For Immediate Release - December 09, 2011

LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR MURRAY ANNOUNCES $1.5 MILLION MASSWORKS GRANT FOR BURLINGTON

BURLINGTON -- Friday, December 9, 2011 – Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray today joined state and local officials in Burlington to announce a $1.5 million MassWorks Infrastructure Program grant for infrastructure upgrades to the 4th Avenue area of NorthWest Park. The project will create more than 100 construction jobs and lead to $90 million in private investment.

“As part of our Administration’s job creation strategy, we are working with cities and towns to invest in infrastructure improvements that will lead to jobs and economic growth,” said Lieutenant Governor Murray. “By working with the Town of Burlington through the MassWorks Infrastructure Program, we are paving the way for future development opportunities that will spur economic activity and attract new businesses to the community.”

The shovel ready project covers the portions of 4th Avenue, Middlesex Turnpike and North Avenue, including a business park located along the Middlesex Turnpike in Burlington, consisting of 130 acres of land. The project will be administered as a MassWorks Infrastructure Grant through the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development. In total, the Patrick-Murray Administration announced 40 MassWorks Infrastructure grants totaling $61 million in November 2011.

The $1.5 million infrastructure grant awarded to the Town of Burlington will help kick off the redevelopment of the office component of NorthWest Park. As a result of the infrastructure funding, the developer, Nordblom Company, will demolish an aging office building to make way for the office first of three new office developments. Each new office building will represent a private sector investment of more than $30 million. The infrastructure project is expected to go out to bid in December and will be ready to start construction as soon as weather permits in 2012.

“The Patrick-Murray Administration has been committed to creating jobs and spurring economic development in every corner of the Commonwealth,” said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Greg Bialecki. “The MassWorks Infrastructure program is consistent with that goal and the outstanding response to our first grant round in September demonstrates that the objectives of the consolidation are working.”

The Patrick-Murray Administration has made significant investments in Burlington, including a $2 million MassWorks Grant in 2010 for 3rd Avenue improvements, which are now complete. The 3rd Avenue improvements spurred private development and will generate $80 million in private investment. The new development will break ground in the spring of 2012, with a grand opening of the retail phase one walking street in the fall of 2013. A Wegmans, which anticipates hiring 150 full-time employees and 400 part-time employees for their 140,000 square foot store, will be part of the retail component.

"Today's announcement of a MassWorks Infrastructure Program grant for Northwest Park is another example of our ongoing commitment to making Massachusetts a first-class destination for  businesses and restaurants," said Representative Charles Murphy. "Located just off Route 128, Northwest Park is rapidly attracting investment and generating revenue for the Commonwealth. This grant will greatly benefit Northwest Park, the town of Burlington and the Route 128 corridor for years to come."

“The Administration has been an unwavering partner in advancing the redevelopment of Northwest Park," said Todd Fremont-Smith, SVP of Development with Nordblom. "The current Fourth Avenue MassWorks grant allows Nordblom Company to accelerate the office component of this mixed-use project, by pre-investing in the public infrastructure needed to support anticipated job growth at the site.” 

The MassWorks Infrastructure Program, which is overseen by the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development and held its first competitive grant round in September, consolidated six capital budget programs to give communities a single entry point and one set of requirements for state public infrastructure grants. The consolidation aimed to improve efficiencies and streamline the decision-making process, increase access for municipalities of all sizes and enhance state-regional-local partnerships around economic development and housing production. To meet these objectives, the program launched an e-application and hosted 12 online tutorials to assist municipalities with the application process. During the first grant round, 158 applications requesting over $400 million in infrastructure grants were received from cities and towns of all sizes and representing every region of the state.

To learn more about the MassWorks Infrastructure Program and how it is supporting job growth and long term, sustainable economic development, please visit: www.mass.gov/eohed/infrastructure.

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