ASHLAND — Today, November 1, Massachusetts Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito joined Ashland Town Manager Michael Herbert, Senate President Karen Spilka and other local and state officials to announce a $3 million MassWorks Infrastructure Program grant for improvements to Main Street and Front Street, building on Ashland’s downtown revitalization effort.
The MassWorks funds will reconstruct about 3,000 linear feet of roadway along Main Street and Front Street and activate overlapping development downtown. The current upgrades include sidewalk widening, the addition of bike lanes and the burying of existing utilities. These improvements will also increase access for residential and commercial developments planned for the downtown area.
“Our Administration is committed to investing in programs like MassWorks, which impact not only local infrastructure, but also play a critical role in strengthening businesses and the communities that surround them,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “MassWorks is one of many administration initiatives that enable local communities to tap into private investment and accelerate local economic growth across the Commonwealth.”
“I am excited to be in Ashland to award $3 million in MassWorks funding for the reconstruction of Main Street and Front Street, and the continued work to revitalize downtown Ashland,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. “The Governor and I are pleased to continue to make the investments in the public infrastructure our cities and towns need to create sustainable growth.”
Attending the announcement was Senate President Karen Spilka, Ashland Town Manager Michael Herbert, three Ashland Selectmen, Rep. Jack Patrick Lewis, Economic Development Director Beth reynolds, Ashland Town Hall staff, numerous businesses, and residents.SOURCE will have a full report with more video and a slideshow soon.- Susan.
Posted by Ashland MA Source on Thursday, November 1, 2018
“Through the flexibility of MassWorks, we have been able to drive over two million square feet of new commercial space, made possible by listening to individual communities’ needs and by responding with individualized programs that benefit many stakeholders, such as this project in Ashland, which strengthens the town center and becomes the foundation for new development,” said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash. “Our office saw another competitive round of MassWorks for 2018 and we are happy to keep the momentum going across the Commonwealth in the year ahead.”
This project leverages $6.8 million in local funding and builds on Ashland’s work to revitalize its downtown with enhancements such as the Riverwalk Trail and The Corner Spot. About $3.8 million in planned developments will generate 13 new housing units, 2,000 square feet of mixed-use commercial space and the rehabilitation of an existing brewery, tap room and café. The downtown revitalization is also expected to attract about $30 million in private investment for the redevelopment of an 116,000 square-foot mill complex and former fire and police station.
“For years Ashland has imagined a downtown that serves as an attractive anchor for residents, visitors, and businesses. The MassWorks program is a critical component to help us implement that vision. We thank Governor Baker and Lt. Governor Polito for their commitment to forging partnerships with both our legislative delegation and with cities and towns to help them create the communities they envision,” said Town Manager Michael Herbert.
“The Town of Ashland has been working hard to implement a comprehensive downtown revitalization plan to bring new investment into the town center, and create a place where the community can gather, work and play,” said Senate President Karen E. Spilka. “This grant will allow Ashland to take the vital next steps in this ongoing transformative process. I would like to thank Secretary Ash for his consideration, and recognize Ashland Town Manager Mike Herbert, as well as the Ashland Board of Selectmen, for their leadership on this critical project.”
“Ashland is a growing, thriving community with dedicated local leaders committed to its ongoing success. This MassWorks Infrastructure Program grant will strengthen the town’s strong and appealing downtown, while providing necessary resources to achieve the community’s goals. I look forward to these continued partnerships to further strengthen downtown Ashland,” said Representative Jack Lewis.
Since 2015, the Baker-Polito Administration has awarded over $275 million in MassWorks grants to support 138 projects in 106 communities. MassWorks funding has been critical to the addition of over 2 million square feet of commercial/retail space, approximately 10,000 full and part time jobs, more than 7,000 immediate housing units, at least 7,000 square feet of new public space and 1,200 new hotel rooms.
Through the 2018 MassWorks round, the Administration will award more than $82 million in new grants for 40 projects that intend to leverage $2.9 billion in private investment, and drive an anticipated 4,000 units of new housing and more than 9,000 full time jobs. 37 communities across the Commonwealth will benefit from this round’s investments.
Governor Baker signed economic development legislation in August that includes substantial new funding for municipalities, including another $250 million for MassWorks awards.
The legislation builds 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 $500 million authorization for MassWorks Infrastructure Program, enhanced tools and the introduction of new strategies for job-readiness efforts.