Site Readiness Program
The Site Readiness Program, administered by MassDevelopment, aims to increase the Commonwealth’s inventory of large, well-located, project-ready sites; to accelerate private-sector investment in industrial and commercial projects; and to support the conversion of abandoned sites and obsolete facilities into clean, actively used, tax-generating properties. In its first six years, the program has awarded approximately $15.9 million to 68 projects in almost every region of the Commonwealth.
This program is now part of the Community One Stop for Growth, a single application portal and collaborative review process for community and economic development grant programs that make targeted investments based on a Development Continuum. This process will streamline the experience for the applicant and better coordinate programs and staff on engagement and grant making. It will also reorient the state from a passive reviewer of funding requests to an active partner in economic development strategy, priorities, and investment. Access to this program is now exclusively available through the One Stop. Learn more about the One Stop.
MassDevelopment will be accepting applications for funding in all of the eligible use categories described in the program guidelines and summarized below:
- Available assistance includes, but is not limited to, the following types of activities:
- Site Concept Plans – Including feasibility and planning studies in addition to concept-level master planning.
- Site Market Studies – Including broker consultation, market analysis, and development of marketing materials.
- Site Acquisition and Related Tasks – Including costs of property acquisition, title analysis, surveying, and legal fees.
- Construction of Site-Related Upgrades - Including utilities and roadways.
Predevelopment and Permitting
Available assistance includes, but is not limited to, the following types of activities:
- Engineering Documents – Including design and pricing of on- and off-site access and infrastructure improvements.
- Pre-permitting and Permitting – Including assistance in reviewing existing zoning, permitting or other regulatory issues as well as in undertaking pre-permitting activities. Also includes studies related to specific site issues including traffic, historic resources, rare species, utilities, etc.
- Pro-Forma Development
- Due Diligence Activities – Including Phase I environmental review and existing conditions analysis.
MassDevelopment will consider the following criteria when reviewing Site Readiness applications. While few sites will satisfy every criterion, applications will be reviewed on a relative basis. Review criteria will be used to assess the likelihood of requested funding to advance a project towards site readiness, future development, and resulting public benefits.
- Community support for industrial development (43D/Priority Development Area designation may serve as an indicator)
- Consistency with the existing municipal master plan and/or regional plans
- As-of-right zoning or an affirmative statement from municipality to seek as-of-right zoning
- Regional impact and regional appropriateness
- Property size and scale of development (the program is targeting a minimum of 50,000 SF of developable space)
- Level of potential of private investment on the site
- Benefits enabled (including new permanent and construction jobs created)
- Site access (proximity to highways and/or rail)
- Appropriateness of location (including proximity to housing and known off-site impacts)
- Marketability of the site (active interest a plus)
- Availability of matching funds from landowner and/or local contribution (including, but not limited to, tax increment financing or other financial commitments)
Grant Terms and Conditions
Grantees will be required to execute a standard grant agreement. The agreement provides that in most instances, the Commonwealth will be repaid from any net land sale proceeds, long-term lease revenue, or refinancing proceeds. If a grant does not result in new revenues, there is no repayment obligation.
For additional details, see the Program Guidelines. Please watch this site for additional details as they become available.
For more information, contact:
Vice President, Real Estate Services
On March 9, 2021, the Baker-Polito Administration announced $3,184,000 in funding for 10 projects in the fifth annual round of Site Readiness Program awards. The funding will finance predevelopment work including feasibility studies, master planning, environmental work, strategic land acquisition, and site improvements, increasing the development potential of nearly 900 acres across the Commonwealth. Read the full release here
In July 2020, the Baker-Polito Administration announced over $3.6 million for 12 projects in its fourth annual round of Site Readiness Program awards. The awards will finance feasibility studies, master planning, environmental work, strategic land acquisition, and site improvements, resulting in critical additions to the Commonwealth’s inventory of large, development-ready sites. Read the full release here
In March 2019, the Baker-Polito Administration announced nearly $2.5 million in Site Readiness awards for 10 projects. The funding will be used for a variety of purposes including land acquisition, roadway design, MEPA permitting and demolition. Read the full release here
In February 2018, the Baker-Polito Administration announced nearly $2.5 million in funding for 12 projects as part of the second round of the Site Readiness Program. The 12 grants to municipalities and development agencies will finance feasibility studies, master planning, environmental work, strategic land acquisition, and site improvements. Read the full release here
In June 2017, the first year of the program, the Baker-Polito Administration announced $1.8 million in Site Readiness awards to 14 projects. Read the full release here