Construction Today - October 2009 - (Page 56)
Commercial | RIVERWALK PROPERTIES ‘Seeing Is Believing’ L SAL LUPOLI AND RIVERWALK PROPERTIES HAVE HELPED A MILL TOWN REVITALIZE ITSELF. BY STACI DAVIDSON ocated on the Merrimack River and just a short train ride from Boston, Lawrence, Mass., was a prime location for industrialization, starting in the mid-1800s. Throughout the industrial revolution, the town thrived with textile mills and a range of manufacturing operations. This boom period did not last, however, and by the 1980s, the city was the home of waste treatment facilities and incinerators, and many homes and industrial sites had been abandoned. During the recession of the early 1990s, arson plagued the city – more than 200 buildings were set on fire during an 18-month period between 1991 and 1992. If any municipality was a candidate for an extreme makeover, Lawrence was it. Enter Sal Lupoli. A 22-year-old graduate of Northeastern University’s business management program, Lupoli partnered with his brother, Nick, to open Sal’s Pizza in February 1990. The first location was an 800square-foot storefront in Salem, N.H., that became popular for serving a 19-inch, three-pound pizza. The Lupolis’ goal, however, was to make Sal’s the fastest-growing restaurant/quick-serve establishment in the world. By working with fresh ingredients, preparing the dough daily and constantly striving to provide the best-quality and largest pizzas at the lowest price, Sal’s Pizza now has corporate-owned properties throughout New Hampshire and Massachusetts, as well as franchise locations and a wholesale operation that serve all of New England with more than 40,000 pizzas a week. This success enabled Lupoli to expand further, and he saw Lawrence, Mass., and the Merrimack River Valley as a great spot for establishing new ventures, including Riverwalk Properties, a development company. His plan was to convert an old mill on the river into a commercial property. This was not without its challenges, however. “One of the biggest challenges to overcome was attitudes,” Lupoli says. “Five years ago, Lawrence was more known for its past, which included arson, insurance fraud and economic blight. No one wanted to give the city a chance. I came to the city, saw the potential and left the past in the past – I only wanted to talk about the future. “We helped change the attitudes toward the city of Lawrence and worked closely with the mayor and his administration, along with many other public officials to change the perception of Lawrence. Together, we spoke constantly at Chamber of Commerce meetings, met with people from around the area and then from around the state. Inadvertently, we became our own public relations company. We sold the positive progress and attitude for our project and the city of Lawrence.” In almost five years, Riverwalk Properties was able to renovate nearly 2 million square feet of mill space and attract a number of major tenants who occupy spaces from 500 to 40,000 square feet. The mixed-use space is now home to medical, law and commercial clients, as well as a number of state agencies. It is the headquarters for a large financial institution, the location of a Lawrence police department substation and is home to the largest daycare in the Merrimack Valley. It also includes the second location of one of Lupoli’s other ventures – Salvatore’s Restaurant – which is a fine-dining establishment that hosts a variety of events. “I am very proud of who I work for – Sal is an entrepreneur with a big »Riverwalk Properties, a family owned business in Lawrence, Mass., redeveloped an abandoned mill into a commercial space with more than 200 tenants. CONSTRUCTION-TODAY.COM OCTOBER 2009
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Construction Today - October 2009
Construction Today - October 2009
Regional Spotlight: Southwest
Ledcor Construction Hawaii LLC
C.H. GUERNSEY & Co.
First Gulf Development Corp.: Meadowvale Corporate Centre
Jacobsen Construction: Workers Compensation Fund Headquarters
Novak Construction Co.
Affordable Concepts Inc.
HBD Construction Inc.: Edwardsville Crossing
Ledcor Construction: Napa, Calif.
Mared Mechanical Contractors Corp.
Myers & Chapman Inc.
Summit Contractors Group Inc.
Wilcox Construction Inc.
Special Focus: Mergers & Acquisitions
Hensel Phelps: Phoenix Sky Harbor Intl. Airport Sky Train
Circle Construction LLC
Electrical Contractors Inc.
Everett, Wash., Department of Public Works
Imco General Construction Inc.: Arlington WWTP
New Prince Concrete Construction
R.N. Rouse & Co. Inc.
Stanek Constructors Inc.
Fort Lewis: New Barracks, Army Growth Complex and Support Battalion
Torcon Inc.: Brookhaven National Laboratory’s National Synchrotron Light Source II
Bovis Lend Lease: FBI Denver HQ
Stuart Olson: University of Lethbridge Markin Hall
Bird Construction Co.: Shearwater Helicopter Base
Carbon Constructors Inc.
Consultants & Builders Inc.
Emerick Construction Co.: Rock Creek Middle School
Broadmoor/Boh Brothers Construction Co.: U.S. Coast Guard Integrated Support Command
Cahill Contractors Inc.: The Oakland Museum of California Phase 1
Flintco Inc.: Germantown Women & Children’s Pavilion
Gamma Construction Co.
Kreizenbeck Constructors: BSU Student Union
Pizzagalli Construction Co.: FAHC Radiation Oncology
Robins & Morton: Lincoln Hospital
Steele & Freeman Inc.
Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corp. (TNDC)
W.G. Yates & Sons Construction: Armed Forces Retirement Village
BBL Construction Services LLC: The Glen at Sugar Hill Apartments
Chelsea Investment Corp.
Affirmed Housing Group
Westland Construction Inc.: Bridges at Citifront
Product Showcase: Plumbing Equipment
Hunzinger Construction Co.: Johnson Controls Headquarters
B.L. Harbert International LLC: S.O.F. 5th Special Forces Battalion Operations Complex
Duke Construction: Monarch Beverage Co. Headquarters
Irish Construction Co.
TMU LLC (Triune)
Last Look: Consultants & Builders Inc.
Construction Today - October 2009