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MassDevelopment Announces Opening of Second Round of Transformative Development Districts

October 10, 2017


​Meggie Quackenbush, MassDevelopment, 617-330-2011 & 857-208-2777 (cell)

Through the Transformative Development Initiative, a place-based development program for Gateway Cities, MassDevelopment is soliciting nominations from Gateway City officials and their partners seeking to spur sustained economic development for designated districts in their cities. Once selected, TDI Districts will receive enhanced and customized technical assistance, capacity to implement district plans, real estate services, grants to spur local market activity, access to peer-to-peer learning opportunities, and eligibility for real estate equity investments that will leverage other investments and economic activities.

The program’s first call for nominations resulted in 10 districts across the Commonwealth, seven of which have TDI Fellows who provide economic development expertise and collaborative leadership in their cities. TDI’s pilot programs of placemaking and collaborative workspaces have served as an innovation lab for the agency, demonstrating value for Gateway Cities and catalyzing statewide programming.

MassDevelopment will designate four to six new districts as part of this second round. Current TDI partnerships can either apply for an extension of their existing TDI District, or apply to have a different district in their city considered for designation.

“The Transformative Development Initiative is a comprehensive approach to stimulating growth in the Commonwealth’s Gateway Cities,” said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash. “From Pittsfield to Peabody, we’ve seen communities create opportunities for economic growth and neighborhood revitalization through the TDI District designation. The Baker-Polito Administration is excited for the next step in this critical program.”

“TDI’s first three years have taught us a great deal about how to approach economic development in the Commonwealth’s Gateway Cities,” said MassDevelopment President and CEO Lauren Liss. “TDI Districts are the heart of this program, as these areas – often in downtowns or critical commercial areas – lay the groundwork for community engagement and partnership. We look forward to reviewing the nominations and selecting an exciting group of districts.”

MassDevelopment's Transformative Development Initiative is a comprehensive place-based acceleratordesigned to implement local, strategic revitalization activities and catalyze community investment. The program enhances public-private engagement and community identity, stimulates improved quality-of-life for residents, and spurs increased investment and economic activities. MassDevelopment complements TDI with existing Agency finance products and real estate services, and coordinates with private- and public-sector partners to encourage development activities by private landowners, enterprises, and investors. MassDevelopment created the Transformative Development Fund in 2014 and selected 10 of the 26 Gateway Cities for a three-year pilot program that began that year. In August 2016, Governor Baker signed An Act Relative to Job Creation and Workforce Development (H.4569) which included a $45 million authorization for the Transformative Development Initiative to support MassDevelopment efforts to make long-term patient equity investments in key properties in TDI Districts.

MassDevelopment, the state’s finance and development agency, works with businesses, nonprofits, financial institutions, and communities to stimulate economic growth across the Commonwealth. During FY2017, MassDevelopment financed or managed 377 projects generating investment of more than $4.3 billion in the Massachusetts economy. These projects are projected to create about 9,488 jobs and build or rehabilitate 1,863 residential units.