Baker-Polito Administration Awards $3.2 Million to Prepare Prime Sites for Revitalization

Awards will support 10 key redevelopment projects, increasing development potential of nearly 900 acres across Massachusetts

March 9, 2021


Michael Verseckes (HED)

Kelsey Schiller (MassDevelopment)

PITTSFIELD - Tuesday, March 9, 2021 - Today, the Baker-Polito Administration announced $3,184,000 in funding for 10 projects in the fifth annual round of Site Readiness Program awards. These awards provide vital resources to help municipalities, private sector businesses, and nonprofit economic development entities overcome obstacles to developing otherwise prime sites for large-scale industrial and commercial use. The funding will finance predevelopment work including feasibility studies, master planning, environmental work, strategic land acquisition, and site improvements, increasing the development potential of nearly 900 acres across the Commonwealth. Governor Charlie Baker, Lt. Governor Karyn Polito, and Housing and Economic Development Secretary Mike Kennealy joined MassDevelopment President and CEO Dan Rivera and state and local officials to announce the funding today in a virtual event.

“Our administration is committed to helping communities achieve their economic development goals, and we will continue to work with the public and private sectors to ensure Massachusetts remains a great place to do business,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “The Site Readiness Program addresses both goals by helping local partners advance key sites to shovel-ready status, and we look forward to these awards supporting projects that create jobs and revenue in their communities.”

“Now in its fifth year, the Site Readiness Program provides valuable assistance for Massachusetts cities, towns and their economic development partners in support of local development goals,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito.“Together with other state programs like the Brownfields Redevelopment Fund and the MassWorks Infrastructure Program, Site Readiness grants are a key resource for revitalizing underused parcels, advancing local projects, and spurring growth across the Commonwealth.”

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 four rounds provided nearly $10.5 million for 49 projects in almost every region of the Commonwealth, increasing the development potential of 3,804 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.

The Site Readiness Program is part of the Community One Stop for Growth, a single application portal and collaborative review process for community and economic development grant programs that make targeted investments based on a development continuum. Applicants are encouraged to submit expressions of interest for FY22 funding, which will be accepted until April 2, 2021; full applications will be accepted from May 3 to June 4, 2021.

“The Baker-Polito Administration designed the Site Readiness Program as a catalyst for transforming underutilized parcels across the Commonwealth into actively used commercial or industrial sites,” said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Mike Kennealy. “We appreciate the Legislature’s reauthorization of this program, which enables us to continue investing in projects that advance locally driven development.”

“Every one of today’s 10 awards advances an important project and vision for each community,” said MassDevelopment President and CEO Dan Rivera.“These are the types of projects that the whole community has been waiting years for someone to get to work fixing! MassDevelopment is proud to administer the Site Readiness Program on behalf of the Commonwealth, and thanks the Baker-Polito Administration and Legislature for their continued leadership in supporting this important economic development tool.”

“The transition from previous economic anchors in our cities to a new era of development requires serious investment and the state Site Readiness funds are critical,” said Senator Adam Hinds. “These critical investments in every corner of the state ensures each community in our Commonwealth can compete right now and move forward.”

“The re-development of the former GE site has been a long and difficult one for our community,” said Representative Tricia Farley-Bouvier. “This state investment in site-readiness will go a long way in attracting new development. This is another great example of state and local partnership that sets Pittsfield up for success.”

“This is phenomenal news for the City of Pittsfield. I am exceedingly grateful to the Baker-Polito administration and MassDevelopment for their support and belief in Pittsfield. A tremendous amount of planning and effort went into the preparation for this competitive grant. This Site Readiness Grant Award reflects the solid partnership between the city and the Pittsfield Economic Development Authority, state partners, and our unwavering commitment to continuously strengthening Pittsfield’s position for new and expanding businesses at the William Stanley Business Park,” said Mayor Linda Tyer.  “Sitting on 16.5 acres, the Site 9 parcel is the largest and most visible section of the Business Park. We are thrilled to know that this funding marks a crucial first step toward initiating the groundwork for the preparation of this site, moving us one step closer  toward our vision for the transformation of the William Stanley Business Park.”

