Landscape Architecture & Regional Planning Studio and Student Research and Creative Activity

Publication Date

Spring 2014


University of Massachusetts Amherst Department of Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning Industrial Development Practicum –- Regional Planning REGIONPL 798M - Spring 2014


John R. Mullin

Professor of Regional Planning, Director of the Center for Economic Development

Project location: Athol, MA.


The purpose of the UMass Amherst Department of Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning’s participation in this project is to establish a redevelopment action plan that incorporates the ownership’s clear vision for reuse of the site, proposes solutions to various obstacles that have hindered progress, and serves as a guiding model in terms of improving the feasibility of similar projects throughout the state.

The project team gathered information from a variety of resources, and conducted three distinct phases of analysis in order to complete this redevelopment action plan. The Phase I: Inventory examines the physical, regulatory, and financial context surrounding the current site in order to gauge its condition as a viable location to foster desired economic development for the region.

The Phase II: Assessment utilizes these inventory findings to identify clear challenges that impact the redevelopment potential of the site in an effort to reduce overall project roadblocks. The Phase III: Implementation provides strategies to alleviate these challenges moving forward, in the form of clear recommendations for local, regional, and state level regulatory improvements.

Phases I and II were conducted in the fall of 2013, and Phase III was conducted in the spring of 2014.

Particular thanks for guidance on this project are extended to L.P. Athol Corporation ownership, Dr. John Mullin of the UMass Amherst Center for Economic Development, State Representative Denise Andrews of the Franklin County Second District, State Senator Stephen Brewer, State Senator Stanley Rosenberg, Congressman James McGovern, and the Town of Athol.