Creative Lighting Redevelopment

Historical textile mill uses track lighting as it becomes a trendy housing site.

Originally known as Malden Mills, the Loft Five50 project is LEED certified and features 137 housing units with a full slate of amenities.

Loft Five50 is the new name of what was an historical textile mill in Lawrence, MA. Recently repurposed into a family housing community with modern amenities, the space includes energy-efficient LED track lighting systems from Nora Lighting, Commerce, CA. Originally known as Malden Mills, the facility was built between 1879 and 1925 and was most recently the home of Polartec active wear. When fire destroyed several buildings, a range of renovation plans were considered and the Loft Five50 concept was born. The project is LEED certified and features 137 housing units, ranging from studios to one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartments, plus a full slate of amenities: a 15,000-sq.-ft. community room, communal kitchen with entertainment space, Wi-Fi lounges, a fitness/yoga facility, movie theatre, outdoor patio, and indoor children’s play area.

Throughout the living units and lounges, NT-300 series single-track lighting systems were installed featuring energy-efficient Step Cylinder LED fixtures.

Nora Lighting’s NT-300 series single-track lighting systems were installed with energy-efficient Step Cylinder LED fixtures.

“Nora Lighting’s NT-300 system was the first choice of the architectural and engineering staff at The Architectural Team [Chelsea, MA] which designed the project,” reported Jerry Sinatra of SK & Associates, Nora Lighting sales representative in Canton, MA.

“The Architectural Team successfully married historic aesthetics with modern lighting by specifying Nora track and LEDs. The cylindrical fixtures are a contemporary accent to the vintage woodwork and brick,” said Sinatra.

The Step Cylinders use LED lamps and have a matte-black finish with a black baffle. They measure 4 3/8-in.-wide x 6-in. in length and are also available in bronze and white.

The slim-line NT-300 series tracks are just 1 3/4-in.-wide x 5/8-in.-high and available in five lengths (2, 4, 6, 8, and 12 ft.) While a black finish was specified for LoftFive50, the track and fixtures are also available in bronze, natural, silver, and white.

“Nora single-track systems are a practical and economical solution for renovation projects,” said Chris Johnston, Nora national sales manager, commercial division. “While trim and stylish, Nora track systems are inherently designed for solid support with robust aluminum construction and 12-gauge, push-in solid copper connectors,” he continued. “And the ready availability of Nora products kept the project on schedule.”

The single-circuit track systems include a 3-wire layout with a dedicated ground for greater reliability and ease of installation. Rated for a maximum of 2,400 W, the tracks are a workable solution when only one lighting circuit is needed. A full line of accessories is available with additional switched feed points and connectors.

Many of the mill’s historic features were restored including high wooden ceilings, oversized windows, and exposed brick walls.

“We’ve seen a major uptick in track lighting,” said Johnston. “Major residential and commercial renovation projects are specifying energy-efficient LED systems, and installers are looking for products that are reasonably priced, reliable, and easy to install. That’s our goal with Nora single-track lighting systems,” he said.

The Loft Five50 development has received national attention as an exceptional example of creative restoration. The Architectural Team worked with the National Register of Historic Places and the Massachusetts Historic Commission and many of the mill’s historic features were restored, adding a rich atmosphere. Original features included the landmark clock tower, high wooden ceilings, oversized windows, exposed brick walls, and a vintage staircase.


— Learn more about Step Cylinder fixtures.

— Get information on single-circuit track systems.

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