NEW BEDFORD – Today, Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito and Undersecretary for Community Development Ashley Stolba were joined by Mayor Jon Mitchell and other state and local officials to announce a $ 2.5 million prize in the as part of the MassWorks infrastructure program to support modernization of utility infrastructure and improved pedestrian and bicycle housing along a segment of West Rodney French Boulevard. In addition, the grant will finance the installation of road signage equipment at the intersection of West Rodney French Boulevard and Brock Avenue. The improvements will provide direct support to current and planned residential and commercial properties, including the planned $ 40 million redevelopment of the adjacent Kilburn Mill # 2 for 189 mixed-rate housing units, and the ongoing redevelopment for commercial purposes in Kilburn Mill # 1. Also today, the Baker-Polito administration celebrated the $ 75,000 New Bedford Urban Agenda prize that will fund a post-COVID 19 master planning process to reassess past and future goals and priorities through an inclusive and community-driven process. “We are delighted to partner with New Bedford to support significant public infrastructure upgrades that will have transformative effects along West Rodney French Boulevard,” Governor Charlie Baker said. “Through the MassWorks program, our administration is pleased to continue supporting local plans that open up new opportunities for economic development as well as more housing.” “The New Bedford MassWorks Prize will directly support significant improvements that will make West Rodney French Boulevard safer and operate more efficiently for all modes of transportation.” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “In addition, this investment will open the door to significant private investment, leading to new housing needed. The New Bedford MassWorks Prize will support the revitalization of West Rodney French Boulevard, the gateway to Clark’s Point, by creating a pedestrian-friendly neighborhood in the heart of a neighborhood made up of a mix of recreational, commercial and cultural with open spaces and places to live. The upgrades will support 189 mixed-rate housing units planned as part of the adjacent Kilburn # 2 plant redevelopment as well as the ongoing redevelopment of the Kilburn # 1 plant for commercial use. MassWorks and the Urban Agenda Grant program are included in the One Stop for Growth Community platform, a single application portal and a collaborative review process for grant programs launched in January 2021 who make targeted investments on the basis of a development continuum. Apart from the city awards, nominations from two New Bedford-based organizations also resulted in awards from Community One Stop: and the Southeastern Massachusetts Community Economic Development Center received $ 775,000 to fund plans. rehabilitation of the old Capitol Theater at 1418-1440 Acushnet Avenue to house a range of social services, community development programs, small business incubator space, workforce development programs, legal and financial services and a neighborhood resilience hub on the first floor, as well as affordable housing on the second floor. Both of these projects received a grant under the Underutilized Properties program. With the addition of this year’s MassWorks award series, the Baker-Polito administration has awarded 326 MassWorks grants to 181 communities and invested more than $ 608 million in public infrastructure projects across the Commonwealth. These grants directly supported the creation of 21,000 new homes and tens of thousands of new constructions and permanent jobs, while mobilizing more than $ 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 town. “We created the One Stop Shop to provide 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.” Housing and Economic Development Secretary Mike Kennealy said.“The single window gives communities and other partners the opportunity to work in collaboration with us, to pursue several projects simultaneously and to achieve their economic development objectives. New Bedford demonstrated how applicants can be creative with grants to maximize the impact of state investments in transformative projects. While the first year of One Stop has shown tremendous promise, the demand for our programs shows that we can do more. “As designed, the One Stop and MassWorks programs improve access to important resources and programs, enabling communities to better overcome traditional barriers to economic and community development initiatives,”said Under Secretary for Community Development Ashley Stolba . “I want to congratulate New Bedford on their awards and look forward to many other communities replicating their success in the future. “
“This project builds on recent nearby public investments that stimulate economic growth and improve the quality of life on the peninsula”, New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell said. “We appreciate the willingness of the Baker-Polito administration to support projects like these which build on one of the city’s main assets, namely its connection to water.
“This award is a significant investment by the state to revitalize our thriving South End adjacent to picturesque Clark’s Cove,”noted Senator Marc Montigny. “We will continue to aggressively defend these funds and thank the Baker administration for their support.” “The West Rodney French Boulevard project, the renovation of the Cape Verdean Vets Hall and the Capitol Theater for the Community Economic Development Corporation, and the construction of the Kilburn Mill for mixed-use development will revitalize the South End and create lasting impacts on the economic development of New Bedford by increasing livability and offering greater accessibility to businesses, recreational activities, community centers and much more ”, said representative Antonio FD Cabral. “These MassWorks Awards recognize that the vitality of New Bedford is fueled by the people in our neighborhoods. Thank you! ”“ We on the South Coast are delighted with the implementation of these developments along West Rodney French Boulevard ”,said representative Paul Schmid, III. “The improvements for pedestrians in particular will make great strides in improving accessibility in the long term. “