- Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development
- Office of Governor Charlie Baker and Lt. Governor Karyn Polito
Media Contact for Baker-Polito Administration Announces $3.5 Million MassWorks Award for Easthampton
Colleen Arons , Communications Director
Easthampton — Today, Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash joined Mayor Nicole LaChapelle and other local and state officials to announce a $3.5 million MassWorks Infrastructure Program grant for the Ferry Street Mill Improvement Project in Easthampton.
The award will facilitate the utility connections necessary to redevelop the Ferry Street Mill. The 310,000 square-foot mill is one of the last remaining developments in the City’s Mill District. The utility connections are necessary for the 152 units of housing planned for the mill development, including 60 income-controlled units.
The improvements will also alleviate traffic issues with road upgrades and a new roundabout, and create amenities for pedestrians, such as paved access ways linking the development to trails and the waterfront at Lower Mill Pond and the Manhan Rail Trial. Additionally, the project will make the restoration of the mill’s hydroelectric system possible and advance Easthampton’s goal of addressing climate change.
“Our Administration is committed to investing in programs like MassWorks, which impact not only local infrastructure, but also play a critical role in strengthening businesses and the communities that surround them,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “MassWorks is one of many administration initiatives that enable local communities to tap into private investment and accelerate local economic growth across the Commonwealth.”
“Through the flexibility of MassWorks, we have been able to drive over two million square feet of new commercial space, made possible by listening to individual communities’ needs and by responding with individualized programs that benefit many stakeholders, such as the Ferry Street Mill project, which will unlock development in Easthampton,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. “The Governor and I are pleased to continue to make the investments in the public infrastructure our cities and towns need to create sustainable growth.”
“I am happy to be in Easthampton to award $3.5 million in MassWorks funding for facilitate the Ferry Street Mill project, an important effort for Easthampton to achieve its development plans in the Mill District,” said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash. “Our office saw another competitive round of MassWorks for 2018 and we are happy to keep the momentum going across the Commonwealth in the year ahead.”
“The 2018 MassWorks grant award makes possible the long awaited realization of Easthampton’s Mill District and citywide economic stimulus. This grant funds significant public infrastructure improvements that unlock $43 million worth of private investment for a unique mixed-use development. I am grateful to accept on behalf of Easthampton a smart growth project of this magnitude that will have unprecedented impact on growth for Easthampton residents well into the future,” said Mayor Nicole LaChapelle.
“With this important grant funding, the Baker-Polito Administration has demonstrated a strong commitment to the revitalization and enhancement of Easthampton’s Ferry Street Mill,” said Senator Donald Humason. “This project will not only provide the essential resources for the Mill’s redevelopment, but will also allow important utility and roadway updates in the City’s Mill District.”
"Development of the One Ferry Street parcel has been a priority for Easthampton for many years. This grant provides the necessary infrastructure to make this project a reality, create needed housing, and will further enhance Easthampton's vibrant Mill District," said Representative John W. Scibak.
Ferry Street Mill is located in Easthampton’s “opportunity zone,” designated by Governor Baker and approved by the U.S. Treasury earlier this year to support community development and encourage long-term investments in low-income urban and rural communities nationwide.
Since 2015, the Baker-Polito Administration has awarded over $275 million in MassWorks grants to support 138 projects in 106 communities. MassWorks funding has been critical to the addition of over 2 million square feet of commercial/retail space, approximately 10,000 full and part time jobs, more than 7,000 immediate housing units, at least 7,000 square feet of new public space and 1,200 new hotel rooms.
Through the 2018 MassWorks round, the Administration will award more than $82 million in new grants for 40 projects that intend to leverage $2.9 billion in private investment, and drive an anticipated 4,000 units of new housing and more than 9,000 full time jobs. 37 communities across the Commonwealth will benefit from this round’s investments.
Governor Baker signed economic development legislation in August that includes substantial new funding for municipalities, including another $250 million for MassWorks awards. The legislation builds on the Baker-Polito Administration’s work to partner with communities to catalyze economic development and create new opportunities for residents across the Commonwealth, including the 2016 Job Creation and Workforce Development act, which authorized $1 billion to support economic development efforts across the state, including $500 million authorization for MassWorks Infrastructure Program, enhanced tools and the introduction of new strategies for job-readiness efforts.
Learn more about MassWorks at mass.gov.