- Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development
- Office of Governor Charlie Baker and Lt. Governor Karyn Polito
Media Contact for Baker-Polito Administration Celebrates Chicopee’s West End Mill Redevelopment Project Completion
Colleen Arons , Communications Director
CHICOPEE — Today, Lt. Governor Karyn Polito joined Chicopee Mayor Richard J. Kos, state, and local officials at a completion ceremony for the West End Mill District Redevelopment Project. The West End Mill project received a $2.6 million MassWorks Infrastructure Grant award in 2015 to fund a new pump station and water, sewer, and electrical improvements, critical to enabling the redevelopment of Chicopee’s former textile mills.
“Our Administration is proud to employ MassWorks for projects like this one, that lay the foundation for continued community revitalization efforts by creating jobs and promoting economic development,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “These infrastructure investments in gateway cities like Chicopee leverage community efforts and assets to help build for the future.”
“Refurbishing the Cabotville and Lyman mill area is essential to attracting residents and businesses to the West End,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. “The Baker-Polito Administration is pleased to support the reimagining of Lyman Mills through the MassWorks program and will continue to partner with Chicopee’s business and residential communities to bring economic opportunity to the region.”
“MassWorks allows communities like Chicopee to build a foundation for the kind of growth that best suits its needs,” said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash. “In our collaboration with Mayor Kos and the City of Chicopee we have provided resources aligned with the city’s goal to enhance the West End and create a thriving community.”
Lyman Mills’ redevelopment is ongoing, with current construction of 110 market rate live-work lofts, known as Dwight Manufacturing. This is the first major private investment in the West End neighborhood in decades. Completion of the project is anticipated for later this fall. The private investment is estimated at $11 million. The MassWorks project also supports the future redevelopment of the Cabotville Mills, the proposed project is estimated to be worth $55 million and will include 600 new rental units across two stages.
“This project addressed an important need in our water and sewer systems,” said Mayor Richard J. Kos. “I thank the Baker-Polito administration and our legislative delegation for the MassWorks grant which paid for 90 percent of the improvements. This investment will prove to be a catalyst for future development in this area.”
The West End is home to two of Chicopee’s most significant industrial complexes: the former Cabotville and Lyman Mills. The Lyman Mills, located on 1.8 acres, is a historically significant property that was once home to textile manufacturing in Chicopee. The area experienced significant decline in the 1950s and many of the properties have been underutilized or dormant since. The city, in efforts to revitalize the mills, undertook significant planning efforts including a 2010 pilot Brownfields Area-wide Planning (AWP) grant awarded to the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). An area wide West End Plan was also undertaken by the city in 2012.
"I am so glad that this project is finally complete. The West End Mill District Redevelopment is the first step of many to bring fresh opportunities for businesses and residents right to the heart of Chicopee. Developments like this are also critical to bringing new jobs to the city and our wider region, and to improve opportunities for our young people and others looking for work. I’m grateful for the collaboration between state, city and private sector leaders who made this project possible,” said Sen. Eric P. Lesser, Senate Chair of the Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies.
“This state and local partnership reflects our commitment to capitalize on Chicopee’s underutilized resources. It is projects like this that serve to justify the commitments made by the legislature in 2016 and 2018 to authorize significant capital dollars for the program,” said Representative Joseph Wagner, House Chair of the Joint Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies.
“This area and its economy were originally built on manufacturing, so it is amazing to see projects include that legacy in current redevelopment efforts,” said Representative James T. Welch. “The funding for this project provided by the state is a catalyst that is sure to lead to continued growth and hopefully even more investment from private sources. The state has given Chicopee the tools to realize this redevelopment and the autonomy to use these tools in a way that will let the city best define its own exciting future.”
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 through strategic investments in public infrastructure. Since 2015, 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, 1,200 new hotel rooms, and commercial/retail space.
In August 2016, Governor Baker signed An Act Relative to Job Creation and Workforce Development (H.4569), which included a $500 million reauthorization of the MassWorks program to fund investment in critical infrastructure, a significant commitment by the Commonwealth. In August, the Governor signed economic development legislation that includes an additional $250 million in new MassWorks authorization.
More information is available at the MassWorks website.