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Patrick Administration announces downtown revitalization grants

February 28, 2014 10:00 AM
The following was submitted by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation:

The Patrick Administration’s Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) today announced $80,000 in Massachusetts Downtown Initiative (MDI) awards to grants for Great Barrington, Reading, Westminster, Wakefield, Maynard, Harwich, Amesbury, and Ipswich. The grants awards will be used to help pay for technical assistance as these communities to further their pursuit of downtown revitalization efforts.
“These grants are critical to supporting municipalities across the Commonwealth in their effort to breathe new life into their downtowns,” said Undersecretary of Housing and Community Development Aaron Gornstein. “We will continue to invest in the revitalization of our communities to make Massachusetts a better place to live, work and do business for all residents.”
The communities were chosen through a competitive application process. DHCD received a total of 26 applications in seven eligible categories: design, economics of downtown, parking, way-finding, housing, business improvement districts and creative economy. The following awards of $10,000 each were made:
Amesbury: funding to establish a way finding plan to guide the implementation of a signage system to increase awareness, sense of place, and visitors to downtown
Great Barrington: funding to develop the initial tools and strategy for implementation of a Business Improvement District (BID)
Harwich: funding for a parking plan that will analyze parking shortages, design additional parking spaces, and review management options
Ipswich: funding to develop a way finding program which would include logo development and public signage
Maynard: funding for an updated downtown market study to help guide economic development strategies in downtown
Reading: funding for assistance to complete the process for Downtown Cultural District designation
Wakefield: funding to strengthen existing businesses in the downtown and implement a retail retention program
Westminster: funding for a design charrette resulting in design recommendations for the downtown

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