For Immediate Release - October 16, 2012

PATRICK-MURRAY ADMINISTRATION BREAKS GROUND ON BURLINGTON WEGMANS AS PART OF $3.5 MILLION MASSWORKS PROJECT

BURLINGTON – Tuesday, October 16, 2012 – Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Greg Bialecki joined state and local officials in Burlington today to break ground on infrastructure improvements on Third Avenue that are supported by a MassWorks grant, and celebrate the beginning of construction for the Wegmans Food Market. The Wegmans-anchored 3rd Ave retail project will encompass 500,000 SF of restaurants, shops, entertainment, and housing uses.

The construction work is part of Phase 1 of Northwest Park’s retail component, supported by $3.5 million in funding through the MassWorks Infrastructure Program.

“Our Administration continues to partner with cities and towns to invest in local infrastructure improvements,” said Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray. “By working with the Town of Burlington through the MassWorks Infrastructure Program, we are helping to pave the way for future economic growth in the community and across the region.”

Over the last two years the Patrick-Murray Administration has awarded the Town of Burlington $3.5 Million in infrastructure assistance through the MassWorks Infrastructure Program. In 2010 the town was awarded $2 million for improvements to Third Avenue in Northwest Park. Improvements included a new traffic signal and pedestrian crossings to the Middlesex Turnpike and Third Avenue intersection.

The now-complete MassWorks project has spurred private development and will generate $110 million in private investment for Phase 1 of Northwest Park’s retail project which is expected to be developed into 300,000 square-feet of retail and restaurant space. Phase 1, which is expected to be completed by the spring of 2014, will be anchored by Wegmans Food Market. The supermarket anticipates hiring 150 full-time employees and 400 part-time employees in their 140,000 square-foot store. Today’s groundbreaking also marks the one-year anniversary of Wegmans’ Northborough opening, the supermarket’s first location in Massachusetts.

“The MassWorks program is an integral part of the Patrick-Murray Administration’s commitment to improving our infrastructure, creating jobs and spurring economic development in every corner of Massachusetts,” said Greg Bialecki, Secretary of Housing and Economic Development. “This program matches the objectives of our long-term economic development plan, which includes empowering our local and regional economies.”

More recently, in the fall of 2011 the town was awarded a second MassWorks Infrastructure Grant for $1.5 million. The grant continues to demonstrate the strong private-public partnership between the Administration, Town of Burlington and the Nordblom Company. The Fourth Avenue Improvement Project will facilitate the redevelopment of the office component of Northwest Park, in conjunction with the retail portion.

As a result of the grant, the owners of Northwest Park, the Nordblom Company, demolished a 90,000 square-foot, outdated office building at 174 Middlesex Turnpike to clear room for new development. The cleared site will be the first of three new Class A, 150,000 square-foot, build-to-suit office developments which will be built when a tenant is identified for the space. Each of the three new office developments will represent a private-sector investment of approximately $40 million, bringing the total Phase 1 office investment in Northwest Park to $120 million.

Founded in 1916, Wegmans Food Markets, Inc., is a family-owned, 80-store supermarket chain with stores in New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia, Maryland and Massachusetts, and is recognized as an industry leader and innovator. Wegmans has been named one of the “100 Best Companies to Work For” by FORTUNE magazine for 15 consecutive years and was ranked fourth on the list in 2012.

“Burlington is pleased to add such a dynamic corporate partner to our community,” said Burling Town Administrator John Petrin. “Wegman's has a great reputation and will blend very nicely in our goal of maintaining Burlington as an economic linchpin for the Commonwealth. We welcome Wegman's to our community.”

“The Administration has been unwavering in its support of the Northwest Park redevelopment, one of the largest commercial real estate projects in Massachusetts,” said Todd Fremont-Smith, SVP Development for Nordblom Company. “When it opens in 2014, the 3rd Ave retail walking street will be the heart of this 285-acre redevelopment.  With today’s construction start, a new ‘Restaurant Row’ is being created for the Route 128 corridor, one that will help leading companies locating at Northwest Park attract and retain the best employees.” 

The MassWorks Infrastructure Program, which is overseen by the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development, held its first competitive grant round in September 2011, consolidating six capital budget programs to give communities a single entry point and one set of requirements for state public infrastructure grants. The consolidation aimed to improve efficiencies and streamline the decision-making process, increase access for municipalities of all sizes and enhance state-regional-local partnerships around economic development and housing production.

In total, in 2011 the MassWorks program awarded $63.5 million in grants to 42 communities throughout Massachusetts for public infrastructure projects that began in 2012. Applications for 2012 funding requests were submitted in September, and HED anticipates announcing award winners later this month.

Burlington is a member of the Middlesex 3, a coalition designed to work together to promote the region and its competitive advantages. This is the first organization of its kind and scope in Massachusetts.

To learn more about the MassWorks Infrastructure Program and how it is supporting job growth and long term, sustainable economic development, please visit:  www.mass.gov/eohed/infrastructure.

###