July, 15, 2022 | Manchester, NH
The Factory on Willow was featured in “From the Ground Up” inside the July 2022 edition of New Hampshire Business Review.
Remember the movie, “Field of Dreams with Kevin Costner and James Earl Jones? An Iowa farmer is summoned by voices from the Great Beyond to build a baseball stadium in his corn field. One of the most iconic lines that is now part of our popular culture is ” if you build it, they will come.”
In the case of the Factory on Willow, the saying would be, “if you restore it, they will come” and inspire other investors to do the same with other properties in Manchester’s South End.
When Elizabeth “Liz” Hitchcock decided to purchase the former Cohas Shoe Factory on 252 Willow St. in 2019, she formulated a concept they knew would yield great dividends. Her plan was to restore the 90,000-square-foot factory into a mixed-use development where artists and gig professionals could live, work and enjoy everything that downtown Manchester has to offer while preserving the rich history of the mill that was constructed in 1904.
Preston Hunter, vice president of Eckman Construction Co. in Bedford and the project’s general contractor, explained the end result is a four-story complex that includes 61 studio apartments, commercial space, a food truck court and 12 Airbnb units to accommodate nurses and visiting high-tech workers. The Artist in Residence program also enables artists of all types to live and compete special projects at the Factory on Willow.
Hunter said the space also includes commercial uses that may eventually include a craft distillery, beer garden and office space. Look Chocolate and 603 Charcuterie have already established thriving retail businesses there, and a large event space is available for rental…– Excerpt from New Hampshire Business Review, July 2022 Issue