Press Release

Press Release Baker-Polito Administration Awards $7.5 million to Support 800 New Housing Units and Economic Development in Boston 

  MassWorks Infrastructure Program awards will support the creation of hundreds of new housing units and leverage significant private investment across four projects 
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 Awards $7.5 million to Support 800 New Housing Units and Economic Development in Boston 

Samantha Kaufman, Deputy Director of Communications

BOSTON Today, Governor Charlie Baker announced nearly $7.5 million in MassWorks Infrastructure Program awards to four projects in the City of Boston. MassWorks Infrastructure Program funding will support projects in Dorchester, Mattapan, South Boston’s Seaport District, and Roxbury, leveraging more than $250 million in private investment and complementing federal, state and local contributions. Today’s awards will catalyze the construction of more than 800 new housing units, generate 130,000 square feet of new restaurant, retail and commercial space, and create new incubation space for emerging technology companies.

“Our administration is committed to economic development programs like MassWorks that help cities and towns invest in public infrastructure and unlock opportunities for private investment, housing and new jobs,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “These projects will lead to long-lasting, positive benefits for their neighborhoods and the City of Boston. We are thrilled to partner with Mayor Walsh and his administration to pursue increased housing production and new economic opportunities for residents that enhance the quality of life in the community.” 

Governor Baker made the announcement at the Boston Chamber of Commerce. The four projects are part of the 2017 MassWorks Infrastructure Program award round, which totals nearly $85 million in infrastructure investments across the Commonwealth. The projects, detailed below, represent shovel-ready projects with significant private investment, and additional funding commitments from federal, state and local partners.

“MassWorks reflects our administration’s support for flexible funding that leverages local and private resources to meet the economic development needs of Massachusetts’ cities and towns,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. “We are proud to have increased funding for this critical program and look forward to the thousands of new housing units, industrial expansion and new mixed-use development space that will be created across every region of the Commonwealth.” 

The MassWorks Infrastructure Program makes grants to municipalities for public infrastructure projects that generate additional private sector investment. 

"These funds will help Boston continue its housing goals as we work towards creating 53,000 new units of housing by 2030, and will continue to bring businesses, economic mobility, and opportunity to our neighborhoods," said Mayor Martin J. Walsh. "I look forward to more opportunities to partner with the Commonwealth and create long-lasting investments throughout Boston."  

“The effectiveness of the MassWorks Infrastructure Program and the reason that it has been successful at unlocking development is the program’s ability to support projects across a wide range of sizes and scope,” said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash. “Each year we fund high-quality, shovel-ready projects, and this year is no exception. I congratulate Boston for pursuing projects that strengthen their neighborhoods and promote sustainable economic growth and development.”

The MassWorks Infrastructure Program provides a one-stop shop for municipalities and other eligible public entities seeking public infrastructure funding to support housing production, economic development, and job creation. Since 2015, and including this year’s awards, the Baker-Polito Administration has awarded over $274 million to 134 projects in 106 communities throughout the Commonwealth, spurring the development of over 2 million square feet of commercial and retail space, over 7,000 immediate housing units, at least 7,000 square feet of new public space and 1,200 new hotel rooms and commercial/retail space.

“MassWorks funding provides our communities with flexibility to address critical projects that support local economic growth and job creation,” said Administration and Finance Secretary Michael J. Heffernan. “We have prioritized engaging and supporting our cities and towns in our capital budget plan, and the MassWorks program is one of the best ways in which we can do this.” 

In August 2016, Governor Baker signed An Act Relative to Job Creation and Workforce Development (H.4569) to reauthorize MassWorks and support $500 million of future investment in critical infrastructure, a significant commitment by the Commonwealth.



South Bay Expansion Infrastructure Project, Dorchester – $1,218,000

Boston will construct a new surface road, new utility connections, sidewalks, and landscaping improvements to support the redevelopment of the South Bay Shopping Center by EDENs. Infrastructure improvements will benefit public safety, enhance pedestrian connectivity and upgrade traffic circulation in the area. The private project, now underway, will redevelop more than 10 acres of underutilized land into a $200 million, transit-oriented, mixed-use development that will feature 475 housing units, a new 12-screen cinema, a 130-room hotel and 130,000 square feet of restaurant, retail and commercial space.  

Olmsted Green West Phase III Infrastructure Project, Mattapan – $3,000,000

MassWorks funding will support the full build-out of the Olmsted Green Campus by Lena New Boston. Redevelopment of the 38-acre parcel within the former Boston State Hospital site, began in 2008, and 151 affordable rental units have already been completed. This award will enable the construction of internal public roads and subsurface work necessary to unlock 268 units of additional housing, 109 of which will be affordable. Today’s award leverages multiple funding commitments from the Baker-Polito Administration, MassHousing’s Workforce Opportunity Fund, and from the City of Boston. The final phase of the development project is estimated at $103 million. When completed the larger redevelopment of the Boston State Hospital site includes a nature conservancy, community spaces and hundreds of housing units.

Madison Melnea Infrastructure Project, Roxbury – $725,000

Today’s award will provide for infrastructure and site work necessary for the construction of the Madison Melnea Cass Apartments by Madison Park Development Corporation (MPDC). The development will create 76 new units of mixed-income housing, including 33 deeply affordable units reserved as replacement units for residents of Whittier Street Apartments on two parcels along Melnea Cass Boulevard. This project will complement the complete transformation of the Whittier Street Apartments through the Whittier Street Choice Neighborhoods Initiative, a collaboration between MPDC, Preservation of Affordable Housing (POAH), the City of Boston, and the Boston Housing Authority. In 2016, HUD awarded a $30 million Choice Neighborhoods Initiative grant to support the full revitalization of the site, which is currently home to 200 Boston families. The construction of the Madison Melnea Cass Apartments was planned and permitted in conjunction with the Whittier Street Choice Neighborhood Initiative, and is a vital resource of replacement units for current residents during construction. Once completed, the full redevelopment will feature hundreds of mixed-income housing and new commercial space, reconnecting Whittier Street to the surrounding neighborhood.

12 Channel Street MassRobotics Economic Development Project, South Boston Seaport District – $2,500,000

MassWorks will enable the conversion of 25,000 square feet of storage space at the Boston Planning and Development Agency's 12 Channel Street building into the second floor of the MassRobotics Innovation Center. MassRobotics is a non-profit organization focused on fostering the robotics cluster in Massachusetts. The private public partnership will enable MassRobotics to expand and attract more startups in the area; it is estimated that MassRobotics will support the creation of 3,000 new jobs within 10 years and attract more than $1 billion in venture capital funding and corporate investments to the Commonwealth. This award complements significant investments the Baker-Polito Administration has made to support emerging technology clusters in Massachusetts, through the M2I2 program, Workforce Skill Capital awards and Advanced Manufacturing Training Grants to support.



Media Contact for Baker-Polito Administration Awards $7.5 million to Support 800 New Housing Units and Economic Development in Boston 

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