Governor Deval Patrick and Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray today convened a meeting with cabinet secretaries and local officials to discuss economic development opportunities for the City of Springfield. The Administration joined local officials to outline priority economic development initiatives to spur job creation, economic activity and revitalization in Springfield.
"Our Administration has been a committed partner to Springfield, working to grow the local economy and create opportunities for residents," said Governor Patrick. "Focusing on these priorities will help attract businesses to Springfield, drive the local economy and make much needed repairs to infrastructure to help revitalize the city."
The meeting focused on eight priority economic development initiatives in the City of Springfield. The initiatives include: Rebuilding Tornado Impacted Areas; Court Square Redevelopment; Union Station Regional Intermodal Transportation Center; 1592 Main Street Redevelopment; Civic Center Parking Garage Redevelopment; South End Revitalization; State Street Corridor Supermarket; and DevelopSpringfield.
"Gateway Cities like Springfield serve as anchors that drive regional economies across the Commonwealth," said Lieutenant Governor Murray. "Today's meeting shows how state and local agencies are working together to identify economic and community development priorities that will help move Springfield forward and benefit the entire Commonwealth."
The priorities will help revitalize the city's downtown, diversify the housing stock and target neighborhood redevelopment, while also advancing transformative projects, expanding quality employment opportunities and building effective public-private partnerships.
"The Patrick-Murray Administration has been committed to working with our cities and towns to help grow the local economy and create jobs in the community," said Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Greg Bialecki. "Investing in the City of Springfield will help create economic development opportunities, attract businesses to the city that drive our economy and make much needed repairs and improvements to local infrastructure."
"The City of Springfield has a great working relationship with the Patrick-Murray Administration," said Mayor Domenic J. Sarno. "Today, my Administration will provide an update on the Rebuild Springfield Tornado Rebuilding Plan and on our Economic Development priorities. We look forward to continuing our collaboration with the Patrick-Murray Administration to assist us with funding for ongoing projects and funding for DevelopSpringfield which will be the catalyst as we continue to make it happen in the City of Springfield -- the economic hub of Western Massachusetts,"
The eight priority initiatives will also emphasize ongoing growth in the Springfield Growth District, which was designated by the Administration's Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development in July 2008. The Growth District encompasses Springfield's Main Street and State Street Corridors, which includes anticipated build out potential for more than one million square feet of new or rehabilitated office or commercial space as well as hundreds of new housing units.
As part of the Patrick-Murray Administration's investment in the City of Springfield, the Administration recently awarded a $420,000 MassWorks Infrastructure Grant to the Springfield Redevelopment Authority to advance the Court Square Redevelopment Project along Main Street. Additionally, by working in partnership with the Legislature, Governor Patrick allocated $1.2 million in his supplemental budget signed in October 2011 to support tornado rebuilding and neighborhood redevelopment in the South End neighborhood of Springfield. The infrastructure funding will be used to fund streetscape improvements that help lay the foundation for the construction of 316 new affordable housing units in the area.
"Since the tornadoes hit, Governor Patrick has been a tremendous partner in the recovery effort," said Senator Gale Candaras. "Much work remains and I am grateful for the Governor's continued support of our communities."
"As the largest city in Western Massachusetts, Springfield needs to be and has been a priority for the Governor," said Representative Brian Ashe. "We have made significant progress in the revitalization of the city as well as the surrounding communities. As much as has been done, we need to continue with the growth of jobs, opportunities and economic development."
The Administration has implemented the following strategy to make each of the state's 24 Gateway communities centers of economic activity:
Provide long-term investments in education, innovation and infrastructure, with special attention to the growth potential of each city's entrepreneurs and small businesses.
Leverage the potential of each community's distinctive assets, including their educational, medical and cultural institutions and their historic buildings and neighborhoods.
Connect Gateway Cities to other local, state and global centers of innovation and economic activity.
In keeping with this strategy, the Patrick-Murray Administration has made the following Gateway City investments:
Nearly $4 billion in Chapter 70 Education Funding in Fiscal Year 2012
More than $1 billion in active construction contracts through the Massachusetts Department of Transportation
More than $13.5 million in Gateway City Parks grants for park projects in 22 cities
$105 million since 2007 in public safety grants for police and fire departments and non- profit agencies to maintain staffing levels and combat violence
$17.4 million since 2007 in workforce training funds