The Pajama Factory, an eight-building complex in the block bound by Park Avenue, Rose Street, Memorial Avenue and Cemetery Street, recently was approved for a highly competitive, $2 million state Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program grant.

Owner Mark Winkelman is well on his way already toward his goal of creating a thriving creative incubator in that block of buildings that for years sat mostly vacant.  He’s been at it for just over a decade, having purchased the complex in 2008. So far, he has realized success in renting 130 spaces within the complex’s 300,000 square feet. Although known primarily for its role with the arts, a majority of the space so far has been rented to small businesses. …

Next up will be loft residences and a destination restaurant with indoor seating, a courtyard and rooftop dining. Plans are to add more retail space adjacent to the restaurant and an environmentally friendly rain garden on the roof to help control stormwater runoff.

Winkelman expects the next phase of his project to cost up to $4.5 million. Toward that end, he is eligible as a private business to be a sub-applicant with the city for the state matching grant that will reimburse him with up to $2 million for construction costs.

The RACP program is intended to spur economic and cultural development that may not otherwise happen without funding assistance.


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