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Baker-Polito Administration Announces Site-readiness Program Grants

BOSTON — The Baker-Polito administration announced more than $3.6 million for 12 projects — two of them in Western Mass. — in its fourth annual round of Site Readiness Program awards. These awards provide resources to municipalities, private-sector businesses, and nonprofit economic-development entities to help overcome obstacles to developing otherwise prime locations.

The funding announced this week will finance feasibility studies, master planning, environmental work, strategic land acquisition, and site improvements, resulting in critical additions to the Commonwealth’s inventory of large, development-ready sites.

“The Site Readiness Program is a key tool to help communities reach local and regional economic-development goals,” Gov. Charlie Baker said. “These awards will assist in community-stabilization efforts, including downtown revitalization, helping advance prime locations to shovel readiness to spur investment and job growth.”

Among the two local grants is $265,000 to Carriage Grove in Belchertown. The Belchertown Economic Development and Industrial Corp. will use the funds to partially match the U.S. Economic Development Agency’s $550,000 grant for infrastructure improvements in Carriage Grove’s industrial district, supporting the construction of new roadway, sidewalks, utilities, and stormwater improvements.

The other local grant is $80,000 to Ludlow Mills Market in Ludlow. The Westmass Area Development Corp. will use the funds to update marketing data, prepare a strategic marketing plan, and prepare specific redevelopment buildout concepts for individual mill buildings and districts within the Ludlow Mills complex.

Administered by MassDevelopment, the Site Readiness Program aims to boost Massachusetts’ supply of large, well-located, project-ready sites; accelerate private-sector investment in industrial and commercial projects; and support the conversion of abandoned sites and obsolete facilities into clean, actively used, tax-generating properties.

“As outlined in our economic-development plan, ‘Partnerships for Growth,’ the Baker-Polito administration is committed to building vibrant communities in every region,” Housing and Economic Development Secretary Mike Kennealy said. “In the long term, the Site Readiness Program will help communities in recovery as they prepare sites for development projects that help build vibrancy in their neighborhoods, on main streets, and in industrial areas.”

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