Inside Stories

Gov. Healey “LINC’s” Draper to Lowell Development

More details about the Lowell Innovation Network Corridor were just made public by Governor Maura Healey during a press conference at UMass Lowell’s University Crossing this morning, and the announcement of a key corporate player who will be locating in the Mill City only served to increase the buzz around the exciting project first unveiled last Thursday.

The Governor touted Lowell INC as a “transformative economic development project” and also revealed Draper as the first major company that will locate in UML’s East Campus footprint.

Draper is a nationally renowned firm that specializes in the design, development, and deployment of advanced technology solutions to problems in national security, space exploration, health care and energy.

Along with Massachusetts locations in Cambridge, Bedford and Pittsfield, Draper has locations at the Navy Yard in Washington D.C., Cape Canaveral Florida and NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. The company is in the process of doubling its 2,400 person workforce, according to Dr. Jerry M. Wohletz, Chief Executive Officer and President, who was also in attendance this morning.

Governor Healey also highlighted the key role her Administration and the State will play in helping make this much-anticipated project reality.

Lowell INC is expected to create 2,000 permanent jobs, 1,300 construction jobs and generate $4-$6 million in taxes for the city. The total cost of the development is pegged at just under $800-million, nearly 75% of which is comprised of private development.

(Below is the Governor’s full press release about today’s announcement)

Governor Healey Announces Transformative Economic Development Project in Lowell
Draper to anchor the development, bringing hundreds of jobs to Lowell region 

LOWELL – Governor Maura T. Healey today announced a major milestone in a transformative project that will bring new housing, economic development, technology jobs and workforce development to downtown Lowell. The research non-profit, Draper Laboratory (Draper) will become an anchor tenant in the Lowell Innovation Network Corridor (LINC), a transformative public-private partnership made possible by the leadership of the University of Massachusetts Lowell (UML), the UMass Building Authority (UMBA) and the City of Lowell, with significant support from the Healey-Driscoll administration. 

The announcement was made at UMass Lowell with Governor Healey, Lieutenant Governor Driscoll, Congresswoman Lori Trahan, Lowell City Manager Thomas A. Golden, Jr., University of Massachusetts President Marty Meehan, UMass Lowell Chancellor Julie Chen, UMBA Executive Director Barbara Kroncke, and Draper President and CEO Jerry Wohletz. 

The project is expected to generate over $3.7 billion in economic activity and create 2,000 permanent jobs over the next decade. It will also create 1,300 construction jobs and result in nearly 500 units of new housing in Lowell, along with several million dollars in new annual property tax revenues to the City. 

“This is nothing short of a transformational economic development project for Lowell, the region, and Massachusetts. The next great innovation hub is going to be right here in Lowell,” said Governor Healey. “The LINC will generate billions in economic activity, create thousands of jobs and hundreds of units of urgently needed housing, and expand workforce training for our students. We’re grateful for the partnership of Congresswoman Trahan, the City of Lowell, and the University of Massachusetts to make this transformative project possible. We welcome the addition of Draper to the LINC Project and hope that other innovators will see the incredible opportunities here in Lowell.” 

“The LINC will have significant impacts on Lowell’s economic competitiveness,” said Lieutenant Governor Kim Driscoll. “It will create more housing so that students and workers can afford to live here, bring new jobs to the area, and make critical improvements to the UMass Lowell campus to support the cutting-edge, innovative work they are doing. This administration is deeply committed to Lowell’s success and we are proud to be working on this project with so many dedicated partners.” 

“There has never been a better time to call Lowell home. We’ve secured unprecedented federal, state, and private sector funding to position the Mill City for a multi-billion dollar economic and jobs boom over the next ten years,” said Congresswoman Lori Trahan. “Much of that will be anchored in the Lowell Innovation Network Corridor, which will be home to cutting edge businesses like Draper, leading R&D initiatives, and hundreds of housing units. I’m proud to have worked alongside the City of Lowell, UMass Lowell, the Healey-Driscoll Administration, and industry to create a public private partnership that will provide investments in the LINC and downtown so we can continue driving Lowell’s tremendous revitalization.” 

