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City of Leominster Receives $9.8K Brownfields Site Assessment Grant From MassDevelopment For Distressed East Side Property

January 13, 2015


Emily Dahl, MassDevelopment, 617-330-2086 & 978-394-3506 (cell)
Wendy Wiiks, Office of Leominster Mayor Dean Mazzarella, 978-534-7500

MassDevelopment has awarded a $9,800 Brownfields Site Assessment Grant to the City of Leominster to provide for the environmental assessment of 139 Seventh Street, a vacant one-story commercial building located on the east side of Leominster, one of the City’s oldest neighborhoods.

The City of Leominster took this property in a tax title foreclosure action in the summer of 2014. The property has been the source of environmental and public safety hazards including a reported oil leak and numerous fires. Built in 1910, the property was most recently used as a plastic manufacturing facility and is sited in a dense residential neighborhood. The building sits less than ten feet from a residence.

“Helping communities remediate and revitalize properties to eliminate blight is a core part of MassDevelopment’s mission,” said Marty Jones, President and CEO of MassDevelopment. “MassDevelopment is pleased to assist the City of Leominster in its environmental assessment of 139 Seventh Street, and commends Mayor Mazzarella for his commitment to identifying and cleaning up sites like this.”

“The East Side is filled with homeowners who take pride in their neighborhood and their properties. It is for this reason that it is critical to address problem properties such as 139 Seventh Street as soon as possible,” said Leominster Mayor Dean Mazzarella. “Vacant, run-down buildings tend to cause increased crime and unsafe conditions that can quickly spread to nearby properties if let go on too long. We are pleased to receive these funds from MassDevelopment to begin the environmental assessment of the property with the eventual goal of demolition and cleanup of the site.”

In 2009, the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development awarded the City of Leominster a Gateway Plus Action Grant to examine opportunities for Leominster’s east side. The City has invested a significant amount of money through the establishment of a distressed properties committee and targeted use of its Community Development Block Grant funds to east side properties. The Gateway Plus Action Plan allowed the City to complete a comprehensive neighborhood evaluation and come up with specific action steps to revitalize the area, including remediating and redeveloping 139 Seventh Street. The Brownfields site assessment grant through MassDevelopment will help to identify what remediation measures the site may need.

MassDevelopment, the state’s finance and development agency, works with businesses, nonprofits, financial institutions, and communities to stimulate economic growth across the Commonwealth. During FY2014, MassDevelopment financed or managed 314 projects generating investment of more than $2.9 billion in the Massachusetts economy. These projects are projected to create more than 6,300 jobs and build or rehabilitate more than 1,600 residential units.