Press Release

Press Release Baker-Polito Administration Announces $400K MassWorks Award for Worcester

Award supports Public Market at Harding-Green development within city’s Canal District
For immediate release:
  • Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development
  • Office of Governor Charlie Baker and Lt. Governor Karyn Polito

Media Contact for Baker-Polito Administration Announces $400K MassWorks Award for Worcester

Colleen Arons , Communications Director

Sec Ash and members of the Worcester state and local delegation

WorcesterToday, Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash joined city leaders, developer Allen Fletcher and other local and state officials to announce a $400,000 MassWorks Infrastructure Program grant for streetscape improvements in the Canal District adjacent to the Public Market at Harding-Green development. MassWorks funding will be used for pedestrian and streetscape infrastructure to enhance safety and add aesthetic improvements, allowing access to neighborhoods and commercial areas.

The Public Market at Harding-Green is a $21.3 million mixed-use development that plans to construct a four-story, mixed-use building on 1.3 acres. The 70,000 square-foot development is located in the Canal District and will include retail space, a public food market and 48 market-rate residential apartments.

“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 Harding-Green project, which will foster future development in Worcester’s Canal District,” 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 Worcester to present $400,000 in MassWorks funding to facilitate the Public Market at Harding-Green development, part of the state’s overall support for the revitalization of the Canal 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.”

“Kelley Square is a gateway to our city and I am proud that the City Council approved the tax financing of over $800,000 to make the Harding Green project a reality,” said Mayor Joseph Petty. “This additional $400,000 from the state will make this project a real land mark in the Canal District.  I want to thank Governor Baker and Lieutenant Governor Polito for being such great partners in our city’s development and for believing in the potential of Gateway Cities like Worcester.”

“In this defining moment in the City of Worcester’s history, we could not ask for a better partner than the Commonwealth of Massachusetts,” said City Manager Edward M. Augustus Jr. “The Baker-Polito Administration has bought into the vision for the Canal District and Green Island neighborhood and continues to make transformational investments with the relocation of the Worcester Red Sox, the renovations to Kelley Square and now the funding for infrastructure improvements at the Harding Green public market development. Allen Fletcher’s public market project adds another layer of energy, vibrancy and opportunity to the Canal District and ensures that an already great neighborhood can reach its full potential.”

“This is wonderful news and makes an enormous difference for Harding Green,” said Harding-Green developer Allen Fletcher. “The interface of our project with the public realm is extremely active and important – all the more so because of the upcoming reconstruction of Kelley Square and the arrival of the Red Sox. This grant will help to ensure that Harding Green makes a full and active contribution to what we consider to be the most important gateway to the city.”

“This infrastructure funding is essential to the overall development of Kelley Square and I am very happy that the state is choosing to invest and improve walkability and community development in our city,” said Senator Harriette L. Chandler.

Since 2015, the Baker-Polito Administration has awarded over $358 million in MassWorks grants to support 177 projects in 1128 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


Media Contact for Baker-Polito Administration Announces $400K MassWorks Award for Worcester

Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development 

The Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development promotes vibrant communities, growing businesses, and a strong middle class.

Office of Governor Charlie Baker and Lt. Governor Karyn Polito 

Governor Charlie Baker, Lt. Governor Karyn Polito, and members of their administration are committed to making Massachusetts the best place to live, work, and raise a family.