Used to be, if you wanted to live in the Lower Mills area of Dorchester, you were limited to just a couple of properties – a smattering of single-family homes, and the Baker Chocolate Factory. The chocolate factory is a nice place to live, but brick and beam construction is not for everyone. Plus the complex is sprawling, and condo fees can be high there, as well (someone’s got to pay for that pool, after all…).

Well, that’s true no more.

A couple weeks ago, I had the pleasure of enjoying a private tour of the new Schoolhouse at Lower Mills, a 62-unit development on the banks of the Neponset River.

This is quite a project. There was an old schoolhouse on the property – the oldest schoolhouse in Boston, in fact, is what they’ve been told. The developer ended up lifting up the building and moving it closer to the street. Then, he totally gutted and renovated the interior, creating seven (or eight?) attractive, spacious homes, several with 14-foot ceilings and double-height windows.

Next door, the developer built a 56-unit addition, over four floors. Units range from 1-2 bedrooms, and they all have good light, due to the building’s set-back from the street and river.

From the developer’s website:

Introducing a new approach to smart living. Minutes from downtown Boston in the vibrant village of Lower Mills. The Schoolhouse at Lower Mills brings high style and urban inspired design to the front of the class. At an incredible price. Live here and enjoy a community alive with new friends, great restaurants, eclectic art galleries and a lively shopping scene. Lead an active lifestyle? Bike paths, kayaking and hiking are just a few steps away from your new home.

And, from the Multiple Listing Service:

Experience a fresh approach to smart living at Schoolhouse at Lower Mills. Newly constructed 1, 1.5 and 2 bedroom condos located in the vibrant village of Lower Mills. Value and quality prevail – each unit features granite countertops, stainless-steel appliances, hardwood floors, Kohler appointed baths and full-size washer/dryer.

Walk to the trolley; enjoy kayaking, bike paths, great restaurants all within minutes to downtown Boston.
Purchase price includes one parking space (surface) and a large storage bin. There is an on-site fitness center and an owner library, complete with widescreen digital TV.

Prices range from $229,900 – $339,900.

I think it is an awesome project – the finish work truly impressed me and I think the developer did just about everything right. It would work well for anyone, but I can see a first-time homebuyer really taking to it – you have brand-new construction (low maintenance), attractive units, quality finishes & appliances, onsite parking, storage, within walking distance to a supermarket (Shaws) and neighborhood shops, and convenient access to Route 93 for your trips to the Cape or Newport.

The Schoolhouse at Lower Mills, 40 River St, Boston, MA 02126

Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage is handling sales, or contact me for buyer’s agent representation and more information.

They are holding a Grand Opening this coming weekend, on March 1 and March 2, from 1:00-3:00 PM, on each day.

On Saturday, they have Bill Brett coming to do a book signing for his recent books (“Boston, All One Family” and “Boston: An Extended Family”) – books for the first 50 visitors.

After the jump, photos.

schoolhouse at lower mills

schoolhouse at lower mills

schoolhouse at lower mills

schoolhouse at lower mills

schoolhouse at lower mills

schoolhouse at lower millsschoolhouse at lower mills

schoolhouse at lower mills

schoolhouse at lower mills

schoolhouse at lower mills

schoolhouse at lower mills

– click on photos to enlarge

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