In 1997, David Moresi moved back home to North Adams to renovate houses, a business he has expanded to include development and property management firms.

The Berkshire Eagle   reports recently, he has turned his attention to bigger, vacant properties that abound in New England: mills and factories.

Decades after they were shut down, they are being reborn not as manufacturing centers for textiles or machine tools, but as apartments, co-working centers, breweries, doctors' offices and shops.

In many parts of New England, re-purposed mills and factories are bolstering long-struggling communities. The buildings, though often in disrepair, have high ceilings, large windows and solid floors, which make them attractive for a variety of uses. Owners can also capitalize on prime locations, often in the center of town and on rivers that once helped power the machinery inside the factories.

Another boon to these renovation projects is an array of state grants, and state and federal tax credits, aimed at encouraging redevelopment in communities hit hard by long-term unemployment.

 

The sites are often contaminated with asbestos, lead and other hazards whose cleanup his agency can help finance, he said. Similar assistance is available in other New England states.

In Western Massachusetts, several projects are in the works.