The Baker-Polito Administration today awarded $1.8 million for the inaugural round of the Site Readiness Fund Program, enacted within the administration\u2019s 2016 Economic Development Bill authorizing a $15 million to provide vital resources to municipalities, developers, and community development corporations to increase the inventory of development-ready sites across the Commonwealth.\n\n\u201cThe Commonwealth continues to be a competitive place to do business, and this program supports local goals that drive growth and job creation,\u201d said\u00a0Governor Charlie Baker. \u201cWe are pleased this funding will increase the resources available for municipalities and their partners to attract investment and job growth in communities across Massachusetts.\u201d\n\nLieutenant Governor Karyn Polito joined Orange Town Planner Kevin Kennedy to announce the awards in Orange, which is receiving a Site Readiness grant to engage a planning and engineering team to assess the development potential of 432 acres of vacant and underused land near Exit 15 off Route 2.\n\n\u201cThese grants will provide Massachusetts\u2019 cities and towns the resources and tools to move their economic development goals forward,\u201d said\u00a0Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. \u201cWe are pleased to make these inaugural awards to support local efforts to increase housing, eliminate blight, revitalize urban settings and create jobs.\u201d\n\n\u201cPutting what resources we can into converting project-ready sites for new and existing Massachusetts companies makes great sense,\u201d said\u00a0Senate President Stan Rosenberg.\u00a0\u201cOur economy, and our people, are depending on it.\u201d\n\nThe Site Readiness Fund Program aims to boost the Commonwealth\u2019s inventory of large, well-located, project-ready sites; accelerate private-sector investment in industrial and commercial projects; and support conversion of abandoned sites and obsolete facilities into clean, actively-used, tax-generating properties. MassDevelopment administers the program on behalf of the Commonwealth, and 14 grants were issued in this first year to 11 communities across the state and one entity representing Metro Boston.\n\n\u201cThe Site Readiness Fund Program jump-starts economic development by triggering the first step in the process,\u201d said\u00a0Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Jay Ash. \u201cHaving sites ready for development when businesses, restaurants and retailers come calling is essential to job creation and the revitalization of communities.\u201d\n\n\u201cThe Site Readiness Fund will allow the Commonwealth to support economic-development projects with strategic consulting and technical assistance,\u201d said\u00a0MassDevelopment Executive Vice President for Real Estate Richard Henderson. \u201cThanks to the Baker-Polito Administration and the Legislature for creating this transformative tool that will promote business growth and job creation at underused sites.\u201d\n\nSite Readiness Program Grant Awards:\n\nBigelow Spinning Mills Redevelopment Study, Clinton - $50,000\n\nBigelow Spinning Mills is a 265,000-square-foot mill complex in downtown Clinton. Site Readiness Funds will allow for a redevelopment study focused on tenanting the properties with employment-intensive uses.\n\nAirport Road Sand Pit Redevelopment Study, Fitchburg - $40,000\n\nThe City of Fitchburg will use funds for an environmental assessment, constraints plan, and multiple site concept plans for this 41-acre plot currently used for sand storage and yard waste disposal.\u00a0\n\nAirport Road Industrial Corridor Modernization, Fitchburg - $250,000\n\nGrant funding will bring broadband into an underused industrial corridor in Fitchburg, increasing the competitiveness of the corridor\u2019s current tenants, and readying underused parcels for future development opportunities. Grant funds will also bring broadband to Fitchburg\u2019s Main Street, providing critical infrastructure for all forms of economic development. Broadband connection will be available throughout the City of Fitchburg upon the completion of this project.\n\nAcquisition of 50 and 52 Parker Street, Gardner - $400,000\n\nThe City of Gardner will acquire two adjoining buildings located at 50 and 52 Parker St. in downtown Gardner. The purchase will enable the City and its Redevelopment Authority to reposition the underused and neglected buildings for new redevelopment opportunities and support the revitalization of Gardner\u2019s downtown.\u00a0\n\nWhiting Farms Road Parcel Master Plan, Holyoke - $40,000\n\nThe Holyoke Economic Development and Industrial Corporation will use funding for engineering studies to address access, utility connections, and site grading at this undeveloped 11-acre parcel of land.\n\nJungle Road Master Plan, Leominster - $100,000\n\nFunds will allow the City of Leominster to create a master plan for this largely vacant site that is relatively level, zoned for industrial use, and immediately adjacent to the intersection of Route 190 and Route 117.\n\nMunicipal Golf Course Redevelopment, New Bedford - $300,000\n\nFunds will allow for the redevelopment of 100 acres of a municipally-owned golf course in New Bedford for industrial uses. The site offers excellent highway access and will undergo environmental and geotechnical investigations in the first phase of the project.\n\nGreylock Works Market Assessment and Outreach Strategy, North Adams - $95,000\n\nGreylock WORKS is a multi-phase redevelopment project of a 240,000-square-foot former cotton mill. The grant will provide for a targeted market assessment, tenant outreach strategy, capital plan and implementation plan for the site.\n\nExit 15 Strategic Plan, Orange - $40,000\n\nFunds will allow for a planning/engineering team to assess the development potential of 432 acres of vacant and underused land near Exit 15 off Route 2. The consultant will make a recommendation for a priority site or sites that should be advanced in the future to assist with future site readiness.\n\n40\u2019s Site Sub-Slab Environmental Assessment, Pittsfield - $75,000\n\nThis grant will help the City of Pittsfield and the Pittsfield Economic Development Agency gain a better understanding of on-site conditions through a subsurface investigation and engineering review at this seven-acre site within the William Stanley Business Park.\n\nTurnpike Industrial Park Expansion Plan, Westfield - $300,000\n\nFunding will allow the City of Westfield to pursue predevelopment work of this 66.3-acre, industrially-zoned site that was previously a landfill and is located adjacent to the existing Turnpike Industrial Park.\n\nBusiness Park Infrastructure Analysis, Westminster - $25,000\n\nSimplex Drive Infrastructure Analysis, Westminster - $25,000\n\nSimplex Drive is an undeveloped privately-owned site. Westminster Business Park is a sand-and-gravel, privately-owned operation with rail access. The Town will use funds to undertake an assessment of available infrastructure capacity versus industry requirements at these sites.\n\n495/MetroWest Partnership, Identification of Industrial Sites - $50,000\n\nThis grant will update the 2012 495/MetroWest Development Compact Plan, a regional planning exercise to identify areas for development. The Partnership will produce a pipeline of potential industrial sites by eliminating areas that have been developed since the 2012 planning exercise and determining which Priority Development Areas are most appropriate for future industrial development.\n\nAbout MassDevelopment:\n\nMassDevelopment, the state\u2019s finance and development agency, works with businesses, nonprofits, financial institutions, and communities to stimulate economic growth across the Commonwealth. During FY2016, MassDevelopment financed or managed\u00a0352 projects generating investment of\u00a0more than $4 billion in the Massachusetts economy. These projects are projected to create about 8,200 jobs and build or rehabilitate about 4,200 residential units.