For Immediate Release - December 16, 2011

LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR MURRAY ANNOUNCES $5.4 MILLION TO SUPPORT ATTLEBORO’S DOWNTOWN REDEVELOPMENT AND REVITALIZATION PROJECT

Funding for brownfields revitalization, neighborhood stabilization, and regional transit development to benefit the city’s ongoing downtown redevelopment efforts

ATTLEBORO – Friday, December 16, 2011 – Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray today joined federal, state and local officials to announce $5.4 million in funding to support the City of Attleboro’s Downtown Redevelopment and Revitalization Project. The announcement builds on the Patrick-Murray Administration's significant efforts to support brownfields revitalization, neighborhood stabilization and regional transit development plans in the city’s downtown district. 

"The Brownfields Support Team Initiative encourages collaboration between state, local, and federal government to address complex issues to help pave the way for economic development opportunities in cities and towns across the state," said Lieutenant Governor Murray. "This kind of partnership has been successful in critical brownfields remediation for the City of Attleboro as we also provide transportation infrastructure improvements and neighborhood stabilization for the city's Downtown Redevelopment and Revitalization Project."

In September 2010, the Patrick-Murray Administration selected Attleboro’s Downtown Redevelopment and Revitalization Project as part of the Administration's second round of the Brownfields Support Team (BST) Initiative. The BST was created in 2008 to bring together state and federal agencies to assist municipalities with the redevelopment of challenging contaminated brownfields properties. The $5.4 million includes funding from state and federal agencies to assist in the brownfields clean up, while also delivering critical infrastructure funding to strengthen Attleboro’s Downtown Redevelopment and Revitalization Plan.

The project will redevelop and revitalize the city’s downtown industrial and commercial parcels into areas of mixed use that will include commercial, recreational and residential uses. It will also include transportation improvements to both rail and bus services and enhanced road construction. Through the work of the BST, state and federal agencies have worked with the Greater Attleboro Taunton Regional Transit Authority (GATRA) and local planning officials to help facilitate brownfields cleanup in the downtown district that support the city’s future redevelopment and revitalization plans, including substantial improvements to the GATRA local bus service and MBTA commuter rail parking facilities. 

The $5.4 million includes $50,000 from the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP), $260,000 from MassDevelopment, $999,999 from the Department of Housing and Community Development and $4,041,848 from the Massachusetts Department of Transportation. All state agencies have been actively involved in this BST site since its designation in 2010. 

MassDevelopment awarded $260,000 through the Brownfields Remediation Grant to the Attleboro Redevelopment Authority for remediation in the downtown district. MassDEP awarded a $50,000 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Coalition Grant to conduct additional assessment of chlorinated solvents at the Automatic Machine Products site, a contaminated site within the downtown area. The downtown redevelopment plan includes an intermodal transportation center, parking garage, mixed-use residential and commercial space, and a riverwalk along the Ten Mile River at Attleboro’s MBTA station. To make way for the new transportation center, officials must relocate the city’s Department of Public Works facility from its current location in the downtown area to two separate sites, with the fueling station and storage yard at 101 Lamb Street. The brownfields cleanup will help prepare the site for this relocation.

“These state and federal awards will help to advance the cleanup of both the Automatic Machines and Apco Mossberg properties, which for too long have languished with the Apco Mossberg Site being vacant for over a decade,” said MassDEP Commissioner Kenneth Kimmell. “MassDEP’s commitment of $50,000 will fund critical assessment work that will provide a roadmap for responsible redevelopment, and enables future work to be done in a manner that is protective of the environment and public health.” 

"The Brownfields Redevelopment Fund, which MassDevelopment manages, is often the first step in laying groundwork for future development," said MassDevelopment President and CEO Marty Jones. "To fit the many pieces that make up the downtown redevelopment puzzle in Attleboro, we're pleased to work with our local, state, and federal partners on the Brownfields Support Team."‪ 

In addition to funding that will support brownfields clean up, the Patrick-Murray Administration also announced today $999,999 in federal funds to support neighborhood stabilization and redevelopment to help transform foreclosed and vacant properties surrounding downtown Attleboro. This funding is supported by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP3), funded through the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act in 2010 and implemented in Massachusetts by the state’s Department of Housing and Community Development. 

