Baker-Polito Administration Awards $200,000 MassWorks Grant for Orange Innovation Center
Orange – August 25, 2016 – Today the Baker-Polito Administration announced a $200,000 MassWorks award for the Town of Orange, to upgrade the public infrastructure around the Orange Innovation Center. The infrastructure grant will facilitate the continued growth of the Orange Innovation Center, unlocking space for new tenants, connecting the Center to a fitness trail, and supporting local businesses.
MassWorks funding will support the construction of a new public parking area that will enable the Orange Innovation Center to expand. The infrastructure grant will allow the Center to lease space to new tenants and will serve as the primary parking area for a new public fitness trail. The grant will finance design and engineering work, the demolition of two existing buildings, earthwork, paving, drainage, and other activities associated with construction.
“Massachusetts’s innovative and entrepreneurial workforce is a key driver for continued job creation and economic expansion,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “We look forward to the Orange Innovation Center continuing to play an important role in the region’s economy as a result of this MassWorks grant.”
“MassWorks helps municipalities realize growth through targeted infrastructure investments in high-potential areas and is one of the Administration’s most valuable tools for supporting community development,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. “This partnership with the Town of Orange and the Innovation Center will support local entrepreneurs, spur job creation, and drive regional economic development.”
“Public investment in local infrastructure is critical to creating jobs and growing our economy,” said Senate President Stan Rosenberg. “This MassWorks grant creates additional opportunities for the Orange Innovation Center to attract new tenants and build on their success in creating a sustainable business community under one roof.”
"I am thrilled that the administration sees the potential of this location,” said Representative Susannah Whipps Lee. “This critical infrastructure improvement will allow OIC to expand and welcome new businesses to the Town of Orange."
The Orange Innovation Center is located across the Millers River from downtown Orange. The 128,222 square-foot building is three stories and formerly housed a tapioca factory and later, a furniture manufacturing facility. The space is now home to an eclectic collection of 32 businesses, including a fitness club, several artist and photography studios, a health services clinic, light manufacturing, and a craft brewery.
The MassWorks Infrastructure Program provides a one-stop shop for municipalities and other eligible public entities seeking public infrastructure funding to support housing production, economic development, and job creation through strategic investments in public infrastructure. The 2015 grant round generated 101 applications for more than $245 million in infrastructure requests. The 2016 grant round is now open for applications.
Each year, the MassWorks program allocates 10 percent of awarded funds to assist municipalities with populations of 7,000 or less in completing roadway safety and transportation improvement projects. The MassWorks Program has invested over $357 million across the Commonwealth since the first competitive grant round was held in September 2011.
In August 2016 Governor Baker signed An Act Relative to Job Creation and Workforce Development (H. 4569) to reauthorize MassWorks and support $500 million of future investment in critical infrastructure. The Baker-Polito Administration’s 2017 capital budget increases funding for the MassWorks Infrastructure Program to $90 million. Over the past two fiscal years, the Administration has increased MassWorks funding by $35 million.