- Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development
- Office of Governor Charlie Baker and Lt. Governor Karyn Polito
Media Contact for Baker-Polito Administration Announces $880K MassWorks Award for Somerset
Colleen Arons , Communications Director
SOMERSET — Today, Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash joined Somerset Board of Selectmen Chairman Holly McNamara and other local and state officials to announce an $880,000 MassWorks Infrastructure Program grant for improvements to Route 6.
The MassWorks award will facilitate 760 linear feet of roadway and intersection improvements to support Fairfield Commons, a new 80,000 square-foot commercial development. Improvements will include road widening, upgraded sidewalks, additional turn lanes and a new four-way signalized intersection at the junction of Route 6, Fairfield Commons and an existing Home Depot.
“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 this project, which will unlock development in Somerset,” 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 Somerset to award $880,000 in MassWorks funding for roadwork to support Fairfield Commons and other businesses in the Route 6 area, which will bring substantial jobs and commercial opportunity to the area,” 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 Fairfield Commons site is a 14-acre parcel recently offered for sale by the town. The land was awarded to South Coast Hospitality in 2017 and has since been rezoned and permitted for $20 million in new commercial development, including a 111-room Marriot hotel, two stand-alone restaurants and 4,500 square feet of office space.
“I would like to express our gratitude for the state’s support,” said Somerset Town Administrator Richard Brown. “This is a project that is important to Somerset and we are excited about its potential to redefine the Rt 6 corridor. MassWorks funding allows the town to support infrastructure improvements that will allow the project to move forward in developing much needed tax base and employment opportunities.”
The new infrastructure leverages $300,000 in private funding and will also enhance traffic flow along Route 6 to support additional development. An estimated 30 full-time jobs, 75 part-time jobs, and 125 construction jobs are expected. In addition, Somerset anticipates $3.5 to $5 million in new tax revenue to be generated.
“The MassWorks funding represents a significant investment in the Town of Somerset by the Baker-Polito Administration,” said Senator Michael J. Rodrigues. “The Route 6 improvements will allow the development of Fairfield Commons to integrate smoothly into the Town. I applaud the administration for their support of this project, which will create new jobs and contribute tax revenues to Somerset.”
“Through our efforts on the state level, these MassWorks funds will further allow the town to engage in this important public-private economic development effort,” said Rep. Patricia A. Haddad, Speaker Pro Tempore. “Not only will it assist in creating local jobs, but it help facilitate a return of valuable tax revenues.”
Since 2015, the Baker-Polito Administration has awarded over $358 million in MassWorks grants to support 177 projects in 128 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.