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Baker-Polito Administration Makes $2.5 Million Available for the Development of Project Ready Sites

September 20, 2017


Michelle Hillman, Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development

Meggie Quackenbush, MassDevelopment

WORCESTER, MA – Today the Baker-Polito Administration announced the opening of a $2.5 million funding round for the Site Readiness Program which provides grants to municipalities for feasibility studies, master planning, environmental work, strategic land acquisition, and site improvements.

The opening was announced by Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash at the Central Mass Town Managers Meeting at Union Station in Worcester. The Site Readiness Program was created to provide vital resources to municipalities, developers, and community development corporations that will help increase the inventory of large, development-ready sites across the Commonwealth.

“Massachusetts is fortunate to have one of the strongest economies in the nation thanks in part to our ability to plan for future development and direct resources where they will have the most impact,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “The Site Readiness Program provides communities with the funds necessary to prepare strategic sites for future investment, driving economic development and job growth across the Commonwealth.”

“This initiative provides Massachusetts communities with the tools they need to break down barriers to site readiness and development,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “We look forward to working with municipalities, developers, and community development corporations across the state to lay the groundwork for future investments and growth.”

The first grant round, announced in June 2017, included 14 grants to 12 communities and economic development entities across the state. The online application is available on the MassDevelopment website.

“The Site Readiness Program helps municipalities position themselves as attractive places for companies to locate and grow their businesses,” said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash. “This second funding round will build on the good work of the first round and allow us to continue supporting projects that will bring increased economic activity our cities and towns.”

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 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.

“MassDevelopment understands how important creating shovel-ready, well-located sites can be to supporting economic growth and development in our communities,” said MassDevelopment President and CEO Lauren Liss. “We look forward to helping municipalities use the Site Readiness Program to give developers the foundation they need to build job and revenue-generating projects, and we remain grateful to the Baker-Polito administration for its leadership on this initiative.”

MassDevelopment, the state’s finance and development agency, works with businesses, nonprofits, financial institutions, and communities to stimulate economic growth across the Commonwealth. During FY2016, MassDevelopment financed or managed 352 projects generating investment of more than $4 billion in the Massachusetts economy. These projects are projected to create about 8,200 jobs and build or rehabilitate about 4,200 residential units.