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MassDevelopment, Newburyport Partner to Create Plan for City’s Waterfront

April 12, 2012


Contacts:
Kelsey Abbruzzese, MassDevelopment, 617-330-2086 & 617-448-9077
Lois Honegger, City of Newburyport, 978-465-4413
James Shanley, Newburyport Redevelopment Authority, 978-388-1052

The Newburyport Redevelopment Authority (NRA), the City of Newburyport, and MassDevelopment have agreed to undertake a collaborative planning process for two key parcels on Newburyport’s waterfront. MassDevelopment has provided $25,000 in predevelopment funds for this effort, which has been matched by the City and the NRA. The project includes a comprehensive assessment of the parcels, a series of public meetings to solicit input on alternative design options, and a final redevelopment plan that potential developers can consider.

“The partnership with MassDevelopment, NRA and the City is a step forward to find a means to finally create the waterfront park long desired by the residents of Newburyport,” said Newburyport Mayor Donna Holaday. “The process will be very public as we evaluate the potential to sell and control the development of a limited number of lots to finance this process, enhance the waterfront, and create additional open space on the waterfront.”

“The Newburyport Redevelopment Authority is excited to be working with MassDevelopment and the City of Newburyport on this important project that will add jobs, vitality and revenue to our historic seaport community while expanding our beautiful waterfront park,” said James Shanley, Chairman of the NRA. “We believe that the expertise of MassDevelopment and the team that has been assembled, coupled with our understanding of our community, will make for a successful outcome.”

“MassDevelopment is pleased this study is now underway in Newburyport and looks forward to helping plan for these parcels on the City’s beautiful waterfront,” said MassDevelopment President and CEO Marty Jones. “I thank Mayor Holaday and the Newburyport Redevelopment Authority for their support and partnership in this process.”

When Newburyport’s urban renewal project first began, the parcels’ use as parking lots was meant to be temporary. Now, the City hopes to increase open space on the waterfront and connect its walkable downtown to the Merrimack River. A new downtown parking program has made parking management more efficient, which could allow more non-parking uses on waterfront parcels.

Public meetings to discuss plans for the waterfront are scheduled to begin in later this spring.

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.