fire in 1987 left the Kerr Mill in Fall River in ruins.
The city hired The Keefe Company in 1996 to
develop a strategy for the reuse of the 33-acre site, at a strategic
location adjacent to Routes 6, 24, and I-195.
The redevelopment strategy called for the construction
of a modern industrial park on the site, along with a new waterfront
park on the shore of South Watuppa Pond.
first phase of the project, the UMass-Dartmouth Advanced
Technology and Manufacturing Center opened in 2001 in a new
60,000 square foot facility.
UMass-Dartmouth faculty and staff will occupy
half of the building, while the rest will be leased to private
companies conducting research, development and engineering. The
private tenants, three technology start-up firms, moved into
the center during 2002.
the states quasi-public economic development agency, managed
and financed the 14-month construction of the ATMC, and owns the
building and the future 200,000 square foot South Coast Research
and Technology Park, expected to create 600 new jobs, including
the ATMC. Parcels adjacent to the center are now ready for development.
According to Robert S. Karam,
a Fall River businees leader and former chair of the UMass Board
of Trustees, "the benefits of this project grow with each
and every day. Frank Keefe's long-term dedication to the revitalization
of Fall River, starting with a Heritage Park back in the 70s,
is greatly appreciated in Fall River."