Featured Multi Residential Restoration/Renovation

Historic Motorcycle Factory Converted into Affordable Housing

Springfield, MA – Part of a local area redevelopment program in Springfield, The Mason Square Apartments II at Indian Motorcycle adaptive reuse and renovation project consisted of converting a former motorcycle factory into 45 affordable rental apartments including one-, two- and three-bedroom units.

Vacant for decades, the 55,000sf, five-story, brick building’s tall, arched windows had been boarded up for years. Today, these 4-by-8-foot openings feature Diamond Windows & Doors’ high-performance, double-hung windows with Technoform’s warm-edge insulating glass spacers. Beyond contributing to the building’s energy efficiency and the residents’ comfort, the windows were thoughtfully designed to match the property’s historic architecture.

The project team included owner/developer, First Resource Development Company, Hanover; architect, The Architectural Team, Inc. (TAT), Chelsea; and general contractor, NEI General Contracting, Inc., Randolph.

Mason Square Apartments II is located in the McKnight National Historic District of Springfield at 837 State Street. The property is listed on the U.S. National Park Service’s National Register of Historic Places.

Originally built in 1890, the building is famously known as the Indian Motorcycle’s former manufacturing mill facility. The company is credited with producing one of the first motorized bikes. Their employees’ efforts, and the motorcycles they made, contributed to providing agile transportation to U.S. troops in World Wars I and II.

First Resource Development Company recognized the need to preserve the building’s architectural legacy. In addition, it celebrated the property’s significance to the community by incorporating “at Indian Motorcycle” as part of the official name.

To retain the building’s historic aesthetic and enhance its modern performance, First Resource worked closely with The Architectural Team and NEI General Contracting. Existing masonry was repaired, and the former factory’s massive interior timber beams were retained. The large window openings were also preserved, and approximately 1,300 new, high-performance, double-hung units from Boston-based Diamond Windows & Doors were installed.

“This was a historic project requiring the windows to pass muster with National Parks and Massachusetts State Historic Agencies,” explained Technoform’s Matt Fralick.

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