One Stop for Growth Development Continuum

All grant programs within the Community One Stop for Growth will fall into the Continuum.

Table of Contents


The Community One Stop for Growth is a single application portal and collaborative review process of grant programs that make targeted investments based on a Development Continuum:

Categories Related to Preparing for Growth

Grants to support activities and initial steps by community-based actors to attract and guide private investment in a community.

  • Community Capacity Building
  • Planning & Zoning
  • Site Preparation

Categories Related to Catalyzing Specific Projects

Grants to support implementation of construction activities to leverage private, commercial, industrial, residential investment projects, and other improvements that further the community vision.

  • Buildings (vertical construction)
  • Infrastructure (horizontal construction)

Continuum Detail – Community Capacity Building

Projects may focus on a target geographic area (i.e., district or neighborhood) or a target population. Preference for projects that demonstrate a clear vision and a leadership group that is effective and stable. For projects with a target population, preference for those with involvement of, or impact on, Black and Latino populations. Projects may fund consultants or, in certain cases, staff time.

Projects in the Community Capacity Building section of the Development Continuum include:

  • Technical Assistance for Improving a Downtown or Commercial Center
  • Early Stage Strategy Development
  • Strategy Implementation by an Existing Cross-Sector Consortiums or Coalition
  • Business Improvement District (BID) Implementation
  • Placemaking efforts

Grant Type: Technical Assistance or Implementation Grants.

Grant Sizes: Potential for up to $100,000 awards. Downtown technical assistance grants will not exceed $25,000.

Programs: Urban Agenda, Massachusetts Downtown Initiative (MDI), Real Estate Services, Commonwealth Places

Example Projects:

  • Request by a business association representing a consortium of building owners to explore the feasibility of developing a Business Improvement District.
  • A request from a community coalition to fund English language training and other prerequisite trainings, including coverage for childcare and transportation, to prepare low-income residents for new jobs available in the region due to the expansion of a major employer.

Continuum Detail – Planning and Zoning

Applications for projects in the Planning and Zoning bucket represent an early-stage project that requires a guiding plan, study, or assessment of project needs, prior to any construction or site preparation. These are planning grants and projects must produce a planning document with the funds.


Projects in the Planning and Zoning section of the Development Continuum include:

  • Master Plan​
  • Urban Renewal Plan​
  • Land Use Plan​
  • Downtown Plan​
  • Parking Management Plan​
  • Housing Production Plans​
  • Market Feasibility Studies​
  • Zoning Review & Updates​
  • Zoning to comply with the MBTA Communities section of c40A section 3A​
  • District Improvement Financing (DIF) Plan​
  • Municipal Surplus Property Disposition Plan​
  • Other Strategic Plans

Grant Type: Planning Grants

Grant Size: Potential for up to $75,000 awards for most projects, however there may be exceptions for awards made by the Housing Choice Community Grants and Rural and Small Town Development Fund programs.

Programs Included: Planning and Zoning Grants, Mass Downtown Initiative, Real Estate Services, Housing Choice Communities Grants, Rural and Small Town Development Fund

Example Projects:

  • Create a housing production plan to better understand housing needs of the community and identify strategies to reduce gaps in existing housing relative to identified needs.
  • Study the area with a ½ mile of a commuter rail station and create strategies to intensify development in that area.
  • Prepare a corridor study of a commercial area that runs through multiple towns and seeks land use alternatives to promote multi-modal access, introduce mixed-use and achieve more compact commercial development.
  • Review current zoning to identify and remove language that excludes certain housing types.
  • Develop 40R Smart Growth or Starter Home zoning districts.

Continuum Detail – Site Preparation

This category includes funding for an applicant working to progress a key site toward development; a final developer or end use is not necessarily identified at this phase. Projects must have an identified site.

Projects in the Site Preparation section of the Development Continuum include:

Site Predevelopment​

  • Site Due Diligence​
  • Site Master Planning​
  • Market Study​
  • Civil Engineering ​
  • Pre-Permitting/Permitting​
  • Brownfields Site Assessment​

Implementation ​

  • Demolition ​
  • Site Acquisition, related tasks​
  • Construction of site related upgrades​
  • Brownfields Remediation

Grant Type: Planning or Implementation Grants

Grant Sizes: Potential for up to $1,000,000 awards

Programs: Brownfields, Site Readiness, Rural and Small Town Development Fund

Example Projects:

  • The acquisition of land in an industrial zone to allow for business expansion.
  • The remediation of a brownfield site to prepare it for the development of a new industrial complex for businesses

Continuum Detail – Buildings (Vertical)

Funding is available for predevelopment activities and capital improvements that are essential to the occupancy of a blighted and/or underutilized property, as well as those that support the creation of new coworking space. Funding in this category is limited to projects with a strong public purpose and benefit. These are predevelopment and implementation grants for construction ready projects. Projects in this category must have the building secured with building and/or site control, an identified end use, and a clear public purpose.

Projects in the Buildings (Vertical) section of the Development Continuum include:

Building Predevelopment

  • Building Condition Study
  • Development Feasibility Studies 
  • Code Compliance Studies
  • Architectural or Engineering Plans
  • Collaborative Workspace Feasibility Studies


  • Building Code Compliance
  • Fire/Life Safety Code Compliance
  • Accessibility Improvements
  • Building Shell Repair
  • Building Stabilization
  • HVAC Improvements or Renovations
  • Interior Demolition or Remediation 
  • Collaborative Workspace Fit-Out or Equipment

Grant Type: Predevelopment and Implementation grants

Grant Size: Potential for up to $2,000,000 awards

Programs: Underutilized Properties Program, Collaborative Workspace Program, Rural and Small Town Development Fund

Example Projects:

  • A request to fit-out an incubator within a property that was previously vacant.
  • A request to install an elevator in a city-owned property to open up second floor space for space for a new housing development.
  • Fitting out a collaborative workspace that provides access to shared workshops and equipment.

Continuum Detail – Infrastructure (Horizontal)

Funding to support improvements to public land and infrastructure that leverages and supports private investment in the community. These are predevelopment and implementation grants for projects that improve public infrastructure such as roadways, streets, bridges, culverts, water/sewer, other public utilities, etc. Investments will be targeted to projects that require the infrastructure improvements or expansion to support and/or facilitate new growth or address road safety issues.

Projects in the Infrastructure (Horizontal) section of the Development Continuum may include:

  • Design, Engineering, Permitting
  • Bidding
  • Construction/Construction Admin

Grant Type: Predevelopment and Implementation grants

Grant Size: There is no cap for implementation grants, however Small Town Road Assistance Program (STRAP) grants are limited to $1,000,000

Programs: MassWorks, Housing Choice Communities Grants, Rural and Small Town Development Fund

Example Projects:

  • A request for water and sewer upgrades to a previously used site that will now be made into market rate   housing.
  • A request to update a culvert under a road way leading to new private development for mixed use that creates new industrial space and rental housing.
  • A request to repair at-risk municipal bridges that affect evacuation routes and/or access to commercial centers or transportation nodes.