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Fitchburg, Gardner get $100K for remediation

January 23, 2020 : Worcester Business Journal, by Thomas Grillo

The cities of Fitchburg and Gardner are sharing in more than $2.6 million in Massachusetts Brownfields Redevelopment Fund awards to support the environmental cleanup of three contaminated parcels.

These funds help municipalities unlock key sites and set the stage for economic development.

  • 62 Academy St., Fitchburg: $20,000 to an affiliate of NewVue Affordable Housing Corp. The nonprofit plans to use the cash to clean the former B.F. Brown School and develop 62 units of mixed-income artist live/work units dubbed the Fitchburg Arts Community.
  • 80 Lunenburg St., Fitchburg: $67,000 for the city to remediate a vacant 1.3-acre lot near downtown Fitchburg, as it continues to market the site for a mixed-use commercial redevelopment.
  • 246-248 Central St., Gardner: $19,148 for NewVue Affordable Housing Corp. to redevelop the parcel into a veterans’ housing and outreach center.

These grants were part of the Gov. Charlie Baker administration’s brownfields funding for 16 projects to support environmental assessment and cleanup of 44 acres intended to create or preserve 682 housing units, and provide 1,625 jobs.

MassDevelopment, the state’s housing bank, oversees the fund. Its mission is to transform abandoned, or underused industrial or commercial properties by financing the environmental assessment and remediation of these brownfield sites in economically distressed locations.

Since its inception in 1998, the program has supported 743 awards for a total investment of more than $107 million.