PATRICK-MURRAY ADMINISTRATION ANNOUNCES COMPLETION OF CLEANUP FOR BROWNFIELD SITE
Patrick-Murray administration applauds collaboration with EOHED, MassDEP, MassDevelopment, and City of Haverhill as Ted's for Tires site moves a step closer towards development
"This clean-up marks an important step forward for a project that promises to revitalize Haverhill's downtown and bring significant long-term benefits to the area's residents and businesses," said Governor Patrick. "By working with our partners on the federal and state level, we are investing in our environment and in a city that is critical to the region's economic success."
"Completing the cleanup at the Ted's for Tires site is a significant milestone for this important transit-oriented development project," said Lieutenant Governor Murray. "Through the partnership of the Brownfield Support Team Initiative, the collaboration between state and federal agencies is helping to protect the environment while also contributing to critical economic development in the city's downtown district."
"The cleanup completion at this site lays the foundation for a major revitalization of Haverhill's downtown which will enhance economic development and create jobs," said Congresswoman Niki Tsongas. "The new parking garage that can now be constructed will improve transportation and quality of life for Haverhill residents and is an excellent example of federal, state, and local partners working cooperatively."
The Brownfield Support Team Initiative is a pilot program that brings together staff from key state and federal agencies to help municipalities solve problems that impede the redevelopment of contaminated properties. These teams are led by staff from MassDevelopment, the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development (EOHED), and the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency New England Regional office has also been an integral partner for assisting the Ted's for Tires brownfield project. This brownfield site is also a part of an EOHED-designated Growth District and is located in the Haverhill's 40R Smart Growth Overlay District.
Funding for assessment and remediation has come from a variety of sources. The cleanup work, which began in October, was funded by $500,000 from MassDevelopment and a $200,000 grant from EPA. Assessment work that was conducted at this site was made possible by another $132,960 in assessment funding from MassDevelopment, in addition to over $50,000 in EPA Assessment grant funds that Haverhill utilized previously and a $25,000 grant from MassDEP using a federal grant from EPA. In 2007, MassDEP used $41,000 of its EPA Leaking Underground Storage Tank (LUST) Fund to remove three underground tanks from this property. MassDEP provides on-going technical and regulatory support to the Haverhill on this project. The garage design will be complete in the spring of 2010, with construction starting in late spring or early summer.
"This announcement is the latest result of ongoing collaborations between the Patrick-Murray Administration and its partners at the federal, state, and local levels," said Greg Bialecki, Secretary of Housing and Economic Development. "The work now underway is proof of how essential this collaborative approach will continue to be in the redevelopment of downtown Haverhill."
"The completion of this cleanup is terrific news, and a major step forward for Haverhill's economic development as well as for the environment," said Senator Steven A. Baddour.
"The cleanup of the Ted's for Tires site is key component of the downtown parking garage project," Representative Brian Dempsey said. "The garage is critical to the ongoing development of downtown and this cleanup brings it one step closer to completion."
"The redevelopment of the downtown Haverhill area provides opportunities for economic development and expansion providing accessibility for both residents and visitors. By utilizing the Bromfield Initiative, Haverhill has progressed into an economic leader while remaining conscious of the need to clean and protect the surrounding environment" said Representative Barbara L'Italien.
"The completion of the environmental clean-up on Granite Street represents a quantum leap for the Downtown Parking Garage project," noted Mayor James J. Fiorentini. "This new garage is our top public works priority, as it will provide parking not only for commuter rail passengers, but also our acclaimed downtown Restaurant Row, our Arts District, mercantile district, and those private developments that are investing over $100 million in private capital and creating over 500 new units of housing in a true transit-oriented development district. This brownfields project represents a team approach on behalf of the EPA, state agencies and the City that has been tremendously fruitful."
"The Brownfields Redevelopment Fund has proven its worth as a powerful development tool in the state, and the use of these funds in Haverhill will help tie together several key developments in the downtown," said MassDevelopment President and CEO Robert L. Culver. "This project exemplifies the important work of the Brownfields Support Team in one of the Commonwealth's Gateway Cities and Growth Districts."
"We are thrilled to have been able to help this important redevelopment project move forward with MassDEP's federal grant funding," MassDEP Commissioner Laurie Burt said. "We are very grateful to EPA Region 1 for providing us with this funding and generously supporting our state brownfield efforts for well over a decade."
In addition to helping fund the remediation, MassDevelopment has supplied financing for the two major developments that will use the garage. In January 2008, the Agency issued $49 million in tax-exempt bonds for Cleveland-based Forest City Enterprises, the Hamel Mills developer. The issue also included an allocation of low-income housing tax credits, which will raise approximately $4 million in equity for the 305-unit mixed-income apartment complex.
MassDevelopment also provided a $130,000 asbestos and lead paint grant to support the development of the Hayes Building by the Archdiocese of Boston's Planning Office for Urban Affairs, which will be converted into 57 affordable and market rate apartments with ground level retail and commercial space.
MassDevelopment administers the Brownfields Redevelopment Fund (BRF), which provides no-interest or low-interest loans and grants for site assessment and cleanup in eligible communities. The MVRTA is currently working on a design for the garage, which officials anticipate will be completed by spring 2010. Construction could start as soon as late spring 2010.
MassDevelopment, the state's finance and development authority, works with businesses, financial institutions, and communities to stimulate economic growth across the Commonwealth. During FY2009, MassDevelopment financed or managed 229 projects statewide representing the investment of nearly $1.2 billion in the Massachusetts economy. These projects are supporting the creation of 5,159 new housing units and 6,680 jobs of which 3,295 are permanent and 3,341 construction-related.
Today's announcement is one of many recent administration investments in the Haverhill area, including a $1.68 million growth district grant to help construct a new 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.