You’ve probably driven by numerous times and never noticed it. Turn north on Riverside Drive by Springrove Variety, drive past Backwater Café and there it is: a nondescript building that was long used as a storage facility for Lowell Light & Power.
However, in recent years, the building has sat largely empty. The local utility consolidated its equipment at its Chatham Street location, leaving some to wonder what would happen to the Riverside property. A few people have suggested removing it to allow more access to the river. Others imagine the spot would be a prime location for a business to rent out kayaks or canoes.
Now, city and utility officials are taking the first step to turn the vacant property into a thriving riverfront business.
Request for Proposals Being Sought
At a joint meeting Tuesday night, the city council and Lowell Light & Power board agreed City Manager Mike Burns could send out a request for proposals. Known as an RFP, this is the city’s way of gauging interest in the building and the first step in the bidding process.
Word is that at least one developer may be interested in establishing a restaurant at the property. However, it could be some time before plans for the building are finalized. Although the property is owned by Lowell Light & Power, it is a city asset which means both the council and the board will need to sign-off on whatever happens to the building.
Stay tuned to Lowell’s First Look as we continue to follow this issue in the weeks and months to come!