|New State Program Grants Funding to Pittsfield Firehouse, Dalton Stationery Factory|
|05:08PM / Tuesday, November 30, 2021|
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Two area organizations have received nearly $900,000 in funding from the MassWorks Infrastructure Program.
CT Management Group has been awarded $250,000 for its development of the Tyler Street firehouse and Stationery Factory in Dalton is getting $630,000 to prepare space for Lymphedivas.
The funds are some of the first awards through the Underutilized Properties Program created through the economic development legislation signed into law by Gov. Charlie Baker in January 2021. The awards were announced Tuesday morning in Gardener by Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito and other local and state officials.
Gardner is getting $4.1 million MassWorks grant to fund a second phase of the city's Rear Main Street Revitalization Project, which will result in 52 new housing units. The Underutilized Properties Program is now part of the Community One Stop for Growth platform along with MassWorks.
The program targets underutilized, abandoned, or vacant properties by supporting efforts that eliminate blight, increase housing production, support economic development projects, or increase the number of commercial buildings accessible to individuals with disabilities. In its first year, the program is funding 20 projects, totaling $7,516,000 in awards.
"MassWorks and the programs accessed through the One Stop support important local infrastructure projects that attract private investment, spur housing production and create jobs," said Polito. "I want to commend Gardner for taking advantage of the new, simplified process established through the One Stop, that allows us to strengthen our support for communities and position them to succeed on their plans for future growth."
Including this year's round, the Baker-Polito Administration has awarded 326 MassWorks grants to 181 communities and has invested more than $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.
"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 the opportunity to work collaboratively with us, to pursue multiple projects simultaneously and to meet their economic development goals."
CT Management is planning to redevelop the long-vacant firehouse on Tyler Street into four large two-bedroom units while keeping the original aesthetic of the structure.
In the last decade, CT Management has converted churches into the Power House Lofts on Seymour Street and the Notre Dame Residences on Melville Street. It has also converted a church in North Adams and another in Williamstown into housing.
The fire station is a Joseph McArthur Vance building constructed in the early 1900s. Vance was a prominent architect in Pittsfield who designed residential, commercial, industrial, and recreational buildings. The station was used for storage for some time but had been set for the wrecking ball until the City Council urged it be put out to bid one more time. CT Management, headed by real estate developer David Carver, plans to invest more than $1 million in the building.
Stationery Factory is a converted industrial building at 63 Flansburg Ave. in Dalton, currently home to more than 20 businesses and an event and performance space. The former Crane & Co. mill will use this grant to prepare space for a new tenant, Lymphedivas. The local manufacturer of compressions sleeves and gloves designed to provide relief to patients with lymphedema, has outgrown its current facility in Pittsfield and is looking to locate in the building and bring 15-20 jobs to Dalton.
Also earning a grant regionally was the Hilltown Community Development Corp. in Chester. It received $670,000 to renovate the recently purchased Chester High School that was converted into 15 units of affordable senior housing in 1987 and also houses the town's library and museum. The building has fallen into disrepair and risks vacancy with the library looking to relocate and residential units unable to be occupied.