Photo courtesy of the city of Bristol

Bristol officials are hoping to interest housing developers in a large, city-owned industrial property near their city’s downtown.

The J.H. Sessions and Son Building sits on 3.54 acres around half a mile from downtown Bristol, which has attracted several ground-up development projects in recent years, including a mix of multifamily and medical office assets.

The Riverside Avenue corridor is the latest target for municipal officials’ revitalization efforts, grounded in a tax increment financing district. The city is embarking on a state-funded, pedestrian-friendly streetscape reconstruction for the road while encouraging new development along it – development an RFP posted on the city’s website makes clear they hope renovations to the Sessions Building can anchor. Submissions are due April 16.

The RFP says it wants proposals that would restrict at least three-quarters of the units in the building as workforce housing for those making between 60 percent and 120 percent of area median income. A notional floorplan included in the RFP documents shows how the building could be reconfigured for 56 one- and two-bedroom units.

The 81,076-square-foot brick mill was built in 1907, city property records say, and is currently appraised at $1.13 million.

A video produced by Mayor Jeff Caggiano’s office notes that the building’s contamination are being remediated by the city thanks to a state grant. The Sessions Company used the building for the manufacture of hardware for steamer trunks, and when speaking in the video, Caggiano notes that asbestos is present but is being removed. The video makes clear the building remains largely as it was when its last industrial user vacated the structure, with even an antique water-powered elevator still in place and functional.