Transformative Development Initiative Launches Placemaking for Gateway Cities

July 28, 2015


Kelsey Abbruzzese, MassDevelopment, 617-330-2086 & 617-448-9077 (cell)

As a part of the Transformative Development Initiative (TDI), an integrated place-based program designed to implement locally initiated, strategic, catalytic, and sustainable revitalization activities, MassDevelopment is providing $71,400 in grants through TDI Places. TDI Places is a placemaking program that supports small-scale, short-term projects in Gateway Cities such as temporary pocket parks, pop-up stores, community gardens, and enhanced farmers’ and makers’ markets. With these awards, grant winners will help support and advance the cities’ strategic redevelopment visions outlined in response to a 2014 call for TDI Districts
“Placemaking projects such as farmers markets, parklets, and art installations are small efforts that make a big impact in the Commonwealth’s urban centers,” said MassDevelopment President and CEO Marty Jones. “We’re pleased to partner with these Gateway Cities on their creative proposals as they build ownership in a district’s future with a wide group of stakeholders, and we look forward to the dynamic activities happening this summer.” 
The following projects will receive grant funds:

City Award Description
Chicopee $7,500 The City will hold a Downtown Block Party in the West End’s City Center and will use local food, art installations, pop-up stores, and events to engage businesses and residents in future transformation of the district.
Haverhill $6,000 A “Lunch + Meet Spot” for residents and workers near the east end of Merrimack Street by the new Harbor Place development will reimagine an underused public plaza into a colorful, shaded outdoor dining and leisure area.
Holyoke $7,500 A competition and installation of dynamic street furniture by Holyoke-based artists and makers will serve as permanent infrastructure and public art, further showcasing the Holyoke creative economy.
New Bedford $7,500 “Dining in the Wings” will create a unique place to eat, meet, and socialize at Wing’s Court off Purchase Street.
Peabody $3,200 A modular pop-up café and parklet, which YouthBuild North Shore will build, will be next to the Peabody Institute Library.
Salem $6,000 The City will focus on public art-based placemaking, creating an artistic crosswalk across Lafayette Street to further enhance the visibility and engagement in the district.

The following projects will receive smaller grant awards plus technical assistance during their development:

City Award Description
Brockton $5,000 The City will hold a farmers’ market at the newly redesigned City Hall Plaza, with enhanced features to bring new workers and residents to the market and park.
Fitchburg $5,000 Four locations in downtown Fitchburg will host temporary art installations and music events.
Lawrence $5,000 The Lawrence Food Truck Park, in the heart of downtown on Essex Street, will engage the City’s burgeoning food truck scene and feature ongoing programming and physical improvements.
Leominster $5,000 Leominster will revitalize and enhance the downtown’s Monument Square for recurring events including the “Market on the Common.”
Springfield $5,000 In September and October, the City will offer “Cinema under the Stars,” a five-week outdoor film series in its TDI District.
Westfield $5,000 To create a vibrant outdoor space in the heart of the Elm Street corridor in a former empty lot, Westfield will introduce additional placemaking elements around the Crepes Tea House food truck.
Worcester $3,700 The Worcester Local Kickoff Weekend will include enhancements, such as a pop-up café, around music events, food trucks, and vendors at Worcester Common, creating additional vibrancy around Franklin Street’s empty storefronts.

TDI Places awards one-time grants to nonprofit organizations from TDI partnership teams. MassDevelopment encouraged all 26 Gateway Cities to apply for projects in their original TDI District proposals. In May, the Agency held a placemaking workshop in Lowell for stakeholders to work with experienced consultants on their proposals.
MassDevelopment, the state’s finance and development agency, works with businesses, nonprofits, financial institutions, and communities to stimulate economic growth across the Commonwealth. During FY2014, MassDevelopment financed or managed 314 projects generating investment of more than $2.9 billion in the Massachusetts economy. These projects are projected to create more than 6,300 jobs and build or rehabilitate more than 1,600 residential units.