For Immediate Release - May 30, 2014

Patrick Administration Announces $1 Million Massworks Grant For Athol

Project will leverage $35.9 million in private investment and create 600 new jobs

ATHOL – Friday, May 30, 2014 – Patrick Administration officials today announced a $1 million MassWorks grant for the North Quabbin Business Park in Athol. This announcement complements the town’s investment of nearly $2.1 million for the now underway infrastructure project that will improve the park’s water infrastructure system.

“By working with our local communities to identify opportunities to support growth and spur regional development we are strengthening our communities where residents can live, work and play,” said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Greg Bialecki. “I look forward to our ongoing partnerships with these communities and private industry leaders to explore additional ways to promote continued growth in every region on the Commonwealth.”

This new water system will feature a 21,000 gallon water tower to meet the drinking and fire safety needs of the current and future water infrastructure demands to support continued economic growth in the area. Construction in the North Quabbin Business Park is now underway. RMD, INC. is constructing an 80,000 square foot Market Basket, which is expected to be completed in early fall 2014. An additional 100,000 square feet in retail and restaurant space is also planned. In addition, the public infrastructure project will open 35 acres of land to be developed by Athol, LLC and is expected to feature a new hotel and 100,000 square feet of commercial space.

This MassWorks grant will leverage $35.9 million in private investment, and lead to the creation of approximately 600 new jobs, making it the top economic development and job creation project for the North Quabbin Region.

This out-of-round MassWorks award is based on the town’s 2013 application and is designed to support the town’s vision to develop a competitive commercial site that will bring new vitality to the region. The 2013 MassWorks awards did not originally include funding for Athol, however after further review, it was determined that the infrastructure needs for the development of the North Quabbin Business Park warranted financial support.

“The expanding development at the Business Park is what this area needs and I am confident that it will spur long-lasting economic growth while creating hundreds of new jobs, ” said Senator Stephen Brewer, who was pivotal in obtaining these funds.  “The magnitude of this project is driving excitement all around the North Quabbin region and this funding is a confirmation that assurances made have been assurances kept.”

“I’m very pleased with the public-private partnership to support this critical project for our region,” said Representative Denise Andrews. “The public investment of a million dollars is great news, because it allows the town of Athol to realize the new revenue for schools, public safety and other needs rather than paying down project development costs. There are many people from within the town and across the region; working to see this project through and we owe our gratitude to everyone that has played a role. Our work isn’t complete until the entire business park is developed over the next few years and this will require working together to share a compelling story of why people should invest in this town and region. Positive energy and continued collaboration, people making personal choices on where to shop is going to determine the future success of this endeavor. We should all invite others from outside the region to learn about what is happening here; connecting visitors to area offerings, restaurants and happenings. The people of this region can continue to count on my office to be a partner in advancing this work.”

Administered by the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development, the MassWorks Infrastructure Program provides a one-stop shop for municipalities seeking funding to support housing, economic development and job creation with a particular emphasis on assisting communities to advance multi-family housing development. In continuing this commitment to supporting communities across the Commonwealth, the Patrick Administration filed an omnibus economic development bill in April that works to extend economic opportunity for all. For more on the bill, click here.

For more information on the MassWorks Infrastructure Program, please visit www.mass.gov/eohed/massworks or follow the Program on Twitter @MassWorks.

 

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