Case Study: Trades Mill
200-Year-Old Carriage Mill Reinvented with Parterre Flooring
Trades Mill of Amesbury, Mass., has been standing at 6 Chestnut Street for nearly 200 years. In that time, this building has housed a carriage manufacturing company and later an antique car restoration service, but has now been transformed into a shared office and commercial space utilized by nearly 40 tenants – carpenters, craft metal workers, photographers, marketing companies and more.
Ben Becker and his mother, Barbara Lorenc, purchased the building – formerly known as the Biddle and Smart building– in April 2018. Residents throughout the Amesbury community had voiced the need for commercial and office spaces in town but taking on the Biddle and Smart project was going to be a challenge. Once word got out that Becker and his team would be renovating, businesses and tradespeople alike were eager to get into Trades Mill.
Becker knew coming into the project that they wanted to revitalize the space without compromising its character and charm. After looking at a half dozen flooring options, he settled on a Parterre option that he knew would stand the test of time.
Taking a pre-Industrial Revolution mill space that hadn’t housed any working businesses in nearly 50 years was going to require major structural and design updates. The original structure was a post and beam style construction inside of a brick façade. In addition to the bones of the building, Becker had to make major updates to the entire mill including a new central staircase, lighting, elevators, restrooms, heating and cooling systems, and windows. The building also had to be made airtight and completely insulated.
When it came to flooring, Becker faced an entirely separate set of challenges. The subfloors throughout the space were uneven and inconsistent, some made of concrete and others from wood. To level the entire space, new sheathing was installed on the wood subfloors and the concrete was leveled with machinery.
From a design perspective, Becker wanted a flooring product with a durable wear layer that looked luxurious and also authentically mirrored the look of wood. Staying true to the building’s original industrial feel was vital to the project, and finding a flooring product that created that old-meets-new feel steered them towards Parterre.
The Avara line was the perfect mix of wood-look vinyl flooring option that is durable, water resistant, has a thick wear layer and met their price point. After hearing about Parterre luxury vinyl flooring through a product designer in Pennsylvania, Roche FitzGerald, Becker requested sample pieces from Parterre. After examining many of our wood-look options, he discovered that Kilise Oak most authentically matched the look and feel of the space, and the exposed beams throughout the mill building.
“The number one deciding factor was the color and pattern,” said Becker. “It truly looked like real wood, so it was a no brainer to go with Parterre.”
Parterre LVT was installed throughout the entire first and second floors, in offices, hallways, stairwells and more. Becker raved about the level of service and attention provided by Parterre before, during and after the installation process.
“The service was perfect – the support we got from Parterre was perfect, and they were involved from the start, which helped the whole project.”
As they continue to renovate more space and build more offices, more Parterre flooring is being installed throughout the building. Becker is allowing tenants to choose the flooring that goes in their respective offices, each having options from one of the Parterre collections.
Trades Mill has been open since February 2019 and is approximately 80% leased with 40+ tenants. While it has only been a few months since the opening, Becker and the rest of the Trades Mill family couldn’t be happier with how the renovation and design turned out.
“The flooring has held up great, the installers did a great job and the tenants all want to use Parterre in the future. The space looks great, and we couldn’t be happier.”