Baker-Polito Administration Awards $300,000 For Industrial Park Expansion in Westfield
Site Readiness Fund Program grant will unlock development of Westfield’s Turnpike Industrial Park
WESTFIELD, MA – June 23, 2017 – Today the Baker-Polito Administration announced a $300,000 Site Readiness Fund Program grant to the City of Westfield for the expansion of the Turnpike Industrial Park. The City will use the grant to fund predevelopment activities to spur private investment at a city owned site adjacent to the current industrial park. The Site Readiness Fund Program is administered by MassDevelopment.
“Assisting communities in transforming underutilized property into opportunities for development and job growth continues to be an important component of our economic development strategy,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “This funding will empower Westfield’s ability to provide attractive locations for businesses looking to invest in the region.”
Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash joined Westfield Mayor Brian Sullivan, Representative John Velis and local partners for the announcement today in Westfield. In May, the Baker-Polito Administration announced the first Site Readiness Fund Program award to the City of New Bedford for redevelopment efforts at a portion of the Whaling City Golf Course into a state-of-the-art industrial park.
“Across the Commonwealth, we are working with communities looking to move beyond roadblocks to economic development ,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “This program gives our municipalities the resources to tackle those challenges, connect residents to jobs and prepare communities for success and growth.”
The Site Readiness Fund award will allow the city to undertake necessary predevelopment efforts, including survey, master planning, geotechnical studies and Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act (MEPA) pre-permitting for the 66-acre, industrially-zoned site adjacent to the existing Turnpike Industrial Park. Previously, the lack of environmental permitting at the site prevented significant private investment in a potential expansion of the current industrial park.
“This resource will address one of the significant obstacles facing communities as they seek to attract private industry and create jobs: the lack of project ready sites for companies and industry to relocate or expand in Massachusetts,” said Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Jay Ash. “This collaboration with our partners at MassDevelopment and the City of Westfield will make a significant impact on the city’s ability to attract private investment and increase job creation in the region.”
“The Site Readiness Fund provides vital resources to municipalities, developers, and community development corporations by creating opportunities for businesses to locate and grow all over Massachusetts,” said MassDevelopment President and CEO Marty Jones. “We are excited to partner with the City of Westfield on this project to expand Turnpike Industrial Park, and look forward to watching the success of this vital new economic development tool in the years to come.”
“It has long been a priority for the City of Westfield to nurture smart development within the City to ensure a bright economic future for the community and safeguard the City’s financial health. The development of city parcels, which have sat idle since 1989, for commercial use is an intelligent way to create good paying jobs and increase the tax base of Westfield. With its proximity to the Massachusetts Turnpike, Barnes Regional Airport, and Pioneer Valley Railroad, I believe the future Turnpike Industrial Park will be very desirable to manufacturers and other growth industries. We are very thankful for the leadership of the Baker-Polito Administration and Secretary Jay Ash, and their commitment to Westfield and Western Massachusetts,” said Westfield Mayor Brian P. Sullivan.
“This investment in Turnpike Industrial Park is a great example of smart state investments supporting local economic development opportunities,” said State Senator Don Humason. The partnership between the City of Westfield, MassDevelopment, and the Baker Administration will assist the city in promoting the park to new companies which may reap the many benefits Westfield has to offer.”
“This is truly an exciting opportunity for the City of Westfield, and I am thankful that the Baker-Polito Administration and Secretary Ash have recognized the untapped potential of our city,” said State Representative John Velis. “The Site Readiness Grant is a great example of how Massachusetts is working to expand economic opportunity in our region in smart and strategic ways. I can’t wait to see the significant return on investment that this grant will bring to our residents in the years to come.”
In 2016, Governor Baker signed comprehensive economic development legislation, creating the Site Readiness Fund, administered by MassDevelopment, to boost the Commonwealth’s inventory of large, well-located, project-ready sites. With a $15 million authorization, the fund aims to accelerate private-sector investment in industrial and commercial projects and support conversion of abandoned sites and obsolete facilities into clean, actively-used, tax-generating properties.
MassDevelopment, the state’s finance and development agency, works with businesses, nonprofits, financial institutions, and communities to stimulate economic growth across the Commonwealth. During FY2016, MassDevelopment financed or managed 352 projects generating investment of more than $4 billion in the Massachusetts economy. These projects are projected to create about 8,200 jobs and build or rehabilitate about 4,200 residential units.