Why Gateway Cities can be a Real-Estate Goldmine


Many of us in the business sector, hear the term “Gateway City,” all the time, but what exactly does it mean?  According to Wikipedia; Gateway Cities in Massachusetts are "midsize urban centers that anchor regional economies around the state," facing "stubborn social and economic challenges" while retaining "many assets with unrealized potential."   The key to the future of a gateway city truly lies in what part of that definition you focus upon.  Riverwalk is based out of Lawrence, Massachusetts. Lawrence is without question a gateway city. Statistically, its numbers are impressive only from a sobering perspective and yet our CEO and founder Sal Lupoli focused on the latter part of that definition; while retaining "many assets with unrealized potential."

Opening a successful business in downtown Boston must be rewarding, but opening a successful business in one of the poorest, most challenged communities in the Commonwealth, that is…changing lives. 

From a commercial real estate perspective, Gateway Cities are untapped goldmines. Start-up companies especially, take note of the Gateway City.  Between lower rents and incentives to open your business in a city like Lawrence, choosing a gateway city for your new venture might be one of the most crucial components of a new business’ viability. Commercial rents in Boston are $50+ per square foot, but in a Gateway City you could pay a third of that and still get premium space. More importantly, investing in a Gateway City is investing in changing people’s lives.

It’s easy to comment on a city’s challenges from the safety of one’s computer.  As we see every day, the horror of drugs spares no part of the economic strata, yet the Gateway City has been battling this epidemic for years, but now it’s front and center because it’s impacting the middle and upper class towns and cities.   However, on a positive note; our nation’s economy is finally rebounding, and the Gateway City is poised to make a comeback as well. However, a city like Lawrence that was once crucial to our nation’s economy, has to reinvent itself to be viable in the 21st century. Many of the textile mills in Lawrence were once responsible for making the fabrics soldiers wore on their World War 1 uniforms, among many other uses, but these are just distant memories. 

Today, the mills that Lupoli Development own in Lawrence are not only historically significant, they are structural marvels that in many ways are our local “pyramids.” These buildings are well over a hundred years old and because of our own massive reinvestment in their redevelopment, they are now capable of housing manufacturing, retail, office and everything in between. 

Riverwalk’s diverse tenants are contributing to a slow but steady rebirth of industry and commerce in this Gateway City.  These tenants chose Riverwalk because of its potential, and realized that a zip code is nothing more than a number. Lawrence is truly on the cusp of a renaissance if we all choose to focus on, "many assets with unrealized potential."