- Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development
Media Contact for Baker-Polito Administration Announces Over $2.3 Million in Grants Through Site Readiness Program
Colleen Arons , Communications Director, Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development
CHICOPEE — Today, the Baker-Polito Administration awarded over $2.3 million for 10 projects in its third round of Site Readiness Program awards. The Site Readiness Program provides vital resources to municipalities, developers, and community development corporations to overcome obstacles to developing otherwise prime locations.
The 10 grants awarded today will finance feasibility studies, master planning, environmental work, strategic land acquisition, and site improvements, resulting in critical additions to the Commonwealth’s inventory of large, development-ready sites.
“As companies relocate, expand, and start up in Massachusetts, it’s critical to ensure they have the space they need to grow,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “The Commonwealth’s Site Readiness Program helps municipalities and their partners develop pad-ready sites that attract investment and create jobs in communities across the Commonwealth.”
The funding round was announced today by Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito during an event at Westover Airport.
“Each of today’s grant recipients has a unique plan to transform an abandoned or underused parcel into a new hub for economic activity,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “We are pleased to provide this third round of Site Readiness funding, and look forward to the potential it will unlock for key sites across the state.”
The Site Readiness Program aims to boost the Commonwealth’s supply of large, well-located, project-ready sites; accelerate private-sector investment in industrial and commercial projects; and support the conversion of abandoned sites and obsolete facilities into clean, actively-used, tax-generating properties. It was created as part of the 2016 Economic Development Bill, which authorized $15 million for the program to be administered by MassDevelopment. The first two grant rounds included $3.4 million to 26 projects in almost every region, increasing the development potential of 1,885 acres across the Commonwealth. The Baker-Polito Administration announced it would make $2.5 million available for the third round of the program in October 2018.
“The Baker-Polito Administration is committed to providing cities and towns with the tools they need to move their economic development goals forward,” said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Mike Kennealy. “By offering Site Readiness alongside complementary programs like the Brownfields Redevelopment Fund and MassWorks infrastructure grants, we’re helping communities eradicate obstacles to growth and making it easier to do business in the Commonwealth.
“The Site Readiness Program is a transformative economic development tool that helps communities prepare key sites for development,” said MassDevelopment Deputy Director and Chief Operating Officer Bob Ruzzo. “MassDevelopment is proud to administer the Site Readiness Program on behalf of the Commonwealth, and we congratulate all of today’s grant recipients.”
“This assistance from the Commonwealth will enable our City and other Communities to have land available to attract investment and create jobs. It is an invaluable level of support,” said Chicopee Mayor Richard J. Kos.
“This is an exciting opportunity to open land around Westover Air Reserve Base to development that will expand capacity for industrial users and bring more jobs to Western Mass.,” said Senator Eric P. Lesser. “I’m glad the state is contributing to this effort to capitalize on the great resources we have in our community that can boost economic development.”
“This site has long been a source of untapped economic potential for Chicopee,” said Senator James T. Welch. “This funding will kick start the early stages of the development process and help this area become the industrial center it was always meant to be.”
“WMDC’s receipt of a FY2018 Site Readiness Grant is another example of the Commonwealth’s partnering with municipalities and developers to attract new business and economic development opportunities,” said Representative Joseph F. Wagner.
"It is nice to see the state making investments in Western Massachusetts, especially in conjunction with a well-run organization like the Westover Metropolitan Development Corporation,” said Representative Michael Finn. “They have done an excellent job acquiring and developing land over the years, and I am confident they will continue that trend with the funding from the Site Readiness grant."
“Congratulations to the quasi-public Westover Metropolitan Development Corporation for acquiring the FY18 Site Readiness Grant,” said Representative José F. Tosado. “Your recognition of hard work and dedication to providing environmental services is noteworthy and sets the extraordinary example of which, ‘hard works pays off!’”
2019 Site Readiness Program Grants
Good Samaritan Life Science Center, Brockton - $150,000
The City of Brockton will use Site Readiness funds for a master plan that will foster development of a life sciences enclave along Route 24 on underutilized land adjacent to Good Samaritan Medical Center.
Route 138 Corridor, Canton - $75,000
The Town of Canton will use this grant to conduct a study identifying future development and redevelopment sites along the corridor as well as needed roadway improvements.
Airpark South, Chicopee - $850,000
The Westover Metropolitan Development Corporation will use this grant to acquire four parcels of land, totaling approximately 20 acres, adjacent to the currently undeveloped Airpark South site to allow for future large-scale development opportunities.
Sandpit Site Land Acquisition, Fitchburg - $100,000
The City of Fitchburg will use this grant to acquire land to improve the access drive to the municipally owned sandpit site on Airport Road. The site was the subject of a study funded in the FY17 Site Readiness Program round.
Riverfront Business Park, Freetown - $150,000
This grant will fund the design of a 4,000-foot road that will provide access to a 406-acre site pre-permitted for 2 million square-feet of industrial development.
I-91 Industrial Park Expansion, Greenfield - $250,000
The City of Greenfield will use Site Readiness funds to design a 750-foot road that will provide access to an expansion area of the existing I-91 Industrial Park.
Upper Hilldale Avenue, Haverhill - $50,000
The City of Haverhill will use Site Readiness funds for a study that will investigate site constraints and prepare a concept development plan for a prime 85-acre parcel of land near I-495.
15 Broad Street, Hudson - $400,000
This grant will be used to demolish a derelict mill located in the Town of Hudson’s Downtown Business District, creating space for the Town to build a public parking lot that will support a number of growing businesses in the area.
117 Union Street, New Bedford - $180,000
The New Bedford Development Corporation will use this grant to acquire a vacant downtown property, which will be redeveloped into 43 mixed-income housing units above ground-floor retail.
Turnpike Industrial Park, Westfield - $150,000
This grant will help the City of Westfield fund the preparation of a final Environmental Impact Report for an 85-acre city-owned industrial site.