A timeline that marks the history of the Montgomery Mill in the main entry way of the apartment building.
By Laura Hayden
Even before tenants started moving into the renovated Montgomery Mill Apartments in November of last year, Windsor Locks’ population was on the rise – moving counter to a downturn in the state. According to estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau, the town’s population went up 2.7 percent from 2017 to 2018, second only to Norwalk.
Since then, the renovation of the old thread factory located on the crossroads of Routes 140 and 159 adds the prospect of even greater growth in the future. According to Kristie Rizzo of Beacon Communities, 70% of the 160 mixed-income rentals at the Montgomery Mill complex were already leased at year’s end, with over 57% occupied. Beacon Communities manages the building as well as 90 similar properties in 11 states, including a portfolio of restored historic buildings.
The one-and-two-bedroom apartments have a modern/urban/industrial ambiance with large windows, exposed brick or concrete walls, tall ceilings, plank flooring, and high-end kitchen and bathrooms. As the apartments fill, the residents are forming a community with the old mill town and among themselves. “People know the building. Some of their families had worked there,” said Kristie. She recently told the Hartford Courant, “People feel passionate about the building. We don’t commonly run into that, this emotional tie to a building.”
Indoors, residents have been meeting each other with informal get-togethers like a resident brunch during the holidays, held in a designated gathering space on the fifth floor. The common area includes a communal kitchen and TV, available to the renters 24/7. A similar kitchen and communal working space are still under construction on the ground floor. The complex also includes a fitness center and dog park for residents’ pets. In the spring, a patio in walking distance to the Suffield entrance of the Windsor Locks Canal State Park awaits.
The sign atop the newly renovated Windsor Locks mill reminds passersby of the building’s legacy. It reads The Montgomery Co. Est. 1871 Decorative and Electric Tinsels.
A newly installed sign identifies the Montgomery Mill as cars drive off the Bridge Street Bridge that connects Windsor Locks and East Windsor.
A common gathering room at the Montgomery Mill apartments in Windsor Locks regularly brings residents together for events.