Second master developer resigns from Lowell’s Hamilton Canal project

Lowell Sun | By Robert Mills
February 9, 2017

LOWELL- Winn Development became the second company to resign as master developer for Lowell’s Hamilton Canal District after both city leaders and residents voiced a desire to have little to no residential development within the district.

The move caught several city councilors by surprise, though Mayor Ed Kennedy said he had an inkling it was coming.

“I think that the majority of the City Council is interested in going with commercial development in the Hamilton Canal District and I think Winn’s expertise is in residential development,” Kennedy said.

Winn was the only company to submit a bid to be master developer after Trinity Financial resigned in May 2015, under pressure from city leaders to speed up development of the $800 million, 13-acre district.

Winn, based in Boston but with offices and several properties in Lowell, was selected by a unanimous vote of the City Council in May, but even then there were indications that the council wanted to move away from having residential units in the district.

In a letter to City Manager Kevin Murphy dated Tuesday, Winn President Lawrence Curtis praised Murphy’s candor and involvement in meetings regarding the development, but said the company was not comfortable moving forward under the current master plan for the district, which was completed in 2008.

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