“We are thrilled to support this transformational project in an important Gateway City,” said Secretary of Economic Development Yvonne Hao. “The Lowell Innovation Network Corridor will ensure that we are creating big wins for life sciences, climatetech, and other innovative industries not just in Greater Boston, but across the state.” 

A cornerstone of the LINC will be a new research building on UMass Lowell’s East Campus that will be the future home of Draper’s microelectronics division. This will result in hundreds of new jobs being located in Lowell, and the building will serve as an anchor to Massachusetts’ next regional innovation hub.  

The Healey-Driscoll administration has committed to working with the City of Lowell and the University of Massachusetts to support this project with available state funding. Final terms are under development. 

Healey touted the leadership of UMass President Marty Meehan, UMass Lowell Chancellor Julie Chen, UMBA Executive Director Barbara Kroncke, Draper President and CEO Jerry M. Wohletz, and Lowell City Manager Thomas A. Golden, Jr., saying she expected additional organizations would be announcing expansion into university and city facilities through the LINC project in the coming months. 

“Today has been a long time coming,” said University of Massachusetts President Marty Meehan, an alumnus and former chancellor of UMass Lowell, who started the process of acquiring property related to the LINC development while chancellor and has remained actively engaged in those efforts as president. “It takes patience, perseverance and vision to turn initiatives like this from dream to reality, and it is Governor Healey who has provided the bold leadership to make today happen. The combination of a welcoming community like my hometown, a world-class public university, and an industry-leading employer like Draper – all supported by strategic state investment – will bring enormous economic benefits to the city of Lowell and its residents.” 

“UMass Lowell has a wide range of top-tier faculty expertise and we partner with organizations across many different industries,” said Julie Chen, Chancellor of UMass Lowell. “Thanks to the Healey-Driscoll administration and partners like Draper, UMass Lowell will be able to dramatically scale up research around aerospace, human performance, advanced textiles, robotics, sensors and many other sectors that will bring a diversity of education and job opportunities to Lowell.” 

“Our expansion to Lowell marks a significant milestone in our mission to drive innovation in Massachusetts and across the U.S.,” said Dr. Jerry M. Wohletz, chief executive officer and president at Draper. “We are grateful to Governor Healey, her team, and the University of Massachusetts-Lowell for their partnership. Universities are engines of innovation, with powerful ideas that the world needs, but making those ideas real is no small task. Draper is here to help with mentorships, prototype testing and development and opportunities for customer collaborations that result in fielded and deployed solutions.” 

Lowell City Manager Thomas A. Golden, Jr. said the city is thrilled to welcome Draper to Lowell and believes the collaborative work with the university on LINC will bring in more firms who have connections to the university and want to work closely with organizations like Draper. 

“LINC will retain and attract professionals to Lowell as well as ramp up economic development entertainment and culture for Lowell residents,” Golden said, adding that the city and UMass Lowell are also planning infrastructure improvements as more people live and work in Lowell. 

Visit to learn more about LINC and the strategic plans to drive economic development in Lowell. 

3 responses to “Gov. Healey “LINC’s” Draper to Lowell Development”

  1. Thaddeus P Kochanski says:

    Less — Mutual Admiration Society bowing, kissing, hugging and backslapping especially by the politicians — more practical achievement delivered by the private sector

    An area where all can participate — much improved MBTA connectivity:
    1) getting to/from the corridor and the existing MBTA Station in Lowell
    2) electrifying and increasing the frequency of getting from Lowell to the rest of NW and Central Greater Boston
    3) improved access to/from Southern New Hampshire

  2. Kevin says:

    Alright, no offense. Those all sound like really good ideas. But it kinda sounds like making Lowell into just one big parking lot and people go somewhere else. If the goal is to make Lowell a transitory hub, fine.

  3. Paul says:

    I agree completely with your comments about connectivity to and improvements to the MBTA (both frequency improvements and electrification). Access by train to the airport Manchester, NH would be a great boon to all Lowellians and would help boost development.

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