Vision Properties: An open letter to the UMass Lowell community

(Courtesy of Edge Merrimack River)

Vision Properties wants nothing more than to be a good neighbor to the residents and businesses of Lowell – to become a contributor to the local economy and a piece of the community fabric. But not everyone believes that to be the case, including those who produce this publication.

Because Vision places great value on those we strive to serve – in this case, college students – we recently extended an invitation to staff members of The Connector to join a personal tour at our under-construction property in Lowell, called Edge Merrimack River. It was an opportunity for our team to share the values on which we’ve built our company, our vision for this particular property, and the priority we place on providing a highly-desirable environment for students who choose to live in an off-campus setting. We spent time talking about the many attractive features of Edge, how we design our environmentally-friendly spaces to accommodate student lifestyles, the great lengths we go to ensure our residents’ safety and our goal to always be as affordable as possible. The opportunity to tour our facility seemed appreciated by all involved. The staff members from The Connector asked great questions, to which we offered honest and transparent answers. We even shared a few light-hearted moments about how college students like to embrace the spirit of discovery, while still maintaining immense responsibilities. We walked away from the tour with a sense of collaboration and understanding with who we consider to be among the most important members of the Lowell community.

So, it is with great disappointment that we’ve read a number of articles printed recently in this publication – including an editorial written by editor Andrew Sciascia – that labeled Vision Properties and this project, in particular, as “shady,” “predatory,” and “fast and loose.” Our team was accused of criticizing college students, specifically those who attend UMASS-Lowell and are likely reading this letter right now. These accusations are, at best, an agenda-driven misinterpretation of our conversation, and at worst, outright false.  It would be equivalent to business suicide to characterize students – our very lifeline – in this manner, particularly in the presence of other students.

While we greatly appreciate the role of student journalism, and we generally respect the work produced by The Connector staff, we strongly disagree with the content of aforementioned coverage. Not because it’s critical of our organization (we’ve learned to take punches after 30 years in business), but because it’s simply inaccurate. We invite the entire UMASS-Lowell community to independently explore Vision Properties and Edge Merrimack River before drawing conclusions. We’re confident you’ll find a much different story.

Call today for a tour.  Hard hat tours are happening NOW!!   We are sure you will be impressed with this beautiful facility.  Please see our websites for other successful student communities—,,

Rick Shaffer
President, Vision Properties

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  1. Kgal said:

    The fact that they wrote this article like this backs up my thoughts that they are a pretty crappy organization

  2. Really said:

    This company received two cease and desist orders from the university for trespassing. Plus a citation from the city for dumping snow and building materials into the Merrimack. It doesn’t seem to me that Vision is being a good neighbor.

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