MassDevelopment

Public-Private Partnership Plus $80,000 in MassDevelopment Brownfields Funds to Lay Groundwork for Handicap-Accessible YMCA Parking Lot in Downtown Athol

February 11, 2010


Contact:
Kelsey Abbruzzese, MassDevelopment, 617-330-2086

MassDevelopment has awarded an additional $15,599 in brownfields funds to the Town of Athol – for a total of nearly $80,000 – to create a new parking lot at 51 School Street for patrons with handicaps. The Town and the Athol Area YMCA will use funds to build a parking lot next to the Athol Area YMCA on School Street to provide ADA accessible handicap parking for the organization and municipal buildings.

“Getting this site cleaned up and redeveloped to support the Y is exactly what the Brownfields Redevelopment Fund is for,” said MassDevelopment President and CEO Robert L. Culver.

Officials at the YMCA say an average of 250 to 450 people visit the organization daily, and the steep incline of the street limits the availability of on-street parking spaces that meet ADA requirements. With construction expected to start in late spring, the parking lot will provide spaces to alleviate this issue, once it has been installed on a vacant downtown site that housed a gas station and car dealership.

“This is an ideal public/private partnership that eliminates a blight, enhances our downtown and increase YMCA physical therapy capacity for those in need,” said Athol Town Manager David Ames. “I am very appreciative of MassDevelopment's support.”

MassDevelopment, the state's finance and development authority, works with businesses, financial institutions, and communities to stimulate economic growth across the Commonwealth. During FY2009, MassDevelopment financed or managed 229 projects statewide representing the investment of nearly $1.2 billion in the Massachusetts economy. These projects are supporting the creation of 1,488 new housing units and 8,232 jobs: 3,362 permanent and 4,870 construction-related.