Publication Date



The Center for Economic Development at the University of Massachusetts, in Amherst, is part of the Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning Department, and is funded by the Economic Development Administration of the U.S. Department of Commerce, and the University of Massachusetts.


The purpose of this study was to determine the reuse potential of the 1. 7 million square foot Draper Mill in Hopedale, Massachusetts. The study was undertaken at the request of the Hopedale Industrial Development Committee. Their goal was to develop a means of diversifying the community's tax base. When the Draper Mill was in full operation approximately sixty percent (60%) of the Town's taxes were paid by the Mill. Today, with the Mill empty, ninety percent (90%) of the Town's taxes come from residential uses. The Committee sought to develop a means to diversify Hopedale's tax base and thus lessen the burden on homeowners.

To determine the suitable reuses for the Mill, the studio team analyzed community and regional characteristic including demographic, economic and employment trends. Building and site characteristics were studied and divided into those which were considered positive in terms of redevelopment and those considered negative. Positive attributes include regional location, town character, building characteristics, utilities, zoning and community support. Negative attributes include access, environmental constraints, zoning, parking and building characteristics. In addition, interviews were conducted with those with expertise in mill reuse, regional planning and the identified components of the reuse scheme.


Section 12: Pages 1-61