Collinsville Redevelopment Company


Collinsville Redevelopment Company (CRC) was established to revitalize the historic Collins Company Axe Factory site in Canton. CRC values the historic character of the factory and town, and believes a rehabilitated site will catalyze growth in Collinsville, and in Canton more broadly. Currently, we are working on various state and local approvals, and will update this site as things progress.


Photo Credit: James Tilney

Photo Credit: James Tilney

Photo Credit: Kathy Taylor


CRC is leveraging our experience in architecture, finance and real estate development to reinvigorate the Collins Company property. Our hope is that the rehabilitation will support the economy of Collinsville, providing jobs, attracting visitors, and increasing Canton's tax revenue. CRC is actively engaged in securing the required approvals from local, state, and federal agencies as the first step in the eventual revitalization of the historic Collins Company Axe Factory.

Historic Buildings Renovated

Approximately 155,000 square feet of existing structures will be renovated, including brick, clapboard, corrugated metal and stone buildings.

Waterworks Repaired

Approximately 2,000 linear feet of waterworks, including culverts, canals and tailraces, will be repaired. The beautiful 'veil of water' that previously flowed from the forebay catch basin into the Farmington River will be restored.

New Housing Constructed

Three new residential buildings will be constructed on site, consisting of 224 apartments and 48 condominiums. The oldest building in the complex, the Granite Building (1843), will be renovated to provide an additional 16 condominium units.




The Collins Company was founded in 1826 by Sam Collins to produce axes, machetes and steel edge tools of all kinds. The Company expanded its operations over time, adding to the campus of buildings as required. At the height of its operations, the Collins Company had 50 buildings on site and boasted a robust international trade.


The flood of 1955 destroyed a number of buildings, interrupted operations, and the company never fully recovered. The factory was shuttered in 1966. Since that time, there have been three owners who have rented space to artists, craftspeople, small businesses and light industrial operations.


In 1976, the site was entered into the National Register of Historic Places.


Photo Credit: Canton Historical Museum

The Team

Collinsville Redevelopment Company is the collaboration between sisters, Lisa and Merritt Tilney. Their father, Rusty Tilney, has been the long-time owner of the Axe Factory since 2002. CRC has an option to purchase the property after approvals have been secured. Having grown up in Bloomfield, the Tilneys are excited to work on a project close to home and hope to create a vibrant mixed-use neighborhood as part of their father's vision and legacy.

CRC has engaged several local firms to prepare the required documentation for various state and local approvals:

LADA, Landscape Architect and Site Planner

Haley Ward, Civil Engineer

Macchi Engineering, Structural Engineer

Tetra Tech, Environmental Consulting

Ian Cole, Soil Scientist and Wetlands Expert

Heritage Consultants, Historical and Cultural Expert

Moriarty, Paetzold, & Sherwood, Land Use Attorney

All Habitat Services, Invasive Species Consultant