is paramount,” said State Senator Hinds. “Projects of this size require federal, state and local support and a lot of hard work has gone into putting these key pieces together for the benefit of Lee and the Berkshires."


“The development of the Eagle Mill project will be transformative for the Berkshires,” said State Representative Pignatelli. “Congressman Neal and Secretary Galvin have been supportive of this project since its beginning eight years ago, and I want to sincerely thank them for all of their efforts in helping kick start the revitalization process. Lee serves as the gateway to the rest of the region, and I believe that vitalizing this dormant property will bring life to not only the town, but to the entire region.”


Leigh Davis, Director of Development of Eagle Mill Redevelopment said, "An iconic gateway to downtown, the adaptive reuse of the historic Eagle Mill will strengthen Lee's economy and reinvigorate its connection to the Housatonic River."


Built in 1808, Eagle Mill is nestled along the Housatonic River in the town of Lee. With a population of about 6,000 residents, Lee was once the leader of the nation in papermaking in the late 1800s, and home to 25 paper mills. Over the years, those operations dwindled, and Eagle Mill has sat vacant since 2008.