NSP3 funds can be used by municipalities, for-profit, and non-profit developers to purchase abandoned, vacant or foreclosed properties at a discount and to rehabilitate or redevelop them in order to respond to rising foreclosures and falling home values. Attleboro plans to apply the $999,999 to a number of potential properties eligible for NSP3 rehabilitation consistent with the city’s other efforts to revitalize the downtown district. The city is also pursuing streetscape improvements in the downtown and operates a rehabilitation program through its community development department. 

“Redeveloping contaminated Brownfield locations is consistent with the Patrick-Murray Administration’s commitment to helping spur economic development in our local communities,” said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Greg Bialecki. “This funding will help support Attleboro’s Downtown Redevelopment and Revitalization Project and shows what can be accomplished when state, local, and federal agencies successfully work together and help rebuild our neighborhoods and communities.”

Investments in brownfields revitalization and neighborhood stabilization will also support the city’s ongoing regional transit planning as part of Attleboro’s Downtown Redevelopment and Revitalization Plans.  With some land already owned by Attleboro and the MBTA, Attleboro through the Attleboro Redevelopment Authority (ARA) has also acquired several parcels of land necessary as part of the redevelopment plan, known as the Attleboro Intermodal Transportation Center Project.  This first phase of the project will provide for a sweeping and substantial change to how customers use and access MBTA and local transit services, including improvements to GATRA bus customer waiting areas, a reconstructed Wall Street, as well as pedestrian and bicycle systems.  Future phases will include a new roadway connector between Wall Street and Olive Street.  Preliminary engineering is underway with Phase I construction expected to begin in Summer 2012. 

“We’re pleased to join this important effort at one of our key MBTA and GATRA intermodal transit stations," said MassDOT Secretary and CEO Rich Davey.  "The Lieutenant Governor’s leadership with the Brownfields Support Team was an important catalyst to get all of us together to deliver real solutions that create and retain jobs, provide green solutions that increase MBTA and regional transit ridership, and deliver on our common mission to execute important capital projects on time and on budget.  We look forward to continue working with GATRA and Mayor Dumas on this important initiative.”  

“Without the technical and financial support of the Brownfields Support Team, this environmental remediation would not be happening,” said Attleboro Mayor Kevin J. Dumas. “Instead of a host of vacant lots and debris over contaminated soil, this site will provide an economic development boost to the community in the form of temporary construction jobs and permanent full-time jobs on a property that will return to the tax rolls via a mixed-use transit oriented development including an upgraded Intermodal Transportation Center at the heart of Attleboro’s Redevelopment and Revitalization Project.  The Brownfield Support Team has brought many specialties to the table that have allowed us to put this project into the implementation phase.”

“This transformative funding presents a landmark opportunity for Attleboro to reshape its downtown and make a strong community even stronger,” said Congressman Jim McGovern.  “The new transit plan, when implemented, will make Attleboro a model for other small cities, and the aggressive reclaiming of contaminated sites will enhance economic development.”

“Massachusetts and the Patrick administration continue to be a leader in environmental stewardship,” stated Representative Anne Gobi, House Chair of the Joint Committee on the Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture.  “The people of Attleboro will benefit from this wonderful reuse of land awhile creating economic and environmental diversity.”

“After many years of working together, it is wonderful that we as elected officials are able to finally come to the point where we are funding Attleboro’s Downtown Redevelopment and Revitalization Project which is sorely needed and will inspire economic development, the downtown as well as the foot traffic to support this Project,” said Representative Elizabeth Poirier.

About the Brownfields Support Team (BST) Initiative:

The BST model emphasizes interagency collaboration with municipalities to solve problems impeding the redevelopment of contaminated properties.  BST agencies include MassDEP, MassDOT, the EOHED and MassDevelopment.  Other state and federal agencies, including the Office of the Attorney General, the U.S. EPA, and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development provide assistance. The Greater Attleboro Taunton Regional Transit Authority and Attleboro Redevelopment Authority have also partnered with the various municipal, state, and federal agencies on the BST Attleboro project. 

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