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Local Developer to Transform Downtown Leominster Building, Create 50 Jobs with MassDevelopment Loans

October 31, 2012

Kelsey Abbruzzese, MassDevelopment, 617-330-2086 & 617-448-9077 (cell)

MassDevelopment has provided two loans – a $2.68 million construction-to-permanent mortgage loan and a $60,000 brownfields loan – to 98 Adams Street LLC, a real estate entity run by local developer Jim Whitney. Whitney will use loan proceeds to buy and rehabilitate an abandoned five-acre manufacturing property in downtown Leominster, transforming one of the two buildings on site into a professional office building with exposed brick and wood beam interiors. Whitney expects about 50 jobs to be created in Leominster as a result of the project, along with 13 construction jobs.

“The redevelopment of 98 Adams Street marries two core tenets of MassDevelopment’s mission: eliminating blight and creating jobs,” said MassDevelopment President and CEO Marty Jones. “Jim Whitney has a sterling track record in successfully redeveloping properties in Leominster, and we’re pleased to support his work in the City's downtown.”

In 2010, MassDevelopment provided a $1 million loan to help Whitney complete renovations at 40 Spruce Street in downtown Leominster, a previously blighted property that now houses Community HealthLink, an affiliate of UMass/Memorial Health Care. Several surrounding properties have already been fully or partially renovated due in part to the upgrade Whitney made to 40 Spruce Street, while the City of Leominster used Community Block Grant funds to improve the streets and sidewalks in the area.

“Now that the Whitney Square at 40 Spruce St. is nearing completion, I am looking forward to working with the city of Leominster, MassDevelopment and the Massachusetts economic development office to transform the last blighted area in Leominster into another successful project as was the case in the Comb and Carriage district,” said Jim Whitney.

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.