- Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development
Media Contact for Baker-Polito Administration Celebrates Collaborative Workspace Program in Holyoke
Kelsey Schiller, Director of Communications & Media Relations
Holyoke — Today, Undersecretary of Community Development Ashley Stolba, Assistant Secretary for Communities and Programs Juan Vega, and MassDevelopment Vice President of Community Investment Shyla Matthews were joined by state and local officials in Holyoke to celebrate the Collaborative Workspace Program awards, which total $1,197,000 to 39 organizations in 23 communities. Among the awards, Holyoke-based Canal Row, LLC received a $75,000 grant to repurpose a portion of the Armour building into a coworking space, with funding to be used for the buildout of micro-offices, work spaces, meeting rooms, and furnishings. Additionally, the Holyoke-based New England Farm Workers’ Council received a $15,000 grant to study the feasibility of a collaborative workspace/small business incubator for 225 High Street.
“Communities across Massachusetts are realizing the power of collaborative workspaces and their ability to energize local economies,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “We are thrilled to award nearly $1.2 million to support collaborative workspaces of all types that will empower innovators across various sectors to build relationships, access equipment and grow their businesses.”
“The Commonwealth’s economy works best when companies and entrepreneurs can work together to spur innovation and bring new ideas to life,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. “Collaborative workspaces provide the space and tools to make this happen, and our administration is proud to support the build-out and development of these facilities across Massachusetts.”
“From commercial kitchens to makerspaces to shared offices, we are proud to fund facilities that offer entrepreneurs and emerging businesses the space and tools they need to grow,” said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Mike Kennealy, who serves as chair of MassDevelopment’s Board of Directors. “MassDevelopment’s Collaborative Workspace Program has proven to be an effective resource for locally based organizations looking to develop these kinds of spaces in their community.”
“Collaborative workspaces create space for innovation, often times by breathing new life into underused properties – like here at the Armour building in Holyoke,” said Undersecretary of Community Development Ashley Stolba. “Congratulations to the 39 organizations located across every region of the Commonwealth who are receiving funding this year.”
“Collaborative Workspace grants fuel an increase in Massachusetts-based innovation spaces and businesses, and MassDevelopment is grateful for the Baker-Polito Administration’s continued support of this program,” said MassDevelopment President and CEO Dan Rivera. “Since 2014, nearly $11 million in grants have helped artist and maker spaces, collaborative kitchens, incubators, and other coworking organizations study feasibility, purchase equipment, and improve facilities.”
Of the award for Canal Row, LLC, Holyoke Mayor Joshua A. Garcia said, “The building that was once a storehouse for beef is about to become a lighthouse for innovation."
Administered by MassDevelopment, the Collaborative Workspace Program aims to accelerate business formation, job creation, and entrepreneurial activity in communities by supporting infrastructure that lowers the barrier to access workspace and fuels locally based innovation. Since its inception in the fall of 2014, and through FY2022, the Collaborative Workspace Program has provided more than $10.9 million in 192 awards for the planning, development, and build-out of different types of collaborative workspaces. Through the first six rounds of the program, collaborative workspaces have added over 11,000 users since implementing their grant-funded projects, and now occupy approximately 2 million square feet in cities and towns across Massachusetts. Many awards have benefited innovation spaces in Gateway Cities.
The program is part of Community One Stop for Growth, a single application portal that provides a streamlined, collaborative review process of 12 state grant programs that fund economic development projects related to community capacity building, planning and zoning, site preparation, building construction, and infrastructure. Altogether, this round of the One Stop is awarding more than $143 million in grant awards to support 337 local economic development projects in 169 communities. The full list of grants can be found here.
Through this round of the One Stop, the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development received 523 applications from 207 communities representing every region of the Commonwealth. Of the 337 applications awarded, 31% are located in a rural or small town; 32% are located in a Gateway City; and 43% are located in a Housing Choice Community. This investment is expected to directly support the creation of 6,950 new housing units across the Commonwealth, including 5,068 new market-rate units and 1,882 new affordable units.
MassDevelopment, the state’s development finance agency and land bank, works with businesses, nonprofits, banks, and communities to stimulate economic growth across the Commonwealth. During FY2022, MassDevelopment financed or managed 356 projects generating investment of more than $1.69 billion in the Massachusetts economy. These projects are estimated to create or support 11,080 jobs and build or preserve 1,778 housing units.
