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5 things to know about Lower Mills (where Mayor Walsh is moving)

Buying News Boston Dorchester
Mayor Marty Walsh is moving to a home on Butler Street in Lower Mills.
Mayor Marty Walsh is moving to a home on Butler Street in Lower Mills. Flickr/Creative Commons/Norman B. Leventhal Map Center

It’s official: Mayor Marty Walsh, longtime resident of Dorchester’s Savin Hill neighborhood, is moving.

The Boston Globe reports Walsh and girlfriend Lorrie Higgins are buying a four-bedroom house on Butler Street in Lower Mills, a historic district less than half a mile away from the Milton border.

Savin Hill neighbors will be sad to see Walsh go – they said his 24-hour police security made them feel safe and many fondly described the mayor as a “nice guy’’ who kept a tidy yard.

Mayor Walsh’s new home in Lower Mills. —GLOBE

Walsh has owned his home on Tuttle Street for 15 years. The stretch of Dorchester is where he climbed the political power ladder and coached a little league team. It’s also conveniently located right by his mother’s home. So we had to ask: What’s Lower Mills got to offer?

5 things to know about Lower Mills

1. It’s basically the ‘burbs.

As we mentioned above, Lower Mills is a neighborhood less than half a mile away from Milton – pretty much as far away from the heart of Boston as you can get while still technically living in Boston.

It encompasses part of Dorchester, and is snuggled into the crook of the Neponset River.

2. It’s old.

The Lower Mills district was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1980, and is home to a large industrial factory complex that used to be associated with Walter Baker & Company, the oldest producer of chocolate in the U.S.

Part of the chocolate factory has been converted to condominiums. —Flickr/Creative Commons/Danielle Walquist Lynch

Walter Baker was a true businessman, according to bostonhistory.org, establishing relationships with merchants up and down the East Coast. By 1840, he was sending candy to clients as far north as Nova Scotia, Halifax, and Portland, Maine, and as far south as Georgia and New Orleans.

Now the historic chocolate mill has been transformed to 133 apartments that overlook the Neponset River and have their own Zen gardens. That’s sweet.

3. It’s home to some pretty cool restaurants.

Since it opened in 2012, the restaurant Steel & Rye has captured locals’ attention with its hand-crafted Americana cuisine and unique cocktails. For the second year in a row, Boston Magazine named it “Best Restaurant South of Boston’’ for 2015.

Operating out of a former car showroom and ambulance garage only adds to the restaurant’s laid-back vibe. Co-owners Chris Parsons, Dan Kerrigan, and Bill Scannell said they named it after Lower Mills’ rich history of farming, milling, and manufacturing. The menu features interesting items like “Buffalo Hushpuppies’’ and “Crispy Pig.’’

Another Lower Mills restaurant to watch out for is BRED Gourmet, a small Dorchester Avenue burger joint that serves gourmet patties, kale drinks, and fruit smoothies like the “Tom Brady,’’ a tasty blend of strawberry, raspberry, coconut, and almond milk. BRED was featured on the show Phantom Gourmet this spring.

4. The front man of Dropkick Murphys wants to redesign a bar there.

Ken Casey, bassist of the South Shore punk band Dropkick Murphys, said he was planning on buying the Lower Mills Pub in April 2015, according to The Dorchester Reporter.

The Irish pub, located on Dorchester Avenue, is one of the area’s “last remaining old-school barrooms’’ that still features live music, the Reporter said. Casey grew up in the area, and told the Reporter he wants the restaurant to maintain its “family-friendly’’ feel, but with a bigger emphasis on food.

5. Houses are cheaper there (compared to Boston’s median home value).

According to Zillow, the median home value in Boston is $449,400, up 2.7 percent over the past year. In the Lower Mills neighborhood, homes are a little cheaper, neighborhood search engine Neighborhood Scout reports, with the average home price at $314,334.

A street view of Lower Mills —Flickr/Creative Commons/Sarah G

But that doesn’t mean Mayor Walsh is buying a cheaper home. The 3,000-square-foot home on Butler Street was listed for $699,000 on realtor.com.

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