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Brownfields Fund Hard at Work

July 25, 2013: Worcester Telegram & Gazette

Thank you for running Craig Blais’s piece on the strength of the commonwealth’s brownfields tax credit program (“Brownfields tax credits work,” Telegram & Gazette, July 9). Mr. Blais is spot-on in saying brownfields tax credits are vital to redevelopment in Gateway Cities, and I would like to take his argument one step further and mention a complementary, equally critical program — the Brownfields Redevelopment Fund.

Since its inception in 1998 through fiscal year 2012, MassDevelopment has made $65,053,520 available from the fund — which the agency manages on behalf of the commonwealth — for assessment or remediation of 566 brown?elds sites in 106 Massachusetts cities and towns.

Central Massachusetts projects have received $11 million from the fund, with $5 million invested in Worcester. The city boasts 36 successful projects, including cleaning up land under the Boys and Girls Club; revitalizing the Main South neighborhoods; helping efforts at the South Worcester Industrial Park; and investing in Gateway Park.

The fund has also helped redevelop several properties in Worcester’s Canal District, which attracted new restaurants like Bocado and drew large housing developers such as WinnDevelopment.

Unfortunately, the Brownfields Redevelopment Fund is fully committed and not able to fund new requests, a situation that we hope will be rectified by the Legislature soon. In the meantime, we are proud of the successful track record of the Fund in Worcester and cities and towns across Massachusetts.

MARTY JONES
President and CEO
MassDevelopment

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