MassDevelopment Designates Districts in Brockton, New Bedford, and Pittsfield to Receive TDI Fellows in Program's Second Year
December 22, 2015
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Kelsey Abbruzzese, MassDevelopment, 617-330-2086 & 617-448-9077 (cell)
MassDevelopment has selected Brockton, New Bedford, and Pittsfield for its second round of Transformative Development Initiative (TDI) Fellows to advance local redevelopment visions in those cities’ TDI Districts. The TDI Fellows, who will have experience in city planning, community partnership building, real estate, and economic development, will work in their host Districts for three years in collaboration with local partnerships. These Fellows follow the successful initial placements earlier this year in Haverhill, Lynn, and Springfield.
“This grant is another recognition that Pittsfield is moving forward,” said Senator Ben Downing (D - Pittsfield).“Support through the TDI program will help revitalize the Tyler Street corridor and build on the great work of local business and community organizations."
MassDevelopment is accepting qualifications for these new Fellows positions, which will begin in spring 2016, on its website. Staff members from Peabody and Worcester will participate in this round as adjunct fellows, joining cohort activities such as monthly meetings, skills building, site visits, and regional leadership development.
“This funding will help New Bedford recruit top talent in its effort to attract new businesses to its historical downtown, a crucial part of the process of reinvigorating commerce in our city,” State Representative Antonio F.D. Cabral (13thBristol District) said. “The Gateway Cities Legislative Caucus is proud to have been part of the effort to create the Transformative Development Initiative and its fellowship program and I’m very excited to see what this new chapter in the partnership between MassDevelopment and the City of New Bedford will produce in the coming year.”
Brockton, New Bedford, and Pittsfield are three of the ten Gateway Cities selected in December 2014 as the pilot TDI Districts in Development—along with Haverhill, Holyoke, Lynn, Peabody, Revere, Springfield and Worcester. As a part of the program, each will receive a range of real estate development services to support local visions for redevelopment, and to catalyze and leverage investments and economic activities. Everett and Malden are receiving directed regional planning and implementation assistance to advance their Districts’ TDI visions.
“This is great news for the City of Brockton, it shows that MassDevelopment and the real estate development community takes us seriously, that we have an actionable plan, and are taking the right steps to implement it,” said Brockton Mayor Bill Carpenter. “One of my very first meetings as Mayor was with Marty Jones of MassDevelopment, where we talked about my strategy to revitalize downtown. I told her that I would be putting together a planning and economic development team and now that investment is paying dividends.”
MassDevelopment selected the three cities based on a demonstrated need for personnel to support the TDI Districts’ plans. The ten Districts in Development for the program’s pilot year were chosen from the twenty-six Gateway Cities’ submissions to the 2014 Call for Districts, in which all identified local collaborative partnerships, strategic district visions, and community engagement plans. Gateway Cities that were not designated this pilot year are eligible and encouraged to submit for future rounds. All twenty-six Gateway Cities, in addition to all Massachusetts cities and towns, will continue to receive and be eligible for typical MassDevelopment services.
“We have an ambitious agenda for the TDI district in downtown New Bedford that is ready to really take-off,” said New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell. “The ability to have a MassDevelopment fellow ensures our TDI partnership will have the sustainable bandwidth to execute to our potential. Investments like this are critical and MassDevelopment continues to be one of our strongest economic development partners,” he continued.
In its inaugural year, TDI also provided resources for all Gateway Cities with Cowork grants for innovative collaborative workspaces, and small Placemaking grants of $1,000 to $10,000 for small-scale projects supportive of district visions to help build community identity while supporting improvement of public spaces—such as pocket parks, pop-up stores, community gardens, and farmers’ markets.
“I am so grateful that the state has recognized this administration’s efforts in Morningside, and has rewarded that work by assigning a Transformative Development Fellow to assist our continued efforts,” said Pittsfield Mayor Daniel L. Bianchi. “By having this specialist appointed to Pittsfield the Tyler Street neighborhood will be more likely to understand and achieve its full potential. This full-time MassDevelopment employee will bring vast experience to the city. I am confident this level of expertise will recognize the great potential for commercial improvements and development, while preserving the industrially zoned land at the PEDA site. As the City benefits from the innovation center on the PEDA site, in the Morningside area, adequate land will be available for job creating development. This in turn will stimulate market rate housing investment and truly bring this area realize its vibrant potential by doing so and assist in the neighborhood’s development.”
“The first three Fellows have quickly become indispensable parts of the economic-development communities in Haverhill, Lynn, and Springfield by partnering with local organizations to create redevelopment opportunities,” said MassDevelopment President and CEO Marty Jones. “We look forward to the new faces that will arrive in Brockton, New Bedford, and Pittsfield to support those cities’ visions.”
MassDevelopment, the state’s finance and development agency, works with businesses, nonprofits, financial institutions, and communities to stimulate economic growth across the Commonwealth. During FY2015, MassDevelopment financed or managed 294 projects generating investment of more than $2.5 billion in the Massachusetts economy. These projects are projected to create about 6,100 jobs and build or rehabilitate about 2,000 residential units.