“This generous grant from the Baker-Polito Administration and MassDevelopment will build upon the positive momentum for the City of Pittsfield and the William Stanley Business Park including the opening of the Berkshire Innovation Center and the planned construction this summer of a 20,000 square foot building on Site 4,” said Mick Callahan, Chairman of the Pittsfield Economic Development Authority.  “The funding will incorporate the design and engineering services required for the design, environmental permitting and bid-ready documents for the phase one development plan including roadways, utilities, storm water quality, greenspace and fees to crush the existing concrete.”

The following projects received Site Readiness Program awards in FY21:

Carriage Grove Power Plant, Belchertown - $804,000
The Belchertown Economic Development and Industrial Corporation (BEDIC) will use Site Readiness funds for the abatement and demolition of the disused power plant at Carriage Grove. When cleared, the one-acre site will become a development pad or a parking area to support the development of an adjacent 15-acre industrial district.

Frederick Douglass Avenue, Brockton - $70,000
The City of Brockton and the Brockton Redevelopment Authority will use Site Readiness funds to complete due diligence, survey, appraisal, and related work to support the purchase, assemblage, and redevelopment of a key downtown site into a proposed 300-space public parking garage, workforce housing, and a vertical farm.

Burlington Mall Road, Burlington - $85,000
The Town of Burlington will use Site Readiness funds to prepare a master plan that will provide a development vision and implementation strategy for redeveloping the Town’s Burlington Mall Road corridor into a walkable mixed-use district.

Route 6/Route 240, Fairhaven - $75,000
The Town of Fairhaven will use this award to fund technical work in support of its Route 6/240 Redevelopment Study, which covers a 300-acre area and more than 150 properties near the interchange of Route 6 and Route 240. The funds will be used for an environmental assessment of barriers to development in the area with a focus on capped landfill.

Waterfront Redevelopment, Gloucester - $700,000
The City of Gloucester will use Site Readiness funds to support its working waterfront. The City is currently in the process of updating its Municipal Harbor Plan and will use the grant to support the redevelopment of strategically important property in the inner harbor.

Marriner Building, Lawrence - $135,000
Lawrence Community Works will use Site Readiness funds to remediate and improve the sprinkler system at the unoccupied Marriner Building, which will allow commercial tenants to occupy the facility. Lawrence Community Works received a $250,000 grant in the fourth round of the Site Readiness Program to commence these needed building code improvements to the building.

Millbrook Industrial Park, Leicester - $50,000
The Town of Leicester will use Site Readiness funds to undertake due diligence studies and market analysis for a largely underdeveloped 116-acre site with 2,000 feet of frontage on Huntoon Memorial Highway that could support up to 1.5 million square feet of development.

Church Street Bridge, Palmer - $280,000
The Town of Palmer will use Site Readiness funds to design the replacement of the Church Street Bridge over the Ware River. The bridge provides direct access to the Village of Thorndike and is critical to the redevelopment of the Thorndike Energy Mill Complex.

Site 9, Pittsfield - $880,000
The Pittsfield Economic Development Authority (PEDA) will use Site Readiness funds to complete the design, environmental permitting, and bid-ready documents for the construction of an internal site roadway, utilities, and stormwater facilities for this 16.5-acre site. The funds will be used for engineering and design services as well as crushing existing pavement on the site, which is expected to accommodate 282,000 square feet of industrial uses and open space.

Hudson Drive/Sam West Road Industrial Park, Southwick - $105,000
The Town of Southwick will use Site Readiness funds to evaluate the feasibility of extending a road connection between existing industrial areas along Hudson Drive and Sam West Road, thereby creating new development sites for industrial uses. The funds will also be used to study the potential extension of municipal sewer service to the area.

MassDevelopment, the state’s finance and development agency, works with businesses, nonprofits, banks, and communities to stimulate economic growth across the Commonwealth. During FY2020, MassDevelopment financed or managed 341 projects generating investment of more than $2.69 billion in the Massachusetts economy. These projects are estimated to create or support 10,871 jobs and build or preserve 1,787 housing units.