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MassDevelopment Provides $310,000 for Real Estate Projects Across Massachusetts

July 17, 2019


Kelsey Schiller, MassDevelopment, 617-330-2011 & 617-694-9695 (cell)

MassDevelopment has announced up to $310,000 in funding for 10 projects through its Real Estate Technical Assistance program. Through a combination of in-house expertise and contracts with consultants, under this program MassDevelopment works with municipal officials, planners, local stakeholders, and others to address site-specific and district-wide economic development challenges. The technical assistance funds will support a range of projects, from feasibility studies to master planning efforts.

“As part of our mission to help communities thrive, we’re proud to provide funding for real estate services that will advance local economic development goals in 10 cities and towns around the Commonwealth,” said MassDevelopment President and CEO Lauren Liss. “These projects will enable municipalities to explore the development potential of key properties, address streetscape and infrastructure needs, and plan for smart growth.”

The FY20 awardees are:

City of Attleboro, Downtown DIF Study
The City of Attleboro will use this award to develop a District Improvement Financing (DIF) District encompassing portions of the city’s downtown in advance of planned growth near the commuter rail. Programs and improvements under consideration for funding through DIF proceeds include downtown Wi-Fi, streetscape enhancements, and transportation infrastructure improvements.

Town of Athol, Exit 18 Hotel Development
The Town of Athol seeks to attract a hotel development to an undeveloped parcel that abuts Route 2 to provide quality lodging for business, travel, or tourism-related purposes. The town will use this award to perform and develop conceptual or illustrative plans to market the location.

Town of Bedford, Crosby Drive Business District Plan
The Town of Bedford will use this award to develop a master plan and vision for its Crosby Drive Business District. The district comprises approximately 4.3 million square feet of office and industrial space, primarily occupied by single-use business parks. To address increasing office vacancies, the town is seeking recommendations and strategies to encourage real estate development and business investment.

Town of Greenfield, First National Bank Re-Use Study Phase II
The Town of Greenfield will use this award to prepare a market assessment and operational analysis of proposed uses in the First National Bank and Trust building. This is a follow-on to the feasibility study that consultant Taylor Burns completed in June 2019.

City of Holyoke, National Guard Armory Re-Use
The City of Holyoke will use this award to develop architectural and financial analyses to determine the cost of rehabilitation of the former National Guard Armory at 163 Sargeant Street. Findings from the analyses will help the city secure additional funding needed to move the project forward.

City of Lowell, Gallagher Terminal Transit-Oriented Development
The City of Lowell will use this award to develop market-responsive conceptual build-out scenarios around the Gallagher Terminal, the city’s MBTA station and multimodal transit hub.

Town of Shrewsbury, Beal School Site Request for Proposals
This award is a follow-on to the Town Center Master Plan and Beal School Site re-use visioning project funded by MassDevelopment through the FY19 Real Estate Technical Assistance round. The Beal School site, a key site in Shrewsbury Town Center, will become surplus in 2021, when the school will relocate. The Town of Shrewsbury will use this award for additional research and development of a Request for Proposals to advance redevelopment of the site in accordance with the goals outlined in the visioning project.

Town of Webster, Investor Prospectus & Marketing Assistance
The Town of Webster will use this award to prepare a market analysis and investor prospectus for the town’s priority development sites and Opportunity Zone.

Town of Westport, Westport High School Re-Use Study
The Town of Westport will use this award to develop a highest and best use analysis for the Westport High School property that will be decommissioned in 2022. The town has established a Building Re-Use Committee to begin the exploratory process of potential re-use scenarios.

Town of Grafton, Eastern Gateway Plan
The town of Grafton will use this award to develop a re-use plan for a town-owned Department of Public Works site. The site is served by mass transit and has the potential to create more housing and economic opportunities in and around Grafton Center.

MassDevelopment, the state’s finance and development agency, works with businesses, nonprofits, financial institutions, and communities to stimulate economic growth across the Commonwealth. During FY2018, MassDevelopment financed or managed 384 projects generating investment of more than $4.1 billion in the Massachusetts economy. These projects are estimated to create or support 10,994 jobs and build or rehabilitate 830 housing units.