For Immediate Release - October 28, 2011

GOVERNOR PATRICK LAUNCHES CLIFTEX LOFTS DEVELOPMENT PROJECT IN NEW BEDFORD

Investment in Gateway City to create more than 200 jobs and provide affordable housing for seniors

NEW BEDFORD -- Friday, October 28, 2011 -- Governor Deval Patrick today joined state and local officials in celebrating the launch of the first phase of the Cliftex Lofts development in New Bedford. The first phase of the project will rehabilitate a deteriorated mill building to create 76 affordable housing units for persons age 55 and older and will create more than 200 construction jobs. The Patrick-Murray Administration is supporting the housing development through $6.9 million in state subsidies and state and federal tax credits.

“This development will provide a much needed boost in terms of jobs, economic development and affordable housing for seniors in the region,” said Governor Patrick. “Revitalizing our Gateway Cities is a priority and we are pleased to support projects like Cliftex Lofts in New Bedford.”

“Investing in our Gateway Cities is key to the economic future of the Commonwealth and will continue to make Massachusetts a better place to live for our residents,” said Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray. “With today’s launch, we look forward to the continued development of Cliftex Lofts, which will create more affordable housing in the city of New Bedford and also support job creation and future community and economic development.”

Construction is slated to begin later this year. The project will be funded with $2.5 million in state subsidies and $4.4 million in state and federal low income housing tax credits that will leverage private investments to fund the development.

“Cliftex is the anchor property for the city’s near-North End waterfront revitalization. Its redevelopment will provide real jobs, which will help revive our local economy,” said Mayor Scott W. Lang. “Further, this mill property will enhance the quality of life for city residents by improving housing options and developing another social and economic center for New Bedford."

“The Cliftex Lofts project brings more affordable housing options and economic development to New Bedford, which means the community will benefit in the long-term from the improved neighborhoods,” said Senator Scott Brown. “I am pleased we are continuing to focus on investing in our Gateway Cities. This is yet another way we can turn our attention to practical housing solutions, small business growth and jobs.”

“More and more people are looking for affordable housing options and finding that a place like New Bedford is the perfect community to live in,” said Senator Mark Montigny. “The growth and development that continues to take place in New Bedford flies in the face of logic, given what is happening in the global economy.  I can’t speak highly enough about targeting investments in Gateway Cities, where just a little aid goes a long way.”

“Development in New Bedford and other Gateway Cities is a team effort, requiring the city and state working together with federal agencies, private developers and investors,” said Representative Antonio Cabral.  “We are lucky to have a great ally in the Patrick-Murray Administration which understands the importance to all of Massachusetts of our cities’ success."

"The Cliftex Lofts project is a prime example of the application of creative thinking that both the public and private sectors desperately need nowadays," said Representative Christopher Markey, who serves on the Legislature's Joint Committee on Housing.  "The City of New Bedford is blessed to have very unique, durable former mills, and we should look to utilize them when possible. Not every mill can be saved, but there's no better symbol of the rebirth of New Bedford than redeveloping these buildings and providing both jobs and housing for our seniors. It honors our history and it invests in our future."

Today's celebration and kick-off of Cliftex Lofts highlights the Patrick-Murray Administration's commitment to investing in Gateway Cities like New Bedford. The Administration has implemented the following strategy to make all of the state’s 24 Gateway communities centers of economic activity:

• Provide long-term investments in education, innovation and infrastructure, with special attention to the growth potential of each city’s entrepreneurs and small businesses.

• Leverage the potential of each community’s distinctive assets, including their educational, medical and cultural institutions and their historic buildings and neighborhoods.

• Connect Gateway Cities to other local, state and global centers of innovation and economic activity.

In keeping with this strategy, the Patrick-Murray Administration has made the following Gateway City investments: more than $1 billion in active construction contracts through the Massachusetts Department of Transportation; $13.5 million in Gateway City Parks grants for projects in 24 cities; more than $105 million in public safety grants for police and fire departments and non- profit agencies to maintain staffing levels and combat violence and more than $17 million in workforce training funding since 2007.

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