One mill saved, another torn down

Just as the finishing touches are put on the new Knitting Mill Apartments in the former Wampanoag Mill No. 2 building on Alden Street, demolition resumed at the King Philip Mills complex on Kilburn Street.

Out of the 100 apartments designated for residents aged 62 and older at Knitting Mill Apartments, 60 percent are already leased, according to the Herald News article from June 7.

That same day, state representative Alan Silvia posted an update on his official Facebook page from a tour of the King Philip Mills demolition site with state senator Michael Rodrigues and local developer Robert Kfoury.

The Preservation Society paid for a preliminary structural investigation of the King Philip Mill smokestack in 2014, which found that it still met current state safety standards.

The city of Fall River also used Community Preservation Act funds in 2016 for a complete feasibility study of possible reuses for the King Philip Mill complex.

Liberty Affordable Housing of Rome, New York, bought the 150-year old Wampanoag Mill building and has invested approximately $27 million rehabilitating the historic property.

Kfoury, owner of Fall River-based RK Construction, was awarded the King Philip Mills auction in January 2018 after the auction’s original winner, Richard J. DeRosas, president of Chelmsford-based Paramount Development Group Corp., failed to sign the purchase and sale agreement and was denied an extension by the city.

Demolition of King Philip Mills began in May 2018 with Kfoury initially saying he would invest $4-8 million in the project to create 26 single-family homes and a small park with access to Cook Pond.

State Rep. Alan Silvia made a comment on his Facebook page the following day saying, “Loft and waterview apartments are planned for the mill building between Charles and King Philip Streets,” which will be the only surviving building of the more than 750,000-square foot complex.

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