For Immediate Release - June 05, 2008

Governor Patrick Announces $1.3 Million M.O.R.E. Grant for New Bedford

Fairhaven Mills Redevelopment Project To Create 300 Jobs To Bolster The Local Economy

NEW BEDFORD - Thursday, June 5, 2008 - Governor Deval Patrick today announced the Fairhaven Mills Redevelopment Project in New Bedford has been awarded a $1.3 million Massachusetts Opportunity Relocation And Expansion (MORE) Jobs grant to widen the highway off ramp and add traffic signals to support the new traffic associated with the development of over 125,000 sq. ft. of medical and commercial space resulting in 300 permanent jobs. This is the 1st of 20 grants that will be awarded in this second round of the MORE Jobs program.

The announcement comes weeks after Governor Patrick laid out his economic plan to create a culture of opportunity focused on restrained spending with immediate and long-term investments, while preparing for the impacts of a softening national economy. The MORE Jobs Program is just one more tool that the administration is using to stimulate economy growth across the state

"The MORE Jobs Program provides resources to support partnerships between local municipalities and the private sector to foster development and help create hundreds of new jobs," said Governor Deval Patrick. "I am proud our administration can partner with cities and towns in this way to help both the state and local economies flourish."

The Fairhaven Mills Redevelopment Project will result in about 70,000 sq. ft. of retail/restaurant development within three buildings, 31,100 sq. ft. of commercial development, and 24,000 sq. ft. of medical office use. The project will also provide deeded public access to the waterfront via a riverfront promenade, a community boathouse located on land provided by the developer, and superior access to an adjacent 8-acre future development site. The project will develop 300 permanent full-time jobs. When completed the project will replace an underutilized site with a vibrant new commercial development which will serve as the gateway to New Bedford will have been created

The MORE program was established in an economic stimulus bill that was passed by the legislature and signed into law June 24, 2006 (chapter 123 of the Acts of 2006). The measure was championed by the co-chairmen of the Joint Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies, Sen. Jack Hart (D- South Boston) and Rep. Daniel Bosley (D- North Adams). Grants must be used for public infrastructure improvements, with the ultimate goal of making both public and private parcels ready for new business growth and relocation.

The site for this development project was also named as a Growth District earlier this year by the Patrick administration. As such, New Bedford has agreed to partner with the state to plan for significant commercial, residential, or mixed-use growth. The area is also 1 of 6 local parcel that have been identified as a Chapter 43D Priority Development Sites on which New Bedford agrees to permit projects in 6 months or less, and has received a $150,000 Chapter 43D technical assistance grant to assist in that effort. The private sector partner for this project is Dickinson Development Corporation.

Over the several weeks the Patrick administration will announce municipalities that have been selected to receive round 2 of MORE Job Grants. New Bedford is the first of these announcements statewide.

Since 2007, New Bedford has received significant funding from the state including nearly $2 million in public safety funds, nearly $200,000 in workforce training funds, and more than a million dollars for the dredging project in New Bedford Fairhaven Harbor.