Baker-Polito Administration Awards $2.8 Million in Site Readiness Awards through Community One Stop for Growth

Awards Will Advance Nine Key Projects, Increasing Development Potential of Nearly 665 Acres Across Massachusetts

December 14, 2021

LUDLOW – Tuesday, December 14, 2021 – Today, Lt. Governor Karyn Polito, Housing and Economic Development Secretary Mike Kennealy, and MassDevelopment President and CEO Dan Rivera were joined by state and local officials and representatives from Westmass Area Development Corporation to announce $2,834,850 in funding in its sixth round of Site Readiness Program awards.  The Site Readiness Program is part of the Community One Stop for Growth, a single application portal and collaborative review process for grant programs launched in January 2021 to make targeted investments based on a development continuum.
The Site Readiness Program was established to help municipalities, private-sector businesses, and nonprofit economic development entities advance prime sites for large-scale industrial and commercial use.  The funding will be used for a variety of predevelopment work, including planning studies, feasibility studies, master planning, environmental work, strategic land acquisition, and site improvements, increasing the development potential of nearly 665 acres across the Commonwealth.  In this round, Westmass Area Development Corporation is receiving $650,000 that will fund the design of a new access road, new water and sewer infrastructure, survey work, and parking areas as part of plans to redevelop the 130-acre Ludlow Mills site at 100 State Street. 
Also today, the Baker-Polio Administration celebrated Ludlow’s second One Stop award of $250,000 through the Underutilized Properties Program.  The funding, which was also awarded to Westmass Development Corporation, will be used for capital improvements to the historic stockhouses also within Ludlow Mills.
“Through the One Stop, our Administration can continue helping cities and towns move forward with development projects that are critical to their future economic success,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “The Site Readiness Program supplies key stakeholders with the financial assistance they need to prepare key sites for revitalization.” 
“Now in its sixth year, the Site Readiness program complements other state programs like the Brownfields Redevelopment Fund, MassWorks, and the Underutilized Properties Program that support communities looking to advance their economic development goals,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. “Cities, towns, and their partners can easily access information about these resources through Community One Stop for Growth, a new simple and streamlined application portal for the Commonwealth’s community development grant programs.”
“Many communities are home to large-scale sites with great economic potential, yet require some predevelopment work before they are shovel-ready for active use,” said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Mike Kennealy, who serves as chair of MassDevelopment’s Board of Directors. “The Baker-Polito Administration, in partnership with the Legislature, created the Site Readiness Program to respond to this demand and accelerate the transformation of these prime sites into industrial and commercial hubs.”  
“MassDevelopment is proud to administer the Site Readiness Program and is grateful to the Baker-Polito Administration and the Legislature for their continued support of this crucial resource,” said MassDevelopment President and CEO Dan Rivera. “This year we are investing $2.8 million to catalyze the redevelopment of nine prime sites, create jobs, and spur economic growth.”
Administered by MassDevelopment, the Site Readiness Program aims to boost Massachusetts’ supply 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. Created as part of the 2016 economic development legislation, An Act Relative to Job Creation and Workforce Development, the Site Readiness Program’s first five rounds provided nearly $13.6 million for 58 projects in almost every region of the Commonwealth, increasing the development potential of 5,073 acres across Massachusetts. On January 14, 2021, the Baker-Polito Administration signed new economic development legislation, An Act Enabling Partnerships for Growth, providing $15 million in reauthorizations for the Site Readiness Program.
In One Stop’s inaugural round, the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development received 267 Expressions of Interest from 178 communities through the new, simplified process.  For this year’s awards, 196 grant applications received a total of $88.7 million for projects in 122 communities.  Of the 196 projects awarded, nearly one-third were located in a rural or small town, half were located in a Housing Choice Community, and one-third were located in a Gateway City.
Learn more about the programs that are part of the Community One Stop for Growth application process.
“The Site Readiness Program that we included in the Economic Development bill is an essential component to getting underutilized properties back to productive use and generating economic growth in our communities,” said Senator Eric Lesser. “The Ludlow Mills is an excellent example of what is possible with smart state investment that can catalyze broader transformations across our Commonwealth.”
“As a top priority of mine, I’m thrilled to see the continued progress being made on the Ludlow Mills Project, and thankful to Governor Baker, Lt. Governor Polito, and Secretary Kennealy for helping secure this latest round of funding for the project,” said Representative Jake Oliveira. “Coupled with the funding made available by the Legislature, these investments will create future development in our historic Mills complex.”
"The Town of Ludlow looks forward to our continued relationship with Westmass Area Development,” said Ludlow Select Board Chair William Rosenblum.  “We welcome the opportunity to revitalize the Ludlow Mills in a manner that will benefit the taxpayers of Ludlow."
