The Lucent Technologies Merrimack Valley Works plant in North Andover, Massachusetts is a massive facility that sits on the north edge of town. Sitting on over 100 acres, the main building has 1.5 million square feet of space and there are 6,000 parking spaces surrounding it.
Shortly after we moved town in the late 1990’s, Lucent began a series of downsizings that ultimately led to just a few hundred employees remaining. As you can imagine, the place became a ghost town.
Several years ago the property was purchased by a third-party developer with the goal of attracting high-tech/high-end industrial tenants. Locally, this is not unlike what is also happening at the nearby mills in Lawrence or well underway in the Boston Seaport Innovation District. In fact, regions around the world are rearchitecting existing large-scale industrial buildings and facilities to make them more conducive to the new world reality of small-to-medium sized businesses.
I made my first ever visit to the Lucent building (now rebranded as Osgood Landing) for a business matter of my own. It was great to see the front parking spaces full and organizations occupying the space. Don’t get me wrong, there’s still a long way to go to fill the facility. It was promising though to see some energy and progress being made. For the sake/benefit of North Andover and the surrounding Merrimack Valley region I hope the trend continues.