LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR MURRAY HIGHLIGHTS ATTLEBORO'S DOWNTOWN REDEVELOPMENT PROJECT AS PART OF THE PATRICK-MURRAY ADMINISTRATION'S BROWNFIELDS SUPPORT TEAM INITIATIVE
Lt. Governor Murray and local officials celebrate partnership that will spur brownfields cleanup and economic revitalization
First launched in 2008, the BST is an interagency initiative that emphasizes collaboration across agencies and with communities to help clean up challenging and complex contaminated sites, and prepare them for redevelopment.
Round I of the BST achieved measurable results at all five sites, including the commitment of more than $8 million in funding by participating agencies for assessment, cleanup, demolition and infrastructure improvements. Given the pilot's tremendous success, the Patrick-Murray Administration recently selected six brownfields sites for Round II, including the Downtown Redevelopment Project in the City of Attleboro, which will lead to job creation and increased tax revenues for cities and towns.
"As we continue to focus on job creation and economic recovery, the Brownfield Support Team is a leading model that brings together the right resources and tools to assist communities in their redevelopment initiatives," said Governor Deval Patrick. "The first round of this pilot program proved very successful and we look forward to working with more cities and towns in their efforts to turn blighted sites into opportunities for future job growth and economic development."
"Our Administration is committed to partnering with cities and towns across the state as we work together to support the Commonwealth's economic recovery," said Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray, who leads the Brownfields Support Team. "Redevelopment of these selected sites will lead to the revitalization of housing and economic development in transit-oriented locations, spur business growth in key downtown areas, and boost local and regional economies."
As part of the BST Initiative, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP), the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development (EOHED), the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) and the Massachusetts Development Finance Agency (MassDevelopment) will work with the City of Attleboro to identify specific issues that hinder redevelopment of the selected downtown properties.
The City of Attleboro is redeveloping its downtown commercial district, which includes a commuter rail station, into a revitalized transit-oriented development/"urban village." The project area includes the City's Department of Public Works yard, the former Automatic Machine Products properties (on both sides of Wall Street), the "Old Barn" property and the MBTA property. Through the BST, the City of Attleboro and the Attleboro Redevelopment Authority will continue the process of revitalizing these industrial and commercial parcels into an area of mixed use that will include a regional center for business, financial and educational uses, residential development and recreational/open space uses, with substantial transportation improvements, including rail and bus services.
"I am extremely grateful for the dedication that Lieutenant Governor Tim Murray has given to Attleboro's transit oriented development project. His steadfast commitment has been paramount in moving our project forward to this point in time. Today's official announcement is another step in aiding the City move toward construction," said Mayor Kevin J. Dumas of Attleboro.
The BST model emphasizes interagency collaboration with municipalities to solve problems impeding the redevelopment of contaminated properties. In addition to MassDEP, EOHED, MassDOT and MassDevelopment, other state and federal agencies will also participate on these teams depending on the project needs. Additional agencies may include the Office of the Attorney General, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
"For more than 20 years, Massachusetts has witnessed how brownfields can provide a solid return on investment by transforming formerly contaminated, dormant, and abandoned sites into redevelopment success stories," said MassDEP Commissioner Laurie Burt. "We look forward to working with our state and federal partners to achieve several more victories at these recently selected locations."
"This unique type of redevelopment is beneficial not just to local communities but to the Commonwealth as a whole," said Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Greg Bialecki. "The collaboration between agencies in moving the Brownfields initiative forward will provide a clear and coordinated path to long term economic development for municipalities throughout Massachusetts."
"Initiatives that promote sustainable economic development and enhance the quality of life are a priority of the Governor and Lieutenant Governor," said Massachusetts Department of Transportation Secretary and CEO Jeffrey Mullan. "We look forward to continued active participation in the Brownfields initiative and using our transportation network and services to assist in the redevelopment of these sites."
"This structured approach to redevelopment streamlining programs and services created a decade ago fits well with the mission of MassDevelopment to eradicate blight and promote economic development throughout the Commonwealth," said MassDevelopment President and CEO Robert L. Culver. "We enjoy strong working relationships with our partners on the Brownfields Support Team and look forward to bringing more of these promising sites to their highest and best uses."
The Brownfields Support Team will work with communities to provide technical and financial assistance, such as expedited site inspections, reviews and approvals by MassDEP; technical assistance on expedited permitting from EOHED; funding for assessment and cleanup from MassDevelopment; financial and technical assistance from MassDOT; and coordination with the Attorney General's Office on liability issues.
"We are very pleased that Attleboro was chosen as one of the five sites, and believe that it is a reflection of the continued collaborative efforts between the city of Attleboro and the Patrick Administration. Cleaning this contaminated land will benefit both the environment and the economy, as the land will be available for more productive uses," said Representative Bill Bowles.
Round II of the BST Initiative also includes the former Uniroyal/Facemate sites in Chicopee, the Mill Street Corridor in Gardner, the former Kiley Barrel site in Somerville, the Silicon Transistor Corporation Property in Chelmsford and a new city-wide brownfields assistance pilot in Brockton.
To learn more about the Brownfield Support Team Initiative, visit www.mass.gov/dep/cleanup/brownfie.htm#bst.