“Westmass is grateful for programs like Site Readiness as this allows us to unlock the capabilities of projects that will have a long term, positive impact on The Ludlow Mills, Ludlow and the Commonwealth,” said Westmass Area Development Corporation President and CEO Jeff Daley. “The Governor, Lt. Governor, the team at MassDevelopment, and our legislators have been supportive of all the work Westmass does at the Mills and beyond – these dollars are the first step at redeveloping the largest Brownfield project in New England.”
FY22 Site Readiness Program Awarded Projects:
Town of Avon – $132,000
The Town of Avon will use this grant to complete a hydrogeological assessment and a preliminary engineering report for a treatment plant to be located in the area around Bodwell Street, which will allow for better utilization of the 435-acre Avon Industrial Park that is currently underutilized due to the lack of sewer capacity. The engineering report will be used to file for and obtain a Groundwater Disposal Permit from the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection.
City of Brockton – $150,000
The City of Brockton will use this grant to advance progress of the Trout Brook District, located near 132 Court St., by supporting feasibility analysis to determine the viability of pursuing site acquisitions and development. The Trout Brook District was the subject of a comprehensive master plan in 2019, and in 2020 the Department of Housing and Community Development approved an Urban Renewal Plan for the area.
Town of Douglas – $314,850
The Town of Douglas will use this grant to complete preliminary design and engineering work for a water and sewer infrastructure upgrade along Davis and Monroe streets that will support future economic development. The infrastructure upgrade would serve about 300 acres of undeveloped industrially zoned land along both sides of Davis Street and has the potential to create many jobs in the Douglas-Uxbridge-Sutton area.
Town of Erving – $600,000
The Town of Erving will use this grant to advance redevelopment of the former International Paper Mill at 8 Papermill Rd., which includes six sub-buildings, five of which are irreparably damaged or not suitable for reuse. The Town plans to demolish five sub-buildings to eliminate safety hazards, making the property more attractive for redevelopment and creating space for a proposed access road. Site Readiness funds will support planning work to better position the property for redevelopment and partially fund the demolition work contingent upon the town securing additional funding.
City of Fitchburg – $100,000
The City of Fitchburg will use this grant to study the redevelopment of industrial land at 567 Crawford St. near the Fitchburg Municipal Airport, including by analyzing development constraints, generating conceptual development scenarios, considering appropriate access routes, and conducting a financial analysis of real estate development options. The study area includes a proposed 25 acres of aviation-oriented business and/or industrial uses in proximity to the airport and 10 acres of industrial or low-rise commercial development near Crawford Street.
City of Lawrence – $750,000
The City of Lawrence will use this grant to leverage $1,650,000 in additional funding for the demolition of the Merrimac Paper Mill complex at 7, 9, and 16 South Canal St. The redevelopment of this site has been a long-term goal for the City of Lawrence, and is targeted for light industrial uses. MassDevelopment also provided an award from the Site Readiness Program to support redevelopment of the Merrimac Paper Mill complex in Fiscal Year 2020 ($750,000).
Westmass Area Development Corporation, Ludlow – $650,000
Westmass Area Development Corporation is redeveloping the 130-acre Ludlow Mills site at 100 State St., which consists of 1.1 million square feet of developable space across 50 historic mill buildings. The organization will use this grant to design a new access road for a vacant 40-acre parcel on the property, complete an ALTA survey, and assess pump station capacity. The grant will also fund the design of new water and sewer lines, parking areas, and an electrical system to serve the historic stockhouses and mills. MassDevelopment also provided an award from the Site Readiness Program in Fiscal Year 2020 ($80,000) to help Westmass Area Development Corporation update marketing data, develop a strategic marketing plan, and prepare redevelopment built-out concepts for the Ludlow Mills complex, and an award from the Commonwealth’s Underutilized Properties Program in Fiscal Year 2022 ($250,000) to make capital improvements to the historic stockhouses within the Ludlow Mills complex.
City of Lynn – $38,000
The City of Lynn will use this grant to study regional demand for industrial buildings, policy recommendations related to industrial development and zoning, and a review of possible uses for an existing industrial property at 82-86 Sanderson Ave.
Medway Redevelopment Authority – $100,000
The Medway Redevelopment Authority will use this grant to complete due diligence work within the Oak Grove Urban Renewal Area (URA). Funded activities will include title work, appraisals, and environmental due diligence preparatory to acquiring additional parcels of land, with the aim to create opportunities for businesses, mixed-use establishments, commercial and industrial development, and housing in the area.
MassDevelopment, the state’s development finance agency and land bank, works with businesses, nonprofits, banks, and communities to stimulate economic growth across the Commonwealth. During FY2021, MassDevelopment financed or managed 416 projects generating investment of more than $1.86 billion in the Massachusetts economy. These projects are estimated to create or support 6,578 jobs and build or preserve 1,909 housing units.