On November 30th, the Baker-Polito Administration and MassDevelopment announced the first-ever awards made through the Underutilized Properties Program, which along with MassWorks is now part of the Community One Stop for Growth platform. The Underutilized Properties Program was created through the Economic Development Legislation signed into law by Governor Charlie Baker in January 2021. The program targets underutilized, abandoned, or vacant properties by supporting efforts that eliminate blight, increase housing production, support economic development projects, or increase the number of commercial buildings accessible to individuals with disabilities.
In its first year, the program is funding 20 projects, totaling $7,516,000 in awards. Included among the 20 awards, Westmass received $250,000 for capital improvements to the historic stockhouses within the Ludlow Mills. The stockhouses include approximately 22 one-story, 6,000-square-foot buildings that house small manufacturing businesses, entrepreneurial startups, and other unique entities; the critical capital improvements funded by this grant will make 10 of these buildings more viable for existing and future tenants.
“This inaugural round of grants will breathe life into 20 underused buildings,” said MassDevelopment President and CEO Dan Rivera. “The Underutilized Properties Program is making a difference in downtowns and town centers across Massachusetts. This $7.5 million in awards will fund capital improvements and predevelopment work to increase occupancy in challenging properties, creating new opportunities for housing, retail, and further economic development.”
Full press release available here.