Baker-Polito Administration Announces New Management Strategy for State Piers
MassDevelopment will bring strong management to Fall River and New Bedford maritime facilities
Boston – April 6, 2017 – Today the Baker-Polito Administration announced plans to transfer responsibility for the daily management and operations of the Fall River and New Bedford State Piers to MassDevelopment. The announcement follows more than a year of strategic planning and stakeholder outreach on each of the four state-owned piers, located in Gloucester, Fall River, New Bedford, and Plymouth. Handover of the day-to-day operations of the piers will follow the signing of an inter-agency memorandum of understanding, to be finalized in the coming weeks.
MassDevelopment currently manages Jodrey State Pier in Gloucester, on behalf of the Department of Conservation and Recreation. DCR will retain ownership of all four state piers, and will continue to manage the state pier in Plymouth.
“The Commonwealth’s state piers play key roles in growing the maritime economy and supporting regionally significant fishing, shipping, and tourism activities,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “By ensuring that each state pier is operating as effectively as possible, this transition will address critical near-term needs in our ports, and provide a base for long-term economic growth.”
“MassDevelopment’s deep expertise in real estate management makes it the right agency to lead the operations and management of our three industrial state piers, while DCR is best positioned to continue managing a Plymouth state pier that is dedicated to tourism and recreation,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “This new direction will allow each state pier to realize its full potential as an engine for regional job creation.”
The administration’s new state pier management strategy is the result of extensive study and local outreach.
Last August, the administration’s Seaport Economic Council released a comprehensive report evaluating the operations of all four state piers. That report, by Karl F. Seidman Consulting Services and Urban Focus, LLC, recommended that the Commonwealth strengthening governance at the piers, overhaul lease management, and improve asset management strategies.
The Baker-Polito Administration has been addressing critical early action items that surfaced during the comprehensive state piers review process. Last July, the administration announced $1.1 million in capital funding to address critical deferred maintenance needs at Gloucester’s Jodrey State Pier. Last May, the administration announced $3.5 million in funding to refrigerate New Bedford State Pier, enabling year-round cargo shipping operations. Additionally, MassDOT has set aside $5 million in unspent federal earmarks for multi-modal repairs on the New Bedford State Pier and this money is still available for that purpose.
“Through its strong, stable management of the Jodrey State Pier in Gloucester, MassDevelopment has demonstrated the capacity to bring professional management to state maritime assets,” said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash. “I look forward to seeing MassDevelopment replicate the success it has achieved in Gloucester, and maximize the economic development potential of state-owned piers in Fall River and New Bedford.”
“The Commonwealth’s state piers remain vital statewide, regional, and local economic engines that provide employment opportunities and strengthen the state’s shipping industry,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton. “With the Department of Conservation and Recreation and MassDevelopment entering into this important agreement, the Baker-Polito Administration is underscoring its desire to increase the prospects of the Commonwealth’s state piers, enabling them to thrive for years to come.”
“MassDevelopment appreciates the vote of confidence in our team that this announcement from the Baker-Polito Administration represents,” said MassDevelopment President and CEO Marty Jones. “We will utilize the expertise we have developed from managing the Jodrey State Pier in Gloucester and working in Gateway Cities to come together with the people and elected officials from Fall River and New Bedford to insure that their two piers become even greater assets to both the South Coast and the Commonwealth.”