Collaborative Workspace Program Awards:
- Town of Athol/Launchspace, Inc. (Athol) – $50,000
The award funds will be used to provide flooring, equipment, furnishings, and infrastructure needs for a community kitchen.
- Bread & Roses Bookstore and Café, Inc. (Barnstable) – $36,000
The award funds will be used towards build-out of the space into a collaborative market and commercial kitchen incubator.
- Belchertown Community Alliance, Inc. (Belchertown) – $5,000
The award funds will be used towards a building assessment for the proposed use of the space at the former Belchertown State School campus. The overall project aims to create a new café, food services incubator, and community meeting and gallery space.
- Boston Chinese Economic Development Council (Boston) – $10,000
The funds will be used to fit out currently underutilized space that would be used to create a business innovation and co-working center, including interior demolition and refurbishment.
- DVM Consulting Corporation (Boston) – $15,000
The award funds will be used to secure a consultant to conduct a feasibility study in an effort to develop three separated mixed-use buildings on the Lower Blue Hill Avenue corridor. Within this development, DVM will study an 1,100-square-foot space to be used as a makerspace.
- The Possible Project d.b.a. The Possible Zone (Boston) – $55,800
The award funds will be used to fit out the space with equipment for use by both students and the community.
- Boston Public Library Fund, Inc. (Boston) – $17,250
The award funds will be used to purchase a mobile teaching kitchen and equipment along with kitchen and nutrition literacy tools and post-natal and infant nutrition teaching items.
- Fields Corner Business Lab (Boston) – $55,722
The award funds will be used for the renovations and furnishings of the Business Lab including the creation of two larger rooms that will be available for training and events.
- WorkHub at the Substation (The Substation) (Boston) – $51,585
The award will fund the completion of the Substation’s expansion to the upper levels of the building through several capital investments to improve energy efficiency, accessibility, and security of the space, as well as equipment.
- Innovative Community Development LLC (Brockton) – $36,000
The award funds will be used to develop the fit-out and design for the nonprofit workspaces, to be located on the second floor of the Corcoran Building, located at 11-15 Frederick Douglass Avenue in Brockton.
- Lever, Inc. (Charlemont) – $15,000
The award funds will develop architectural plans and construction estimates to renovate a 15,000-square-foot dairy barn at Hall Tavern Farm in Charlemont into the future home of a Woodcraft Collaborative. The Woodcraft Collaborative will be a shared space for wood-related businesses to manufacture and sell products from sustainably harvested trees in the Mohawk Trail region.
- Narrows Center for the Arts, Inc. (Fall River) – $50,000
The award funds will be used towards a new HVAC system, refurbishing of the mill floors, lighting, electrical, and a new utility sink area.
- Shane Landing, LLC (Fall River) – $15,000
The award funds will support a feasibility study for the creation of a fiber arts makerspace within the premises.
- Southcoast Open Air Market (Fall River) – $15,000
The award funds will be used to conduct a feasibility study for the makerspace.
- Groundwork Creative Space LLC (Fall River) – $45,000
The award funds will support the purchase and installation of furniture and equipment necessary to operate the new co-working space.
- Falmouth Sharespace (Falmouth) – $30,120
The award funds will be used to maximize current space by updating the building’s unused basement into an additional coworking area for members.
- Greater Gardner Business Incubator Network, Inc. d.b.a. Wachusett Business Incubator (Gardner) – $17,500
The award funds will be used to create a region-wide Rural High Technology Center in greater north-central Massachusetts, providing designing and prototyping services to 15 entrepreneurs creating startup businesses and new jobs, and job training in CAD, additive manufacturing/3D printing to improve job skills.
- The Imaginary Bookshop (Greenfield) – $2,000
The award funds will assist with space fixture improvements.
- Canal Row, LLC (Holyoke) – $75,000
The award funds will be used for the buildout of micro-offices, work spaces, meeting rooms, and furnishings within the Holyoke Innovation District.
- New England Farm Workers’ Council, Inc. (Holyoke) – $15,000
The award funds will be used to study the feasibility of a collaborative workspace/small business incubator for 225 High Street in Holyoke.
