CHICOPEE — Center Park, coined a “Swiss army knife of a park” for Chicopee business owners and entrepreneurs, hosted an official ribbon cutting on April 23. The quarter-acre lot, with pea gravel landing and 10-foot picnic tables, is canopied by four golden shade sails and aims to attract food-truck festivities, outdoor gatherings, and exercise classes over the coming summer months.
Born out of the Chicopee Transformative Development Initiative (TDI) Partnership’s revitalization efforts in downtown Chicopee, and spearheaded by the city of Chicopee, the Greater Chicopee Chamber of Commerce, business owners, and residents, the park aims to uplift Chicopee Center by creating alternative space for economic activity, partnership, and community.
The project was made possible with the help of $10,000 from MassDevelopment’s Transformative Development Initiative and $10,000 from MassDevelopment’s Commonwealth Places program. Chicopee TDI fellow Andrea Monson has played an integral part in site development by raising community voices, visioning with key stakeholders, and pinpointing the need for more vibrant, active sites available for business-owner use in the district.
Julie Copoulos, executive director of the Greater Chicopee Chamber, congratulated the involved partners. “Our team is solid. Roca, A. Crane Construction, Interstate Towing Inc., Gasoline Alley Foundation, and the Ondrick Company independently donated time and resources to get this project over the finish line. Center Park would not have been possible without partnerships.”
Celebrating the successful transition of two remediated brownfield sites in just one month, Chicopee Director of Planning and Development Lee Pouliot added that “the proper reuse of this site is a linchpin in the continued efforts to improve quality of life for all residents, businesses, and stakeholders in the neighborhood.”