We at the Eagle Times are passionate about the exciting revitalization happening in the Newport – Claremont – Greater Sullivan County area. There is positive energy and great opportunity on the horizon. With this in mind, we have become aware of a significant ‘breakthrough’ project in process in Newport that has the potential to be an economic driver for the entire region. The project is formally known as the ‘Dexter Richards and Sons Woolen Mill’ – but also often referred to as the Old Ruger Mill, located on Sunapee Street right on the edge of downtown Newport as you enter town from the east. It is a beautiful old building overlooking the Sugar River and over the years has served in a variety of industrial uses. A massive and majestic structure with more than 100,000 feet of usable space, occupying multiple stories. And, for the past fifty years, due to the shifting economy, it has remained entirely dormant. However, there is now an exciting effort underway to restore this building and bring new life to the region. There is a project in development to revitalize this structure – bringing 70+ apartments and related amenities. This project would not only bring critical housing capacity to the area but would also provide a significant boost to the Sullivan County economy. Even more so, this completion of this project would serve as a highly visible sign to ‘one and all’ that our Newport-Claremont region is ‘back’ and ‘on the move’ – creating positive momentum and an acknowledgement that good times are on the horizon. But here’s the catch – and where we need all to join in and support. Governor Sununu has led the way in creating the $100 million InvestNH Housing Fund to accelerate the development of housing supply in the Granite State. This project has applied for $3 million of capital from the fund to fill a critical gap in the financing and to make the project viable. In other words, without the funding, this important project cannot go forward. Therefore, we urge all public officials involved in the decision-making progress to support funding for this effort – as an economic engine and true ‘game changer’ for the region. And we also ask you, our valued readers, to reach out to your elected representatives and other state officials to support funding for the ‘Old Ruger Mill. The revitalization of this wonderful historic ‘Dexter Richards and Sons Woolen Mill’ in Newport is an exciting and truly worthwhile initiative!
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