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Mr. Mill, meet Mr. Wrecking Ball ... Or not...

Posted by Ralph Ranalli April 8, 2007 06:45 AM

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NEEDHAM

By the end of the month, Steven Branfman will learn whether his plans to save the Thorpe Street Mill from the wrecking ball will become a reality.

Branfman’s studio, The Potters Shop, currently is the mill’s only tenant. He wants to purchase and renovate the aging mill into an artist’s collective. The plans include restoring the interior and exterior, putting in 30 studios for sale, adding landscaping, and converting the backyard into a wooded park for artists and neighbors.

Similar collectives include the Waltham Mills’ Artists Association, the Brickbottom Artists Association in Somerville, and ArtSpace-Maynard. Early cost projections for the Thorpe Mill project are $2.2 million, which Branfman has said he will finance through bank loans.

Branfman will be seeking approval for a permit change from the Zoning Board of Appeals on April 25 at the John Elliot elementary. The hearing is scheduled for 9:10 p.m.

–- Lauren K. Meade

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