Friday, December 10, 2021

Lt Gov Polito visits Franklin to announce $2.2 Million MassWorks Award (audio)

Today, Lt. Governor Karyn Polito was joined by state and local officials to announce a $2.22 million MassWorks Infrastructure Program award for intersection and roadway improvements along Grove Street.  The improvements will support a local throughway that connects multiple Economic Opportunity Areas and will also support ongoing and future commercial development along the corridor, including a new $20 million industrial warehouse recently completed and leased to UPS.
“We are pleased to be able to offer critical support for Franklin’s efforts to make intersection improvements at this key location, which will unlock even more economic development opportunities in the future,” said Governor Charlie Baker.  “Congratulations to Franklin for their work in addressing this important need and for their forward-looking approach to future growth.”
“Thanks to infrastructure investments like this, our Administration can support communities’ efforts to advance locally-driven economic development plans,” said Lt. Governor Polito.  “As Franklin demonstrates, leveraging the MassWorks program for public infrastructure upgrades is critical to attracting high-impact projects that bring in private investment and also create jobs.”
Lt. Governor Polito
Lt. Governor Polito

Franklin’s project leverages $650,000 in local and private funds and will provide immediate access and transportation benefits for a newly constructed $20 million warehouse at 206 Grove Street.  The 150,000-square-foot building was recently leased to UPS and is expected to generate 70 permanent jobs at full use. 
Franklin’s project is phase one of a local infrastructure improvement program aimed at stimulating new growth in the Grove Street corridor.  The MassWorks grant will fund public improvements including more than 6,000 linear feet of sidewalk, curbing, and road rehabilitation, as well as a new traffic signal at the intersection of Grove Street and Washington Street.  The improvements will support development opportunities for more than 30 properties zoned for industrial uses, several of which are undeveloped or underutilized.
MassWorks is a competitive program that offers cities and towns flexible capital funding to support and accelerate housing production and job growth and is the largest program in Community One Stop for Growth, a single application portal and collaborative review process for grant programs launched in January 2021 to make targeted investments based on a development continuum.
With the addition of this year’s round, the Baker-Polito Administration has awarded 326 MassWorks grants to 181 communities and has invested over $608 million in public infrastructure projects throughout the Commonwealth. These grants have directly supported the creation of 21,000 new housing units and tens of thousands of new construction and permanent jobs, while also leveraging over $13 billion in private investment. 

Including MassWorks grants, the Community One Stop for Growth program awarded $88 million for 196 projects in 122 communities across the Commonwealth in its first year.  Of the 196 projects awarded, nearly one-third were located in a rural or small town, half were located in a Housing Choice Community, and one-third were located in a Gateway City.
In addition to its MassWorks award, Franklin also received two other awards through programs included in the Community One Stop for Growth platform.  Franklin’s second award was a $75,000 Community Planning grant, which will fund a zoning audit as well as a process to update and modernize the town’s zoning bylaws.  For its third award, Franklin received $500,000 through the Underutilized Properties Program to convert an underutilized property into a community food pantry to address social and health disparities. By moving to a new location, the nonprofit Franklin Food Pantry will be able to operate additional hours, increase access to healthy food, and will provide office space for confidential client support. 

“We created the One Stop to offer access to a wide variety of programs through a single, streamlined process that ensures that valuable funds can be directed more effectively, to more communities, in less time,” said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Mike Kennealy.  “The One Stop gives communities and other partners the opportunity to work collaboratively with us, to pursue multiple projects simultaneously and to meet their economic development goals. Franklin has demonstrated how applicants can be creative with grant funding to maximize the impact of state investments in transformative projects.  While the first year of the One Stop has shown tremendous promise, the demand for our programs demonstrates that we can do more.” 
“The size and scope of what the town of Franklin will be able to accomplish with this generous award is truly noteworthy,” said Senate President Karen E. Spilka. “With these funds, the Grove Street Improvement Project will ease traffic, improve safety, expand commercial opportunities for local business, and provide good jobs. I thank the town for its vision and commitment to making this a reality.”
"Robust infrastructure is key to supporting the vitality of our municipalities,” said Senator Becca Rausch. “I look forward to seeing the lasting impacts of this project on local job creation and economic development, as well as greater livability and accessibility in Franklin."
“I am delighted that the state is continuing to invest in and improve the quality of life for the residents of Franklin,” said Representative Jeffrey N. Roy.  "This funding will result in much needed infrastructure improvements and increase the overall condition of the roadways.  In addition, this project will help our local economy by creating not only construction jobs but hundreds more once the commercial space is developed."
“We are happy to have played a small part in the town of Franklin receiving the MassWorks roadway grant,” said Paul Marcus, Principal and CEO of Marcus Partners.  “The grant process is a great example of our team working together with the town of Franklin to help improve infrastructure that benefits both the residents and businesses of Franklin.  And, our ongoing collaboration with local officials will aim to create additional economic development to the Town of Franklin through strategic development opportunities.”

$2.2 Million MassWorks Award
$2.2 Million MassWorks Award

The full list of this year’s MassWorks grant recipients can be found here. 

Press Release shared from ->

Audio file ->

Photos from the event can be found in one album ->

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