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Revolutionary War Building Is Part Of A Proposed 200-Unit Apartment Complex

The Steelcraft Building was constructed during the Revolutionary War era Photo Credit: Copyright 2020 Google Maps
The Singletary development proposed for Millbury Photo Credit: DBVW Architects artist rendering
Proposed three-building apartment complex in Millbury Photo Credit: DBVW Architects artist rendering
An apartment complex is being proposed for the site of the Steelcraft building in Millbury Photo Credit: DBVW Architects artist rendering

A proposal to turn a Revolutionary-War-era manufacturing building into an apartment complex has been filed in the Blackstone River Valley Heritage Corridor.

Developer Douglas Backman has proposed renovating the 50,000-square-foot Steelcraft Building in Millbury into a mixed-use building with two adjacent apartment buildings, according to documents filed with the town’s planning and development department.

The renovation is expected to cost $50 million.

The development is called Singletary Arms and would include 197-198 residential units, 2,400-square-feet of restaurant space, and 10,000-square-feet of office/workshare space.

Singletary Arms is being proposed off West Main and Burbank streets in the Bramanville Village District, which was specially created to spur redevelopment, Backman said.

The Steelcraft Building sits on a 12.5-acre plot and was built during the Revolutionary War period as a paper mill. Later on, the building was also home to the Mayo Woolen Factory. Now, it hosts a medical equipment manufacturer.

In addition to the Steelcraft building, the plot has about 5 acres of woodland and 7 acres of ponds, streams, and wetlands.

The two, three-story apartment buildings would be constructed in the wooded area. The facility would have about 330 parking spaces.

In his application, Backman described the project as “vibrant.”

“Once completed, the project will become a vibrant center of both residential and commercial activity,” he said in his application for a special town permit. “This in turn will create an incentive for others to redevelop the West Main Street corridor resulting in additional economic benefit for both the community and city.”

Backman said he also plans to revitalize the “ancient hose house” which is also on the property.

A continuation of a public hearing on the project run by the town’s planning board will be held Monday, Oct. 26, at 7:20 p.m. in the Millbury Public Library on Elm Street. Due to COVID-19, remote participation is available.

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