An economic boost for Acushnet Ave.? New Bedford gets second TDI district

March 1, 2022 : Standard-Times, by Seth Chitwood

NEW BEDFORD — New Bedford is the second city to gain two Transformative Development Initiative (TDI) districts, with the addition of Acushnet Avenue, which was announced Tuesday as part of an expansion of the MassDevelopment program designed to accelerate economic growth in Gateway Cities.

"The Avenue is a really special place," said Mayor Jon Mitchell during a press conference. "A physical manifestation of New Bedford's melting pot."

Mitchell recalled the many Guatemalan, Puerto Rican and Portuguese businesses located on the street, which extends from Phillips Avenue to Beetle Street, and reminisced about his grandmother's seamstress shop.

Funding for the city:New Bedford receives $550,000 under new arts and economic development program

"It has been for decades a place where people have seized the opportunities of America," he added. "It's a place of opportunity and we want to enhance this opportunity."

Massachusetts Lt. Governor Karyn Polito joined state and local officials to announce the latest round of Community Development Block Grant Awards at a ceremony held at the Hatch Street Studios in the north end of New Bedford.
Worcester was the first city to have two TDI desingated districts, and along with New Bedford, other cities like Lawrence, Pittsfield, Springfield, and others gained a second district yesterday as well.

The announcement also included the selection of new districts in Attleboro, Barnstable (Hyannis), Holyoke, Lowell, Lynn, Revere, Taunton, and Worcester, and the extension of an existing district in Fall River.

All districts will be awarded TDI fellows — MassDevelopment employees who will provide on-the-ground economic development expertise — with access to a range of tools to help accelerate development, including technical assistance, grants to support local market development and arts and cultural infrastructure, collaborative workshops, resources and events.