Baker-Polito Administration Announces $575K MassWorks Award for Grafton

Award funds improvements to Westboro Road to support revitalized commercial area and Grafton State Hospital redevelopment

November 20, 2018


Colleen Arons, EOHED

GRAFTON – November 20, 2018 – Today, Governor Charlie Baker and Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito joined Grafton Town Administrator Timothy McInerney and other local and state officials to announce a $575,000 MassWorks Infrastructure Program grant for sewer improvements on Westboro Road.

The project will add 1,425 feet of sewer main along Westboro Road. The sewer line will serve D & F Afonso Builders’ 48-unit, single-family subdivision and expand septic capacity for additional commercial and residential development along Route 30. The new mains will be added to the 1,200 feet committed by Afonso.

The project also supports the redevelopment of the 33-acre MassDevelopment site at the former Grafton State Hospital campus. When complete, the hospital site will have nearly 200,000 square feet of commercial space and associated jobs.

"Our Administration is committed to investing in programs like MassWorks that support local infrastructure and play a critical role in strengthening businesses and the communities that surround them," said Governor Charlie Baker. "MassWorks is one of this Administration’s many initiatives that enable local communities to tap into private investment and accelerate local economic growth across the Commonwealth."

"We are excited to be in Grafton to award $575,000 in MassWorks funding to help reinvigorate an important commercial stretch of Route 30," said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. "Governor Baker and I are pleased to continue to make the investments in the public infrastructure our cities and towns need to create sustainable growth."

"Through the flexibility of MassWorks, we have been able to drive over two million square feet of new commercial space, made possible by listening to individual communities’ needs and by responding with individualized programs that benefit many stakeholders, such as this project in Grafton, which is essential for redevelopment of Grafton State Hospital," said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash.  "Our office saw another competitive round of MassWorks for 2018 and we are happy to keep the momentum going across the Commonwealth in the year ahead."

The infrastructure project will allow a higher density development in an area where many properties are still dependent on septic systems. The existing commercial plaza on Route 30 will be redeveloped, with its anchor restaurant tenant announcing a commitment to invest $250,000 to expand by 50 percent.

Also benefitting from the sewer expansion project is an 8.8 acre Smart Growth District targeted for transit-oriented development near the Grafton MBTA station. This area, off Route 30, is intended for mixed use development and up to 176 new housing units.

"Grafton's Route 30 corridor has long been identified as the Town's next economic development opportunity.  The 2018 MassWorks Grant award enables Grafton to unlock development potential and begin the creation of a Transit Village in North Grafton. This will enhance employment and housing opportunities consistent with the Governor’s ‘Open for Business’ initiative," said Grafton Town Administrator Timothy McInerney.

The former Grafton State Hospital site was sold to MassDevelopment in 2016 under the Baker-Polito Administration’s ‘Open for Business’ initiative. The site is zoned for life science, pharmaceutical and high tech use.

"MassDevelopment's real estate team has worked closely with the Baker-Polito Administration and the Town of Grafton to convert a vacant 33-acre site, formerly part of the Grafton State Hospital campus, into shovel-ready, developable land," said MassDevelopment President and CEO Lauren Liss. "The Westboro Road Sewer Extension Project, made possible by this MassWorks Infrastructure Grant, will advance our efforts to redevelop the site, attract innovative businesses, and create jobs in the community."

In conjunction with this work, Grafton will coordinate with National Grid to repave Route 30 after the company installs 8,000 linear feet of concrete conduit beneath the road. The total public-private investment in upgrades to Route 30 will total more than $7 million.

"Grafton is taking great initiative to utilize available opportunities to stimulate growth within the community, and to pursue goals that will strengthen our region," said Senator Michael O. Moore.  "This important grant will support existing efforts to promote economic development, and to increase residential opportunities to ignite further growth.  Congratulations to the Grafton community, and thank you to the Administration for recognizing the many benefits that will result from this funding."

"This is tremendous news for the Town of Grafton. The sewer line extension funded through this MassWorks grant will not only support economic development, but also will help to bring new jobs and tax revenues into the community. I have been working closely with local and state officials, including the Baker-Polito Administration, to bring this important project to fruition, and I’m happy to see that our advocacy efforts have proven to be successful," said Representative David Muradian.

Since 2015, the Baker-Polito Administration has awarded over $275 million in MassWorks grants to support 138 projects in 106 communities. MassWorks funding has been critical to the addition of over 2 million square feet of commercial/retail space, approximately 10,000 full and part time jobs, more than 7,000 immediate housing units, at least 7,000 square feet of new public space and 1,200 new hotel rooms.

Through the 2018 MassWorks round, the Administration will award more than $82 million in new grants for 40 projects that intend to leverage $2.9 billion in private investment, and drive an anticipated 4,000 units of new housing and more than 9,000 full time jobs. 37 communities across the Commonwealth will benefit from this round’s investments.

Governor Baker signed economic development legislation in August that includes substantial new funding for municipalities, including another $250 million for MassWorks awards. The legislation builds on the Baker-Polito Administration’s work to partner with communities to catalyze economic development and create new opportunities for residents across the Commonwealth, including the 2016 Job Creation and Workforce Development act, which authorized $1 billion to support economic development efforts across the state, including $500 million authorization for MassWorks Infrastructure Program, enhanced tools and the introduction of new strategies for job-readiness efforts.

Learn more about MassWorks at