For Immediate Release - October 26, 2015

Baker-Polito Administration Announces First MassWorks 2015 Award in Worcester

MassWorks funding will support the redevelopment of CitySquare and Quinsigamond Avenue

Worcester – Monday, October 26, 2015 – Today the Baker-Polito administration announced $3 million in MassWorks funding for Worcester, the first 2015 MassWorks Infrastructure Program Award announced. The City was awarded two grants to support the redevelopment of CitySquare: $2 million will help fund Quinsigamond Avenue’s reconstruction to improve interstate accessibly and, $1 million will directly support the ongoing CitySquare redevelopment project. Funding for CitySquare builds on previous MassWorks contributions and leverages $70 million in private investments, along with University of Massachusetts Memorial Health Care’s consolidation, to help revitalize CitySquare’s Front+Center section.

“Partnering with cities and towns to make community-guided investments in economic development is key to Massachusetts’ continued growth,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “Identifying promising opportunities in cities and towns across Massachusetts, and ensuring that investments are guided by the host community, will help produce cost-effective and sustainable growth, while providing communities with a foundation for future development.”

“Worcester’s innovative CitySquare project provides a model for how public-private partnerships that invest in infrastructure can effectively drive economic development in Massachusetts,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “I look forward to continued partnerships with Worcester’s businesses and community leaders as we work to realize economic and community growth.”

During the weeks of October 26th and November 2nd, the Baker-Polito administration will hold a series of announcements across the Commonwealth to highlight the 2015 MassWorks Infrastructure Program grant awards. MassWorks targeted investments in infrastructure, such as roadways, streetscapes, and water systems, are part of the Administration’s commitment to advance and prepare communities for new housing and economic development opportunities.

"Targeting additional capital investment to economic development programs was a priority for the Baker-Polito Administration's first capital budget,” said Secretary for Administration and Finance, Kristen Lepore. “The 40% increase in MassWorks funding will allow the program to make critical investments across the Commonwealth, including many important local projects orchestrated by the Community Compact Program."

“The effective partnerships and investments supported by MassWorks help municipalities create jobs, meet local housing needs, and drive smart economic development projects forward,” said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash. “MassWorks remains a vital part of our efforts to prepare communities to succeed in a globally competitive economy.”

“Infrastructure funding helps unlock community potential and build on unique local assets,” said Assistant Secretary for Communities and Programs Juan Vega. “MassWorks, along with the administration’s Urban Agenda and Community Compacts, offer municipalities the opportunity for locally-directed development, without the constraints of a one-size-fits-all grant.”

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, and will distribute $85.6 million in funding for infrastructure projects with a focus on multi-family housing. The 2015 awards support the creation of more than 1200 units across the state. The Baker-Polito Administration’s 2016 capital budget increases funding for the MassWorks Infrastructure Program by $20 million.
Each year, the program allocates 10 percent of the 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.
More information is available at the MassWorks website.