Kunhardt Mill

From Mill Renovation

Contents

Location and Description

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Kundhardt Mill was originally constructed in 1863, it is located in Lawrence, Massachusetts.

History

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Redevelopment / Re-use

Established in 1975 by Chester F. Sidell, KGR, Inc. was a prominent garment manufacturer that supplied women’s clothing to department stores, specialty shops and catalogs such as Nordstrom, Talbot’s and Lands End. After buying the building that they were operating out of, KGR, Inc. soon outgrew that space. Rather than purchasing land along Interstate 495, and building a modern one level efficient facility, Mr. Sidell decided to purchase the Kunhardt Mill building, which was originally built in 1863. KGR, Inc. spent an estimated $3 million to renovate the mill. He restored the structure with such attention to detail, that Historic Massachusetts, Inc. presented them with the Charles W. Elliott II award for vision and excellence in community planning.

KGR Inc. was able to take advantage of state and local tax credits and incentives, such as the Massachusetts’s Office of Business Development’s Economic Development Incentive Program, which offers a 5% state tax credit on all tangible and depreciable items, as well as a 10% abandoned building tax credit and local tax increment financing. In addition, Mr. Sidell worked with the National Park Service to use Historic Building Tax Credits to offset some of the redevelopment cost. Mr. Sidell’s goal was to build a first-class home for his business and employees. In 2000, KGR, Inc. closed its garment business due to the economic pressures of the textile industry, as well as declining sales. KGR Inc. now leases out the Kunhardt Mill, which is currently 90% occupied with a variety of businesses that include technology, consulting, software development and artist. The renovated building features modern heating and air conditioning, elevators, refinished hardwood floors, high ceilings, exposed brick and beam construction, key card security, and high-speed telecommunications.

The key to KGR, Inc.’s success in renovating and leasing out a mill building is roots. Mr. Sidell believes that by looking strictly at “the numbers”, mill buildings as a real estate investment can be financial burdens. However, he feels that if mill developers are owner-occupants, and stay committed to the mill, then they can be financially successful in the long-term. “A large piece of it (being successful), is asking yourself a) can I afford the costs today; b) can I finance the project well enough to produce a cash flow; c) can I stay committed over the long-term; and d) can I continue to make future improvements to the building” (Sidell, 2003).

Specs

Address 
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Municipality 
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Maps / Satellite Images 
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Land Parcel / Book Pages 
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Lot size 
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Buildings size 
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National Register of Historic Places 
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HABS/HAER Record
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Current Use 
Office/Retail
Current Owner 
KGR Inc.
Built 
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Architect [0]
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Engineer [0]
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Structure 
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Major Expansions / Renovations 
[1] Delete this text and add content here., add more # if necessary
Architect [1]
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Engineer [1]
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NOTE: Numbers in brackets indicate separate renovation phases. [0] always refers to the initial construction.

Images and Documents

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Web Links

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Co-Authors

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