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Carriage Grove, Belchertown

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Carriage Grove is a new neighborhood in Belchertown, master-planned for up to 581,000 square feet of mixed-use development.

Background

Following the Belchertown State School closure in 1992, the Belchertown Economic Development and Industrial Corporation (BEDIC) purchased the Carriage Grove site from the state. The main campus of the property contained almost 400,000 square feet of abandoned buildings and utility tunnels with significant environmental issues that required abatement and demolition. After several years, the BEDIC and the town asked MassDevelopment for assistance in moving this development project forward.

In late 2012, MassDevelopment joined the town of Belchertown and the BEDIC to act as the BEDIC’s agent and to help to create a development vision and pre-permitted master plan for the site. The plan addresses regional housing demand as part of a larger mixed-use development, including medical, retail, restaurant, industrial and certain residential uses, and aims to retain community character while providing employment and growth opportunities and encouraging commercial and cultural activities.

Progress to Date

The project has received a Certificate for the Final Environmental Impact Report through the MEPA state permitting process and the BEDIC and MassDevelopment have been successful in leveraging state funds to receive multiple U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Brownfields Clean Up awards. As of late 2020, approximately 325,000 square feet of vacant buildings have been abated and demolished.

In October 2017, the MassWorks Infrastructure grant program awarded MassDevelopment $3 million for the construction of Carriage Drive. This 2,000 linear-feet road and associated utilities and amenities opens up the entire site for housing and commercial/industrial uses. The street was completed in 2019.

In June 2018, Christopher Heights of Belchertown opened their 83-unit, mixed-income assisted living facility, creating 40 permanent jobs and supporting 65 construction jobs. The town invested $1.25 million to construct the infrastructure necessary to support the assisted living facility and open the larger site for development opportunities. This work, along with the construction of Carriage Drive, allowed for construction of the 2,600-square-foot Belchertown Day School that opened in September 2020.

Ongoing and Future Projects

To support light industrial and commercial development at Carriage Grove, MassDevelopment and the BEDIC secured funding in 2020 from the U.S. Economic Development Administration and the state's Site Readiness Program to construct a road and utility infrastructure for a 15-acre industrial area. Work began in fall 2022 and is scheduled to be complete in spring 2023. The BEDIC is under contract with Brisa Ventures, LLC to develop 12-acres into approximately 100 units of mixed income housing and to repurpose the former Administration Building into a community center, museum, cultural space, and either restaurant, brewery, or distillery.

 

For more information, contact:

Robert Jenkins, Senior Vice President Real Estate Development
Phone: 617-512-8092
Email: rjenkins@massdevelopment.com