North Reading Awarded $3 Million to Support Critical Water Infrastructure

Baker-Polito Administration Awards $3 Million to Support Critical Water Infrastructure

MassWorks Infrastructure Program award will enable the redevelopment of former state hospital into 450 housing units

For a video of this announcement, click here.

NORTH READING, MA – March, 15 2018 – Today, Governor Charlie Baker joined local officials and community leaders to announce a $3 million MassWorks Infrastructure Program grant award to North Reading for the Water Infrastructure Improvements project. The award will support the redevelopment of the former J.T. Berry State Hospital site, and leverage more than $7.5 million in local funding and unlock more than $160 million in private investment.

“Our administration is committed to programs like MassWorks that help cities and towns invest in public infrastructure and spur opportunities for private investment, housing, and new jobs,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “Projects like redeveloping the old J.T. Berry State Hospital site are exactly what our administration’s Open for Business Initiative and the MassWorks Program are designed for – transforming an underutilized piece of land into a productive asset for the Community. We look forward to the future of this site and our continued work with our local partners across the Commonwealth to drive economic development.”

“The MassWorks program provides important flexibility and funding to help leverage local and private resources to meet the economic development needs of Massachusetts’ cities and towns,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. “We look forward to working with our partners in the legislature to secure an additional $300 million in reauthorization for MassWorks to continue supporting thousands of new housing units, industrial expansion, and new mixed-use development space across every region of the Commonwealth.”

The MassWorks Infrastructure Program makes grants to municipalities for public infrastructure projects that generate additional private sector investment. This award will allow the town of North Reading to replace water mains and construct a new pump station to meet the current and future needs of North Reading.

The MassWorks award will enable the redevelopment of the former J.T. Berry State Hospital site. The town of North Reading sold the property to Pulte Homes through a partnership with the Commonwealth, through the Open for Business initiative, an effort to help municipalities create value through their real estate portfolios. The sale and infrastructure upgrades, in coordination with efforts to rezone the site as a 40R Smart Growth District and designating it as a 43D Local Expedited Permitting Site, will result in the construction of a new, 450-unit housing development, Martins Landing.

The project is also consistent with the Metropolitan Area Planning Council’s MetroFutures Plans, and may unlock an additional 250-units of housing and up to 43,000-square-feet of new retail space.

“The effectiveness of the MassWorks Infrastructure Program and the reason that it has been successful at unlocking development is the program’s ability to support projects across a wide range of sizes and scope,” said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash. “Each year we fund high-quality, shovel-ready projects, and this year is no exception. I congratulate the cities and towns for pursuing projects that strengthen communities and promote sustainable economic growth and development across the Commonwealth.”

Last week, Governor Baker filed new economic development legislation to build on the administration’s work to grow Massachusetts’ economy. The $610 million bill was designed to drive growth across many facets of the economy, from small business, to manufacturing, to regional economic development and job growth, to workforce development. Notably, it includes an additional $300 million for the MassWorks Infrastructure Program.

The MassWorks Infrastructure Program provides a one-stop shop for municipalities and other eligible public entities seeking public infrastructure funding to support housing production, economic development, and job creation. Since 2015, and including this year’s awards, the Baker-Polito Administration has awarded over $274 million to 134 projects in 106 communities throughout the Commonwealth, spurring the development of over 2 million square feet of commercial and retail space, over 7,000 immediate housing units, at least 7,000 square feet of new public space, and 1,200 new hotel rooms and commercial/retail space.

“MassWorks provides our communities with flexibility to address critical projects that support local economic growth and job creation,” said Administration and Finance Secretary Michael J. Heffernan. “With funding from this MassWorks award and through the successful Sale Partnership agreement done for this project by the Division of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance, the J.T. Berry State Hospital land will be transformed into a productive economic site for North Reading.”

“This MassWorks grant award will allow the Town of North Reading to make water infrastructure improvements that support the re-development of the former JT Berry property by Pulte Homes while also providing for future economic growth.  We are grateful to Governor Baker and the Baker-Polito Administration for their support of this project, as well as their support of numerous other commercial and residential planning efforts that we have undertaken over the past few years,” said North Reading Town Administrator Michael P. Gilleberto. “We thank Secretary Jay Ash for his thoughtful attention and guidance as we considered options for the redevelopment of the Berry property.  Finally, we also thank the Division of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance for their partnership in redeveloping the Berry property under DCAMM’s “Sale-Partnership” Model.”

“The JT Berry property is of major strategic importance for the future of North Reading and the town has worked in partnership with state government to capture all of its potential,” said Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr.  “This sizable MassWorks grant reflects that partnership, and it’s a good investment in the infrastructure needed to get the greatest return from this land.”

“This MassWorks grant will allow North Reading to move forward with the critical infrastructure work that is needed to redevelop the former J.T. Berry property to productive use and will help to generate additional tax revenues for the town,” said House Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones, Jr.  “This is a great example of state government working with its municipal partners to promote economic and needed housing development in the Commonwealth."

In August 2016, Governor Baker signed An Act Relative to Job Creation and Workforce Development (H.4569) to reauthorize MassWorks and support $500 million of future investment in critical infrastructure, a significant commitment by the Commonwealth.