The ancient bell that called mill workers to work is ringing again in Taftville.
Developers are making headway in a massive restoration of the Ponemah Mill; an $80 million-dollar multi-phase housing project.
This is the biggest restoration project I’ve ever seen.
Onekey LLC, out of New Jersey, is months away from finishing phase one, which is a $30 million-dollar effort restoring and converting the 1865 brick cotton mill, the largest in the world, into 116 apartments.
Phase two is 121 units, followed by commercial space.
Finbar O’Neill spent years putting the massive deal together, with tax breaks and federal and state incentives.
"At the end of the day it’s going to be a nice comfortable environment we want to give the people here,” O’Neill said.
On the outside, they're replacing all 3,000 windows, as well as the white Victorian dormers that give the river fronting mill its distinctive look.
Inside, contractors have spent years stripping the ancient wood beams that support the five-story, 750-foot long building.
The space allows the developer to create state of the art multi-bedroom units, with upscale kitchens and baths.
On site will be a gym, sauna and other amenities, ranging from $750 a unit up to $1,500 for a three bedroom three bath apartments.
The bell tower is also being restored, along with the water towers on the riverfront side.
With growth at Electric Boat, and future development projects at Mohegan Sun, O’Neill said the market is ready for affordable housing like this, which will open beginning in the fall.
Copyright 2017 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.