Lt. Governor Polito Breaks Ground on $2.5 Million Downtown Revitalization Project in Leominster
MassWorks award supports downtown infrastructure improvements, development efforts
Leominster – Thursday, May 11, 2017 – Today Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito joined Assistant Secretary for Communities and Programs Juan Vega, Leominster Mayor Dean Mazzarella, Senator Jennifer Flanagan, Representative Natalie Higgins, and other community leaders to break ground on Leominster’s downtown revitalization project. The $2.5 million investment through MassWorks, awarded during the 2016 competitive round, supports housing and commercial development, including the redevelopment of the former W.S. Reed Toy Company Mill into 36 units of market-rate housing, a new restaurant space, and the construction of an Enterprise Bank building.
“The MassWorks Infrastructure Program works because it embraces community-driven economic development projects and local job growth,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “In Leominster, MassWorks funding is unlocking private investment and creating a platform for commercial, retail and housing developments in the city’s downtown.”
“Our administration believes strongly in partnering with communities to invest in strong downtowns,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “These investments attract new storefronts, employers and jobs while providing residents opportunities to shop locally and support small businesses.”
“The opportunities created by MassWorks investments and infrastructure improvements allow us to help cities meet long-term goals and create housing and commercial opportunities,” said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash. “Leominster’s downtown has benefitted from investment at the local and state level, and the city has made real progress towards a vibrant, pedestrian-friendly downtown that can attract businesses and foster job creation.”
MassWorks investments in Leominster’s downtown build on the success of previous MassWorks awards to the city, including the Adams Street Redevelopment Project awarded in 2015, which supported the construction of 52 units of market rate housing and 41,000 square feet of commercial space, along an upcoming 40 affordable apartments.
“This is the perfect public private partnership that will not only replace one hundred year old infrastructure, but will help us build on our strong downtown economy through new housing and job opportunities,” said Leominster Mayor Dean Mazzarella. “New lighting, sidewalks, paving, pedestrian crossings, and landscaping will help make downtown a true destination.”
"Congratulations to the city of Leominster on their award from MassWorks," said Senator Jennifer Flanagan. "This grant will be used to improve Leominster's downtown area, and to do additional work to Mechanic Street. Given that these areas are often a first impression of the city, I am thrilled that they received this money to make necessary improvements."
"Leominster is fortunate to have a partner like MassWorks," said Representative Natalie Higgins. “This grant will support so many investments in our downtown including roads, housing, and commercial projects."
The MassWorks Infrastructure Program provides public infrastructure funding to shovel-ready projects that generate new private investment in housing production and job creation. Since its inception in 2011, the MassWorks Program has invested over $418 million through competitive grant rounds, in 215 projects throughout the Commonwealth. The 2016 competitive grant round awarded $85 million to 34 projects in 33 communities.
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, a significant commitment by the Commonwealth. The Baker-Polito Administration has increased MassWorks funding by $35 million over the past two fiscal years, investing $168 million for 82 projects across 69 communities.