BURLINGTON – Governor Deval Patrick on Thursday toured the Northwest Park and the 3rd Ave project in Burlington with local officials and developers to see how the public investment project has unlocked significant private investment in the area and to discuss the importance of partnering with cities and towns to create jobs and economic opportunity.
“Working with local officials and business leaders, our targeted investments are spurring economic growth and opportunity in Burlington,” said Governor Patrick. “Burlington is an example of what good can come when we invest in our long-term interests.”
Since 2010, the Patrick Administration has awarded Burlington $3.5 million in infrastructure assistance through the MassWorks Infrastructure Program. Burlington was first awarded $2 million for improvements to Third Avenue in Northwest Park, which included new traffic signal and pedestrian crossings to the Middlesex Turnpike and intersections.
The now-completed MassWorks project leveraged $110 million in private investment for the first phase of Nordblom Company’s redevelopment of Northwest Park, which includes the development of 3rd Ave as a retail environment with 300,000 square feet of new retail and restaurant space in a boulevard layout.
Governor Patrick toured the development, currently in Phase I of construction, which will be complete in the spring of 2014. The development will be anchored by Wegmans Food Market that will create 150 full-time jobs and 400 part-time jobs alone. Restaurants, cafes, retail boutiques and other service amenities will line the boulevard, with a focus on pedestrian walkways and public green space.
In continuation of the strong private-public partnership between the Patrick Administration, the community and the Nordblom Company, the town was awarded a second MassWorks grant for $1.5 million to facilitate the redevelopment of office space in Northwest Park, in conjunction with the retail portion.
As a result of the grant, the Nordblom Company demolished a 90,000 square-foot, outdated office building at the site to clear room for new development. The site will be the first of three new Class A, 150,000 square-feet, build-to-suit office developments. Each of these three new office developments will represent a private sector investment of approximately $40 million, bringing the total Phase I office investment in Northwest Park to $120 million.
“Governor Patrick was early to recognize the potential for regional economic growth, which could be leveraged against in-place infrastructure investments in the Burlington corridor,” said Todd Fremont-Smith, Senior Vice President for Nordblom Company. “Because of the Patrick Administration’s early investments, the Northwest Park redevelopment has helped to attract businesses which are creating thousands of new jobs for the area.”
The second phase of the project, expected to begin in the spring, will include the construction of a 200-unit apartment building.
The development, which is easily accessible to major area roadways, will be a unique addition to the Route 128 corridor.
Upon completion, the 4.6 million square-foot, multi-use project will add to the town’s already robust market, which features some of the strongest retail demographics and successful office market.
Burlington has 6.2 million square-feet of office and 3 million square-feet of retail space existing in the community.
“By embracing growth and new development, Burlington has become a stronger, smarter, and better community for its thriving businesses and its residents,” said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Greg Bialecki. “I look forward to our ongoing partnership with city officials and visionary developers, like the Nordblom Company to explore ways to spur continued growth throughout the community and region.”
“These important investments have added to the already impressive combination of commercial and residential development in the town of Burlington,” said local Senator Ken Donnelly. “The continued growth in the area is attracting residents from across the country to live and work and I’m thrilled to represent Burlington as it builds on the investments from the Patrick Administration.”
“Future revenues and jobs generated from this project will serve as a reminder as to how crucial municipal, state, and private collaboration is to enhancing our region’s economic stability and prosperity,” said Senator Eileen Donoghue. “Governor Patrick’s foresight into this project will promote vital economic productivity in Massachusetts and I will continue to look forward to working towards common goals together.”
The MassWorks Infrastructure Program, which is overseen by the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development, is the consolidation of six capital budget programs, giving communities a single entry point and one set of requirements for state public infrastructure grants.
The consolidation has improved efficiencies and streamlined the decision-making process, increased access for municipalities of all sizes, and enhanced state-regional-local partnerships around economic development and housing production.