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Hampden Bank, MassDevelopment Partner to Help Springfield Florist Buy Tornado-Damaged Building in South End

August 20, 2012

Richard L. DeBonis, Hampden Bank, 413-452-5118
Kelsey Abbruzzese, MassDevelopment, 617-330-2086 & 617-448-9077 (cell)

Hampden Bank has provided a mortgage loan, enhanced by a $157,500 MassDevelopment mortgage insurance guaranty, to Bertelli Realty Group – a real estate entity of Brent Bertelli, the owner of Langone’s Florist in Springfield – for the purchase of a 20,000-square-foot mixed-use building in the south end of Springfield’s Main Street. The building was office space for law firms and a real estate agency before the June 2011 tornado blew out the windows and ripped open the roof. Bertelli will move his flower shop into renovated retail space on the first floor and will rehabilitate the upper floors as office space, along with seeking another first-floor retailer.

According to Glenn S. Welch, President & COO of Hampden Bank, “This is a prime example of how collaboration and commitment can make a real difference in turning a tragedy into brighter days for everyone involved. We are proud to partner with MassDevelopment to help make this a project a reality and we applaud Brent Bertelli and the Bertelli Realty Group for their confidence and commitment to the City of Springfield. I’d also like to give special recognition to one of our own, Vice President David Chase, who worked closely with Mr. Bertelli on this project.”

“MassDevelopment applauds Hampden Bank and Brent Bertelli's commitment to Springfield’s South End after last summer’s devastating tornado,” said MassDevelopment President and CEO Marty Jones. “Rebuilding these parts of Springfield takes the dedication of forward-thinking business owners such as Mr. Bertelli, and we look forward to supporting him and others like him in their efforts.”

“Despite the effects of the tornado that tore through the South End of Springfield in 2011, we have been fortunate to see a 40 percent growth in business sales over the past 24 months,” Brent Bertelli said. “This growth forced us to seek out a larger facility that could accommodate our increased business. Our golden opportunity arose when the For Sale sign went up on 935 Main Street. Not only would it satisfy our need for a larger space, but it would give us the chance to redevelop in the community that has supported Langone’s Florist for decades. Purchasing this keystone property was made possible by a lot of hard work and the support of Hampden Bank and MassDevelopment. And my awesome wife.”

MassDevelopment, the state’s finance and development agency, works with businesses, nonprofits, financial institutions, and communities to stimulate economic growth across the Commonwealth. During FY2011, MassDevelopment financed or managed more than 300 projects generating investment of $3.8 billion in the Massachusetts economy. These projects are projected to create more than 10,000 jobs (2,547 permanent and 8,129 construction), and build or rehabilitate more than 1,000 residential units.