Empty and/or underutilized former industrial mill buildings adorn the City of Holyoke. As part of the City’s urban renewal plan titled “Connect, Construct, Create: A plan for the revitalization of Center City Holyoke”, many of these buildings are envisioned as mixed-use and live/work spaces in an attractive, densely populated Arts & Innovation district. One of the most often sited barriers in developing downtown Holyoke has been the difficulty in changing the permitted use of those industrial buildings. When a change of use is intended for a space, a study must first be conducted in order to analyze what building, accessibility and fire code requirements would be mandated for the new use.
In the summer of 2013, the City of Holyoke sought property owners to assist in developing more live/work and creative production spaces for the arts and other creative economy entrepreneurs in the Center City by launching the Change of Occupancy Development Evaluations (CODE) Service Program. This is a technical assistance program that will help private property owners who wish to obtain the architectural & engineering pre-development information necessary to change their former industrial/mill spaces into creative production, live/work, and entertainment venues.
Based on applicant interest, four buildings were selected to participate in the CODE Service Program, which are featured below.
- 384b Dwight Street – Brick Cowork Shop
- 532 Main Street – Baustein Bldg First Floor
- 380 Dwight Street – Canal Galleries First Floor
- 384a Dwight Street – Creative Arts Center