Inside Stories

Unlocking Potential: Lowell Plan Study Paves Way MCC’s Future Investment

The Lowell Plan is thrilled to announce the completion of a comprehensive market study on behalf of Middlesex Community College (MCC), focusing on the re-opening and re-positioning of the former UMass Lowell Inn and Conference Center. The study, conducted by the esteemed Pinnacle Advisory Group, has provided valuable insights into the potential re-use of the facility.

The UMass Lowell Inn and Conference Center ceased operations in the fall of 2023 as part of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ initiative to accommodate homeless families. With expectations that the state will utilize the facility for up to two years, the market study becomes a crucial step in determining the future of this downtown asset.

The Pinnacle Advisory Group’s assessment highlights positive growth in the greater Lowell market over the next five to seven years. Their findings indicate that the region can support multiple boutique-size hotels, attributing this potential to increased commercial activity, the region’s rich cultural landscape, and the presence of professional sports teams like the Professional Women’s Hockey League and the Massachusetts Pirates arena football team.

The report not only provides general facility recommendations but also emphasizes the proximity of the facility to demand generators like UMass Lowell, MCC, and various arts, cultural, and entertainment venues. Furthermore, the abundance of nearby restaurants and eateries adds to the appeal of the location.

This market study marks the first step in positioning Middlesex Community College to explore the future acquisition and repositioning of the building.

MCC President, Phil Sisson, expressed enthusiasm, stating, “MCC is excited at the prospect of expanding our culinary arts and hospitality programs at the facility, as well as providing residential services to our students. We have a successful track record of reviving underutilized properties in the city and transforming them into state-of-the-art facilities. We’re excited about the opportunity of doing the same with the ICC.”

The next two years will be crucial in identifying the appropriate path forward.  Allison Lamey, Executive Director of the Lowell Plan, stressed “The continued success of downtown Lowell is intricately tied to the fate of the ICC.  The Lowell Plan is committed to ensuring the building’s future as a valuable economic contributor to the city and we’re eager to support Middlesex Community College’s interest in the property.”

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