- Office of Governor Charlie Baker and Lt. Governor Karyn Polito
- Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development
Media Contact for Baker-Polito Administration Announces Two MassWorks Infrastructure Awards Totaling $3.7 Million in Boston
Ryan Boehm, Deputy Director of Communications
BOSTON — Today, Governor Charlie Baker, Lt. Governor Karyn Polito, Housing and Economic Development Secretary Mike Kennealy and Housing and Community Development Undersecretary Janelle Chan joined Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh, Representative Chynah Tyler and other local leaders to announce two MassWorks Infrastructure Program grants totaling $3.7 million in support of the Bartlett Station mixed-use development in Roxbury and the redevelopment of the Owen Nawn Factory site in Dudley Square.
A $2.9 million MassWorks award will provide intersection, streetscape, and public space improvements in support of the $172 million mixed-use development sponsored by Nuestra Comunidad at the site of the former MBTA Bartlett Bus Yard. This is phase II of a public infrastructure improvement program to increase traffic safety, enhance walkability, and create a sense of vibrancy in and around Bartlett Station. Future phases of the development will include 14,000 square feet of first-floor retail space and more than 300 units of multi-family housing. A total of 240 units will be affordable at full build out. The development is located within 1,500 feet of the Dudley Square MBTA Bus Terminal.
“MassWorks is a valuable program that maximizes return on investment for capital funding, delivering vital infrastructure repairs that improve public safety while stimulating local and private development, job growth and housing production,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “The Bartlett Station and Nawn Factory projects will create true community by providing much needed housing across all incomes and by restoring one of Roxbury’s historic sites. We are pleased to contribute to our capital city’s continued growth.”
“As former municipal leaders, Governor Baker and I know firsthand the value of flexible grant programs like MassWorks, which help communities make targeted enhancements and provide opportunities for economic development,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. “Today’s MassWorks awards will accelerate important transit-oriented development and housing in Roxbury, and lay the groundwork for the productive reuse of a long vacant property in the Dudley Square commercial district.”
An additional $800,000 MassWorks grant will fund building and site improvements that will lead to the reuse of the former Owen Nawn Factory, a historic, two-story manufacturing building in Dudley Square. These upgrades will prepare the public property for conveyance and private investment, with a goal of restoring and repurposing the building as an educational and historical asset for the Roxbury community. Specific project improvements will include abatement, site utility upgrades, and repointing of the building’s brick facade.
“The Baker-Polito Administration recognizes the importance of reliable, modern infrastructure to the safety and success of communities of all sizes,” said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Mike Kennealy. “By unlocking the Bartlett Station mixed-use development and putting the former Nawn factory on a path to reuse, these two MassWorks grants are supporting the Baker-Polito Administration’s goals of responding to the housing crisis and supporting vibrant downtowns.”
The Bartlett Station MassWorks project leverages $100,000 in HUD Choice Neighborhood Grant funds. Among the project improvements are a passive public park, sidewalks and street widening, and a new traffic signal at the intersection of Washington Street and St. James Street. Enhancements will provide safe access and egress for the development, expand pedestrian accommodations, and create a high quality public space for Bartlett Station’s visitors and the Roxbury community. The Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) supported Building B of the Bartlett Station project, a fully occupied 60-unit (38 affordable) mixed-use building, through state and federal tax credits and direct subsidies. Additionally, this MassWorks grant builds on a completed MassWorks project that received nearly $2.4 million in 2014 for the completion of a new roadway and surrounding streetscape improvements.
The Nawn Factory is one of several vacant and underutilized properties targeted for redevelopment through “PLAN: Dudley Square,” a neighborhood planning initiative to mobilize the reuse of publicly-owned parcels for community-oriented development projects in the area. The Nawn building has been vacant for nearly 50 years and is now about one-third of its original size after several fires and years of deferred maintenance. The Boston Planning and Development Agency (BPDA), and the City of Boston’s Department of Neighborhood Development (DND) are seeking proposals for potential reuse. Possible plans include a small museum and visitor’s center, a mixed commercial use, reconstruction of the building’s demolished footprint, and creation of new open space for public use.
“I am pleased that this round of MassWorks funding recognizes the potential for investment in Roxbury by supporting both Bartlett Station and the Nawn Factory, two projects that once complete will contribute to our long-term housing goals, spur economic growth in the area and create more jobs for the residents of Boston,” said Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh. “These investments build on our work to create more opportunities for Boston's residents, workers, small business owners, and visitors.”
“There is an issue with housing affordability here in Boston,” said Representative Chynah Tyler. “Unfortunately, many families have been forced to move out of this community because they cannot afford to live here. The MassWorks Infrastructure Program Grant is one of many new tools that allows us to create housing options that families can afford while protecting the historical identity of Roxbury.”
“The state’s MassWorks investment in Bartlett Station will help facilitate much-desired economic benefits for Roxbury and Dudley Square,” said David Price, Chief Executive, Nuestra CDC. “The pedestrian walkway improvements, traffic signal and enhanced infrastructure funded by the grant for Bartlett Place will create a neighborhood friendly destination. The overall project will create an important destination with affordable rental and home ownership opportunities, drawing new customers for Dudley Square. And the total investment will bring economic diversity, stability and opportunities for growing wealth.”
Through the 2019 MassWorks round, the Baker-Polito Administration will award more than $72 million in MassWorks awards to a diverse mix of 36 projects in 35 communities across the Commonwealth, including nine Gateway Cities and eight communities that will receive MassWorks funding for the first time. The awards will unlock a total of $2.3 billion in private investment and more than 4,600 new full-time jobs, along with more than 3,100 new housing units, more than a third of which are affordable, building on the Administration’s efforts to tackle the ongoing housing shortage through complementary programs like historic funding for affordable housing and the proposed Housing Choice legislation. The transformative projects funded by the 2019 awards were selected from 92 applications, totaling $223 million in requests.
Since 2015, the Baker-Polito Administration has awarded more than $456 million in MassWorks grants to support 219 shovel-ready projects in 141 communities. MassWorks funding has leveraged over $9.2B in private investments and made possible the creation of more than 14,000 new housing units and tens of thousands of construction and permanent jobs.
Governor Baker signed economic development legislation in August 2018 that included substantial new funding for municipalities, including another $250 million for MassWorks awards. The legislation built 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 a $500 million authorization for the MassWorks Infrastructure Program, enhanced tools and the introduction of new strategies for job-readiness efforts.
Learn more about MassWorks here.