RiverMills at Chicopee Falls

RiverMills serves as a vibrant reminder of Chicopee’s industrial heritage. City officials and residents alike have repeatedly underscored the importance of developing the RiverMills properties as the avenue through which the City’s heritage can be preserved. It is hoped that through redevelopment the site can once again be a part of the community it helped establish.

With this in mind the city has established the following vision to guide redevelopment of the RiverMills site: 

“The City of Chicopee envisions the creation of a mixed-use, energy conscious, walkable community integrated within the historic framework of Chicopee Falls. With expanded business and job opportunities and new living options for residents, redevelopment will re-connect the neighborhood to its rich environmental context while re-forging links between Chicopee Falls and Chicopee Center.” 

View a City of Chicopee development brochure (PDF).
Project Objectives 
Mixed Use Redevelopment
The city is interested in redevelopment schemes that provide a diverse mix of uses on the site.
Artist's concept drawing of RiverMills re-development
This mix should preferably include complementary uses that will directly and indirectly enhance the area as a place to:
  • Connect with recreational and environmental amenities
  • Dine
  • Live
  • Shop
  • Visit
  • Work
Schemes should provide for high quality improvements with uses that will actively contribute to the economy of the city, provide public access where appropriate and add to the neighborhood’s vitality and tax base.

Site Legacy
The city has a vested interest in preserving the site’s history as part of the redevelopment process. It is hoped that redevelopment schemes will address how the site’s industrial past can be incorporated into its reuse, remembering the site’s history.

Environmental Connections
Development schemes should strive to surround proposed buildings with a series of green spaces linked with pedestrian walkways, greenways or trails that also take advantage of the Chicopee River Walk that is currently under development. The entire RiverMills development should strive to be a pedestrian friendly environment, while enhancing the Chicopee River. Redevelopment schemes should propose avenues through which the river can be accessed and utilized from RiverMills by the public.

Neighborhood Connections
The RiverMills property has been inaccessible to the Chicopee Falls neighborhood for nearly 30 years. Redevelopment schemes should propose avenues through which the site will be reintegrated into the surrounding neighborhood and enable new connections to Chicopee Center and Memorial Drive’s commercial corridor.

Green Development
The City of Chicopee supports of sustainable development practices and plans to pursue LEED certification for the city’s new Older Adult Community Center. The use of "green" development techniques will be key factors considered during the developer selection and bid process. These techniques will be examined as they pertain to:
  • Building systems
  • Construction methods
  • Energy efficiency
  • Long-term building operations
  • Materials
  • Site planning
Effective Public-Private Partnership
With city, state and federal agency investments of nearly $3 million to date, redevelopment schemes should not place disproportionate requirements on city resources.