For Immediate Release - October 05, 2010

PATRICK-MURRAY ADMINISTRATION JOINS CONGRESSWOMAN TSONGAS, THE CITY OF HAVERHILL, AND EPA FOR GROUNDBREAKING OF PARKING GARAGE

Downtown project will spur long-term economic development opportunities in series of 50 construction projects supported by the Administration that will break ground and create jobs in 2010

HAVERHILL - Tuesday, October 5, 2010 - As part of the Patrick-Murray Administration's continuing efforts to promote job growth and long-term economic recovery, Lieutenant Governor Timothy P. Murray joined federal and local officials today to celebrate the groundbreaking of a construction project in downtown Haverhill that will result in immediate job growth and long-term economic development opportunities in the City of Haverhill.

"This is what it's all about - putting shovels in the ground and people to work right now," said Governor Deval Patrick. "This project is an excellent example of the critical collaboration and investment that leads to both construction and permanent jobs, as well as support for the vital industries that are critical to the Commonwealth's long-term economic success."

"We are excited for the groundbreaking of this project, and what it means for the continued revitalization of downtown Haverhill," said Lieutenant Governor Murray. "During the 2010 construction season, it is encouraging to see immediate job creation, like this project, that will support the Commonwealth's recovery as well as long-term sustainability and growth."

Today's ceremony included public and private partners, including Congresswoman Nikki Tsongas, Mayor James Fiorentini, representatives from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and state and local officials, to kick off construction of a new 5-level, 315-space parking garage that will support efforts to foster mixed-use redevelopment in the City's Downtown Growth District. Funding for the project has come from a variety of state and federal sources, including a $1.8 million MassWorks Infrastructure grant from the Patrick-Murray Administration to support the construction of the garage. The total project costs are estimated at $10.9 million.

"This is a great day for Haverhill. 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," said Congresswoman Niki Tsongas.

"The Haverhill Intermodal Center project is crucial to city's long-term plans for growth and sustainability. For many residents outside the Boston area, Regional Transit Authorities provide the cornerstone of their transportation network. I am pleased to see the federal government and MassDOT work together to move this important project forward in order to improve transportation services for all the residents and commuters of the Greater Haverhill area," said Senator Steven A. Baddour.

"The parking garage is a key piece of the ongoing development of downtown Haverhill and when completed, it will benefit downtown residents, visitors, businesses and commuters. The Commonwealth's assistance was the vital, final piece that allowed construction to get underway," said Representative Brian S. Dempsey.

"This project represents another great step in the right direction when it comes to the revitalization of the city's core. Businesses and commuters will both benefit from this increase in parking. I'm excited to see the end result," said Representative Barbara A. L'Italien.

The project also serves as an example of the successful redevelopment of the former Ted's for Tires property, a brownfields site selected as part of the Patrick-Murray Administration's Brownfield Support Team (BST) Initiative pilot program in 2008. The BST formerly brings together MassDEP, MassDevelopment, and the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development to assist cities and towns to redevelop the most challenging and complex brownfield sites.

By working with the BST, the City of Haverhill has received technical assistance, expedited reviews, and secured funding from MassDevelopment, MassDEP, and the EPA. This partnership has allowed the City and the Merrimack Valley Regional Transit Authority (MVRTA) to implement a remediation plan tailored to redevelopment that met both state and federal requirements. The BST, the City of Haverhill, and the MVRTA also removed more than 3,600 tons of contaminated soil and 147,900 gallons of contaminated groundwater from the former automobile service and gasoline filling station site. Through this joint effort, more than $1 million in private investment has also been leveraged, and MassDEP has helped facilitate indoor air testing at abutting properties to ensure that indoor air is not impacted by contamination from the site.

This project is also one of more than 50 housing and economic development projects, both renovation and new construction, expected to break ground this year, totaling more than $1 billion dollars in development investments in the Commonwealth. Each of these projects has been initiated by an investment from the Patrick-Murray Administration. Together, they will create thousands of jobs throughout Massachusetts.

The investment in Haverhill is just one example of the Administration's multi-pronged strategy for growth through supporting small businesses; regional economic development; and strategic investments in education, infrastructure and innovation. Key to supporting this strategy is partnership with local communities and the private sector that fosters residential and commercial growth, and the successful leveraging of a number of state resources that spur that growth.

• The Growth Districts Initiative - by working with communities to plan ahead for new growth and development that is consistent with their long-term community vision, regional needs and with the Commonwealth's sustainable development principles, the Administration is creating an entire network of places around the state where new growth is being welcomed and encouraged.

• The Chapter 43D Expedited Permitting - by working with communities to support prompt and predictable permitting for development that is consistent with community plans, dozens of communities have made a commitment to issue permits for commercial development in six months or less in order to help facilitate targeted economic development that is consistent with their long-term plans.

• The Massachusetts Opportunity Relocation and Expansion (MORE) Jobs Capital program - by targeting public infrastructure investments and improvements needed to support private development activity and business expansion, cities and towns get the tools they need to spur economic development, job retention and expansion.

• The newly reformed Economic Development Incentive Program (EDIP) - by partnering with companies and municipalities focused on job creation, manufacturing job retention and private investment, the Administration is working to stimulate business growth throughout the Commonwealth.

• Through a wide array of state and federal programs administered by the state Department of Housing and Community Development, the Commonwealth can provide direct financial assistance, where appropriate, to residential and commercial development projects through low-cost financing, tax credits and other forms of financial support.

Learn more about the MassWorks Infrastructure program at: www.mass.gov/eohed/infrastructure.

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