For Immediate Release - May 06, 2010

Patrick-Murray Administration Marks Groundbreaking of Downtown Gardner Project

Gardner project is one of over 50 construction projects supported by the Administration that will break ground and create jobs in 2010

GARDNER - Thursday, May 6, 2010 - As part of the Patrick-Murray Administration's continuing efforts to promote job growth and long-term economic recovery, Secretary Greg Bialecki today joined with local leaders to celebrate the groundbreaking of a construction project in downtown Gardner that will result in the creation of more than 15 new jobs. This project, facilitated by state investment, reaffirms the Administration's commitment to leverage state and federal funding in construction projects that will unlock private investment opportunities.

This project is 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 costs in the Commonwealth. Each of these projects was jump started by an investment from the Patrick-Murray Administration and together they will create thousands of jobs throughout the Commonwealth.

"This is what it's all about - putting shovels in the ground and people to work right now," said Governor Deval Patrick. "Through this initiative, more than $1 billion of development will create thousands of construction jobs and permanent jobs, strengthen the vital industries that are critical to our long-term strength and continue to drive the Commonwealth's economic recovery."

This project, funded by a $345,000 Massachusetts Opportunity Relocation and Expansion (MORE) Jobs Capital grant, will facilitate the construction of a public parking lot and retaining wall allowing private developer Lisciotti Development to demolish and remediate a vacant, blighted industrial building and construct an approximately 11,000 square foot commercial/office building.

"The private investment, coupled with the MORE Grant funds, will visually improve one of the main entry points to the City's downtown," said Gardner Mayor Mark Hawke." The project will also create needed jobs and spur further investment within the City."

"I am again thankful to the Administration for looking beyond Boston and realizing how important the economy of North Central Massachusetts is," said Senator Jennifer L. Flanagan. "This grant is about creating jobs while improving appearance and infrastructure in the City of Gardner. Mayor Hawke has a very detailed vision for the great City of Gardner and I am always happy to work with him and my colleagues at the state level to advocate for North Central Massachusetts."

"I am very pleased that the state is leveraging investment by contributing to this project, which will be making a great impact on our city," said State Representative Robert L. Rice, Jr. "The construction jobs created are desperately needed, and when the project is completed, it will be a welcome source of additional jobs here in Gardner."

"We are thrilled to partner with the Patrick Administration and the City of Gardner on this important and exciting project," said Gregg Lisciotti of Lisciotti Development Corp. "Lisciotti Development Corporation is committed to bringing new businesses and opportunity to downtown Gardner through this investment."

The Administration, through the state Department of Housing and Community Development, has also recently invested more than $5.7 million in the City of Gardner. Those funds include more than $1.2 million in federal Community Development Block Grants, $3.9 million in low-income housing tax credit assistance stimulus funds from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, $260,000 in weatherization assistance stimulus funds to the Gardner Housing Authority and a $380,000 Community Development Action Grant from the state.

These recent investments are just one part 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 including:

• 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 helps 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 - 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.