The Thread Factory, the newest development project under the direction of Urban Smart Growth, is an exciting new way to look at mill space re-development. The Factory consists of 7 historic buildings, the former site of The Conant Thread Company and Coats & Clark Mill Complex. The community is comprised of over one million square feet of space on a 17 acre property.
The Conant Thread and Coats & Clark Mill, located on the border of Pawtucket and Central Falls, is a late 19th century thread factory. Hezekiah Conant was an industrial innovator and established the Conant Thread Company in 1858 launching a new invention in thread manufacturing. Coats and Clarks of Paisley Scotland immigrated to America with their successful thread manufacturing business first established in 1812. The Clarks moved their business to New Jersey while the Coats merged with Conant Thread, becoming J & P Coats Thread Company in the 1860’s. The business was so successful that the company grew to approximately twenty mill buildings. In 1952 the Clarks joined the Coats complex, creating Coats & Clark, which ran their business in Pawtucket until the late 1960’s. The company still exists to this day, running their manufacturing in South Carolina, and carrying on the tradition of innovation in the thread industry.
The Thread Factory is set to develop a community for small business industry, education, and live/work apartments. The creative synergy between arts and business along with programs for educational development, the Commons will be unique opportunity for collaboration and growth. The complex will also include restaurants and retail shopping, inviting the outside community to participate in the community as well.
The project will be a green-friendly development and plans on incorporating a substantial amount of park space through the complex. In addition to a bike path, the project also looks forward to working with the commuter rail station currently in planning/ pre-development stages in Pawtucket.
The project is currently in the process of subdividing the property to facilitate a manageable historic rehabilitation process. The Complex was inducted into the National Registry of Historic Places in 1983 and Urban Smart Growth now in the process of working with architects and potential clients to complete design drawings for the second part of the historic submission process for development. The site is looking for community partners to help create energy in this new historic project. We look forward to welcoming artists, businesses, civic organizations, and educational institutions to introduce the vision to the greater Rhode Island community.
The successful development of this site will employ, house, entertain, and educate well over 1,000 citizens while adding substantial assessments to both Pawtucket and Central Falls.