Bartley added that the project makes sense for Healey because his business is already in the area and he can keep everything nice and close.
The mill building, once owned by carriagemaker John Clark, stands on Carriage Hill, an area that was once the center of Amesbury’s world-renowned carriage industry. A devastating fire swept through the hill’s factories in 1888, leveling most of them. Clark was among the carriagemakers who immediately rebuilt, and his factory was considered at the time to be one of the finest in Amesbury.
The impending purchase of the Durasol building comes as the City Council prepares to vote on the Heritage Park proposal this coming Tuesday. The Finance and Ordinance Committees both endorsed the project earlier this week, and Healey said he’s optimistic that the councilors will give their final approval.
If the council does vote in favor of creating Heritage Park, Healey will also move forward with some planned improvements to his Carriage Mills office complex on Water Street. Healey is planning on tearing down some green tin sheds adjacent to the main building, and it their place he expects to build a 25,000 square-foot expansion to house new commercial office space.
Construction of the addition would begin once Heritage Park is about “80 percent complete,” which is expected to be around 2015. Healey also has plans to spruce up the landscaping outside the existing Carriage Mills building, and those plans would go forward immediately should the council approve the park proposal.