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Baker-Polito Administration Announces Nearly $2.5 Million in Grants through Site Readiness Program

Awards will catalyze new development and help municipalities plan for future growth
February 16, 2018


Samantha Kaufman, Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development

SHREWSBURY — The Baker-Polito Administration today awarded $2,496,060 for 12 projects in the second round of the Site Readiness Program. The Site Readiness Program provides vital resources to municipalities, developers, and community development corporations to help increase the inventory of large, development-ready sites across the Commonwealth. The 12 grants to municipalities and development agencies will finance feasibility studies, master planning, environmental work, strategic land acquisition, and site improvements.

“Today’s round of Site Readiness funding will help support a wide range of opportunities for businesses to expand or locate in Massachusetts,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “We are pleased to provide this second round of funding and look forward to development potential they will unlock at key sites across the state.”

The funding round was announced today by Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito during an event at Shrewsbury Town Hall. 

“Thanks to the Site Readiness Program, and state resources like MassWorks and the Brownfields Redevelopment Fund, Massachusetts’ municipalities will be better prepared for development opportunities as they arise,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito.“This second round of nearly $2.5 million in grants will help fund important master planning efforts, environmental permitting and due diligence efforts to ensure these 12 sites will be shovel-ready when the time comes for development.” 

The Site Readiness Program aims to boost the Commonwealth’s inventory of large, well-located, project-ready sites; accelerate private-sector investment in industrial and commercial projects; and support the conversion of abandoned sites and obsolete facilities into clean, actively-used, tax-generating properties. It was created as part of the 2016 Economic Development Bill, which authorized $15 million for the program to be administered by MassDevelopment. The first grant round, announced in June 2017, included 14 grants to 12 communities and economic development entities across the state. The Baker-Polito Administration announced it would make available $2.5 million for the second round of the program in September 2017.   

“The Site Readiness Program is an important, forward-thinking economic development tool that provides cities and towns with funding to plan for their future growth,” said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash. “These grants will help pave the way for industrial and business development, bringing new jobs and increased tax revenues to our cities and towns.” 

“We are grateful to the Baker-Polito Administration for its foresight in creating the Site Readiness Program to bolster the Commonwealth’s supply of large industrial sites,” said MassDevelopment President and CEO Lauren Liss. “We look forward to working with our partners at the state and local levels to transform these sites into hubs for economic activity.” 

“The Town of Shrewsbury is grateful for the receipt of this grant and looks forward to working with MassDevelopment and the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development on the survey, design, and permitting of the North Road at Centech Park North, as we see this is a valuable step in attracting viable commercial development on this property,” said Shrewsbury Assistant Town Manager and Economic Development Coordinator Kristen Las. 

“Through this grant funding, the Town of Shrewsbury has the opportunity start a new chapter on economic prosperity and partnerships within the community,” said Senator Michael O. Moore. “It will enable the Town to continue its focus on attracting businesses that will generate tax revenue while creating quality jobs for local residents.”

This Site Readiness Program investment by the Baker-Polito Administration will help the Town of Shrewsbury convert one of our few larger potential development sites into a source of economic growth and opportunity,” said Representative Hannah E. Kane.“We are grateful to the Administration and MassDevelopment for their continued financial and technical assistance support to municipalities and proven commitment to economic growth in all areas of the Commonwealth.”

2018 Site Readiness Program Grants

Route 129 Industrial Area, Chelmsford - $90,000

This grant will help fund a market study and strategic planning for a largely built-out industrial area in Chelmsford. Properties in the area are experiencing significant vacancies and Site Readiness funding will allow the town to address this issue. 

Air Park South, Chicopee - $255,200

The Westover Metropolitan Development Corporation will use this grant to fund due diligence, master planning, and Massachusetts Environmental Protection Agency permitting for a new industrial park.

Chicopee River Business Park, Chicopee - $70,000

Westmass Area Development will use funds for due diligence and master planning focused on advancing the build-out of an existing industrial park.

Gardner Industrial Park, Gardner - $350,000

The City of Gardner will use funds for land acquisition, master planning, and survey work at a new industrial park that was initially identified through a MassDevelopment-funded planning effort. Gardner’s existing industrial park has reached capacity, and the new park will provide space for businesses to grow, expand, and relocate.  

National Avenue Site, Georgetown - $50,000

Georgetown will use Site Readiness funds for due diligence and conceptual master planning for a 20-acre site adjacent to I-95.

Broadway Business Park, Haverhill - $50,000

This grant will allow the City of Haverhill to do due diligence and master planning at a privately-owned piece of undeveloped land near I-495 that the city hopes to transform into a business park. 

Lawrence CommunityWorks Marriner Building, Lawrence - $50,000

Lawrence CommunityWorks will use this funding for a code compliance study for the first floor of its Marriner Building. Lawrence CommunityWorks envisions leasing the first floor to light industrial users.

Whaling City Golf Course, New Bedford - $100,000

The City of New Bedford will use Site Readiness funds to complete Massachusetts Environmental Protection Agency permitting and an American Land Title Association survey. The project previously received $300,000 in FY17 Site Readiness Program funds. 

Vanderbilt Avenue Business Park, Norwood - $150,000

The Town of Norwood will use funds to design and potentially implement streetscape and wayfinding improvements to help address vacancy at an industrial area off Route One. 

Centech Park North, Shrewsbury - $302,000

The Town of Shrewsbury will use this Site Readiness funding for due diligence, master planning, and Massachusetts Environmental Protection Agency permitting for a new 60-acre industrial park.

Brayton Point Reuse, Somerset - $160,000

The Town of Somerset will use these funds for master planning, environmental, and waterways specialized consulting services to support the town’s involvement with the redevelopment of Brayton Point Power Station, a 307-acre property on Somerset’s waterfront.  

Turnpike Industrial Park Expansion, Westfield - $750,000

Turnpike Industrial Park Expansion, Westfield - $750,000 The City of Westfield will use Site Readiness funds for the strategic acquisition of 6.3 acres of land adjacent to the Turnpike Industrial Park site. The purchase will unlock development potential for approximately six additional acres. This project previously received a $300,000 FY17 Site Readiness grant.