For Immediate Release - September 30, 2009

PATRICK-MURRAY ADMINISTRATION ANNOUNCES $1.68M GRANT TO CONTINUE DOWNTOWN REVITALIZATION

Support for new parking garage and housing latest in millions of investments in Haverhill from the Commonwealth

HAVERHILL - Wednesday, September 30, 2009 - As part of the Patrick-Murray Administration's plan to secure the state's economic future, Governor Deval Patrick, along with state and local officials, today toured several new and recent public-private investments in the City of Haverhill, including attending a groundbreaking for a new state supported housing development where the Governor awarded a $1.68 million Growth District grant to help construct a new parking garage.

"We are committed to creating economic opportunity here in Haverhill and in communities across our Commonwealth," said Governor Deval Patrick. "The jobs, housing and infrastructure created through this partnership will give way to long term prosperity, growth, and recovery for the city and people of Haverhill."

Haverhill's 53-acre downtown area was designated as the state's second Growth District which will enable the state to make targeted projects "development ready" and expedite commercial and residential development in the area. This new $1.68 million investment will aid in the construction of a 325-space parking garage. The project's total cost is estimated at $9.5 million and is currently undergoing final design with construction set to commence in mid-May 2010. This grant represents a 20% state match of federal transit dollars.

"While the voting schedule in Washington prevents me from being in Haverhill today, I am so pleased that Governor Patrick is providing the state funds needed to leverage $7.3 million in previously appropriated federal money and move this critical project forward," said Congresswoman Niki Tsongas. "The presence of the parking garage will boost ongoing revitalization efforts in downtown Haverhill, enhance economic development and create jobs, while improving transportation and quality of life for Haverhill residents. This is exactly the type of investment in the health of our cities that we should be making and it couldn't have been achieved without local, state, and federal partners working cooperatively."

"I am pleased and honored once again to welcome Governor Patrick to Haverhill. It's clear that the Governor has been very good to Haverhill," said Mayor James J. Fiorentini. " His Administration has produced important results on formerly-stalled projects such as these conversions of old shoes mills into housing and mixed used developments, luring Southwick Clothing and Brooks Brothers, the Boardwalk, and now the downtown Parking Garage. I am particularly proud that this Administration values and appreciates the smart growth strategies we have adopted in Haverhill and the significant private investment and economic development occurring in the City."

The ribbon cutting ceremony where the Governor made this announcement was held at the site of the Hamel Mills Lofts 305 housing unit project. Hamel Mills, a $70 million development, the single largest ever in Haverhill, was funded in part by the state's Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), which provided $1,447,599 in low-income housing tax credits.

"This will be a tremendous boost for the economic development of the downtown Haverhill area," said Senator Steve Baddour. "I think it's terrific news, and I look forward to seeing the project move forward."

"I am happy that the state was able to provide the final piece that allows the garage project to move forward," stated Representative Brian Dempsey. "This grant creatively rewards pro-growth communities that are leveraging large amounts of private capital to support jobs, economic development and housing. This garage facility is a key piece of the ongoing development of downtown, and demonstrates that Governor Patrick and Secretary Greg Bialecki support that," Dempsey added.

Earlier in the day, the Governor, Mayor Fiorentini, and other officials convened at the Haverhill Commuter Rail station to view the visible results of the state's investments in Haverhill. On the list of projects discussed was the site of the future parking garage; a $350,000 grant from the state's office of Environmental Affairs for purchase of former railroad land along Merrimack River in Bradford, $1.2 million for renovation and extension of Merrimack Riverwalk project, over 500 new units of housing created at Beacon/Cordovan at Haverhill Station, Hamel Mills, and the Planning Office of Urban Affairs, $700,000 of Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP) funds for the purchase and rehabilitation of foreclosed and abandoned properties and the strategic demolition of blighted properties $8.4 million from the MBTA for repairs of Railroad Bridge over Merrimack River, $17.4 million in federal stimulus for upgrades to the Haverhill line of the commuter rail, and MORE grants totaling $2.805 million for sewer extensions for Hilldale Avenue Industrial Park. These investments are aimed at the continuous transformation of Haverhill and will continue to result in long term job creation and economic prosperity for the area.

Investments in cities and towns are critical components of the Patrick-Murray Administration's Massachusetts Recovery Plan, which combines state, federal and, where possible, private efforts to provide immediate and long-term relief and to position the Commonwealth for recovery in the following ways:

  • Deliver immediate relief by investing in the road, bridge and rail projects that put people to work today and providing safety net services that sustain people who are especially vulnerable during an economic crisis;
  • Build a better tomorrow through education and infrastructure investments that strengthen our economic competitiveness, prepare workers for the jobs of the future and support clean energy, broadband and technology projects that cut costs while growing the economy; and
  • Reform state government by eliminating the pension and ethics loopholes that discredit the work of government and revitalize the transportation networks that have suffered from decades of neglect and inaction.

To learn more, go to . To learn more about Growth Districts go to www.mass.gov/eed/GDI.

###

Follow us on Twitter – View our Photos – Watch our Videos