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Pittsfield Businesses Receive MassDevelopment Funds
Staff Reports ,
11:09AM / Tuesday, September 19, 2023
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BOSTON — MassDevelopment has awarded $2,230,052 in grants to advance the rehabilitation of 22 properties in Gateway Cities across Massachusetts that will have significant economic impacts on commercial corridor revitalization goals. 
In Pittsfield, Marie's North Street Eatery & Gallery, Remedy & Culture LLC, Roots & Dreams and Mustard Seeds Inc, and Methuselah Bar and Lounge received grants.
"For generations, Gateway Cities have been welcoming places to live, start a business, and build community," said Economic Development Secretary Yvonne Hao, who serves as chair of MassDevelopment's Board of Directors. "MassDevelopment's Transformative Development Initiative allows the state to work hand-in-hand with local partners to ensure these cities remain places of opportunity for all and we are proud these TDI Equity Investment grants support that goal."   
These grants represent the second and final tranche of awards from the Fiscal Year 2023 round of MassDevelopment's Transformative Development Initiative (TDI) Equity Investment program. In May, the agency awarded $714,893 in TDI Equity Investment grants to five properties.
Marie's North Street Eatery & Gallery will receive $31,000 to renovate the interior of its existing space, which long housed Marie's European Delights, to offer sit-down dining and affordable grab-and-go options to cater to the city's downtown lunch crowd.
Remedy & Culture LLC will receive $28,000 to help the company make interior renovations to an 860-square-foot vacant storefront at 90 North St. in the Central Block. The renovated property will feature a wellness retail shop, yoga and meditation classroom, and private treatment room.
Roots & Dreams and Mustard Seeds Inc. will receive $179,000 to purchase the iconic King Kone soft serve ice cream shop at 133 Fenn St. and convert it into a worker cooperative. The nonprofit incubator will also expand its current arts programming through the creation of a community art gallery and exhibition space in the adjacent retail space in the same building. This grant is funded by the Barr Foundation. 
The Barr Foundation awarded $1 million to MassDevelopment's TDI in order to expand the number and scope of projects eligible to receive funding, particularly those with a focus on cultural and creative economies and community empowerment.
Methuselah Bar and Lounge will receive $120,000 to help the company expand into an adjacent space to allow for increased dining capacity and the ability to host events, including those connected to the Latinx and LGBTQ communities. Specifically, this grant will help fund the installation of a required fire suppression system for the entire building to facilitate the expansion.
MassDevelopment's Transformative Development Initiative works with cross-sector partnerships in targeted commercial districts in Gateway Cities in order to engage community members, implement local economic development initiatives, and spur further public and private investment. Since 2015, MassDevelopment has invested $20 million in TDI districts through tools such as technical assistance, real estate investments, grant programs, and fellows who work in the districts. That investment has directly influenced over $100.2 million in public and private investments in the districts, and assisted an additional $219.9 million.
Through TDI Equity Investment, MassDevelopment invests in near-term projects that activate ground-floor and commercial spaces that will have significant economic impacts within a TDI district; are consistent with Commonwealth and agency priorities; engage and build capacity in local communities and with partners; catalyze market demand and support TDI district goals; and lack other sufficient funding sources to proceed.
In January 2023, MassDevelopment released a Fiscal Year 2023 Notice of Funding Availability for projects in or near TDI districts in Attleboro, Barnstable, Fall River, Holyoke, Lawrence, Lowell, Lynn, New Bedford, Pittsfield, Revere, Springfield, Taunton, and Worcester. 
In addition to contributing $1 million towards TDI Equity Investment awards, the Barr Foundation has awarded $4.4 million to MassDevelopment since 2019 to create and administer arts-based programming that directly supports the expansion of cultural and creative industries in Gateway Cities.
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