- Essex Art Center (Lawrence) – $10,000
The award funds will be used for new lighting systems during the renovation of the interior spaces.
- TLE Center for Urban Entrepreneurship (Lawrence) – $25,000
The award funds will provide for the development of a beauty and personal care business incubator, TLE Beauty, which will function in part as studio space for beauty and personal care entrepreneurs in TLE’s Make it Official, Digital Optimization, and Business Exploration and Start-Up programs.
- Eternity Worcshop, Inc. (Leicester) – $32,500
The award funds will be used to improve security by installing keycard access and camera systems and continue with electrical upgrades.
- Studio 26 Associates (Lowell) – $45,000
The award funds will be used towards completion of the interior construction upgrades to the second-floor space. During the day, the space will serve as coworking space; on evenings and weekends, the space will be available for town hall gatherings and serve as performance and gallery space for local artists.
- Lowell Makes, Inc. (Lowell) – $9,709
The award funds will be used to purchase a high-end professional laser cutter and upgrade the electrical infrastructure in the historic building to support current and future needs. The new laser will replace an aging machine and enable larger and more expansive cutting/etching.
- The Brickyard Collaborative (Lynn) – $12,000
The award funds will be used to build out a new location at 760 Western Avenue, expanding the 4,600-square-foot facility to slightly over 10,000 square feet and adding HVAC, electrical, and plumbing to handle various shops, studios, and classrooms.
- Centerboard, Inc. (Lynn) – $100,000
The award funds will be used to outfit a commercial kitchen that will serve multiple uses including catering, restaurant, and a shadow kitchen as a social-enterprise venture to enable at-risk youth in paid job placements and learn valuable skills in the food service industry.
- Jacqueline Business Services, Inc. (Methuen) – $26,807
The award funds will be used to add two bathrooms to meet building code in the coworking section of the building to allow the use of the entire building as a collaborative workspace.
- Discovery Language Academy, Inc. (New Bedford) – $25,000
The award funds will complement the previously received Collaborative Workspace Grant of $50,000 to complete the HUB128 @ Discovery Economic Development Hub. Specific items will include furniture and finalizing the build-out.
- Southcoast LGBTQ Network Inc. (New Bedford) – $100,000
The award funds will be used to build out a commercial kitchen in a historic building at 60 Eighth Street in downtown New Bedford.
- Norwood Space Center (Norwood) – $25,000
The award funds will be used to retrofit an existing cafe area in the coworking space into a more useable innovation space with new furniture, Smart Boards, and digital monitors.
- Lower Cape Community TV (Orleans) – $15,000
The award funds will be used to support further development of the design and engineering needs of a new collaborative creative workspace.
- The Fitzpatrick Collaborative (Pepperell) – $30,000
The award funds will be used to move into the build-out and fit-out phase of the commercial kitchen and food hub project at The Fitzpatrick Collaborative which includes the development of an interior space and utilization plan,the purchase of appliances and equipment and installation of a new entry door, access controls, and security system , to enable a soft-launch the space this.
- Berkshire Black Economic Council, Inc. (Pittsfield) – $15,000
The award funds will be used to conduct scoping sessions, complete a market study, create a high-level business model, and assess potential site locations and building requirements.
- Berkshire Innovation Center (Pittsfield) – $15,000
The award funds will be used to develop a feasibility study/business plan for the expansion of the BIC’s co-working environment into a new structure on an adjacent parcel of land.
- Greentown Labs (Somerville) – $42,000
The award funds will be used to support the installation of an AV system to accommodate the growing needs of the community.
- Southbridge Tech Incubator (Southbridge) – $19,000
The award funds will be used to construct a loading dock with vertical lift to provide better freight access to the building, both from trucks/trailers and from the parking lot level.
- Gasoline Alley Foundation (Springfield) – $27,500
The award funds will be used to further develop the building infrastructure to accommodate the businesses and entrepreneurial training through installation of a fire suppression system to substantially increase the building capacity for public use.
- Latin American Health Alliance (Worcester) – $10,507
The award funds are for development of the Creative Workspace that will be located at the Hector Reyes House. These funds will fit out a basement space that has long been sought as an alternative place for the residents to work and recreate.