GREENFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The City of Greenfield received funds for the First National Bank Building along the Bank Row urban renewal district.

The City of Greenfield will use $25,000 awarded from MassDevelopment to develop Requests for Proposals for the First National Bank Building, the last unresolved property in the city’s Bank Row Urban Renewal District, targeting a project that will further revitalize the downtown.

MJ Adams, Director of Community & Economic Development, said they’re opening up for the building to be turned into something else, “I’ll work with MassDevelopment whose gonna help package it up and say, ‘This is what’s here,’ and listen to and see what the private sector can come forward with.”

Adams added that this building does come with its challenges. It will need extensive structural work. The city owns the bank property with the hope to convert it into a performance venue.

Mayor Wedegartner said, “Clearly, pre-pandemic, there was pent-up demand for performance and event venues.  It was terrific to see other spaces  (H&R, the Shea, Ja’Duke, LAVA) emerge and survive in this incredibly creative Franklin County.  The energy and interest for these venues triggered their growth and we are confident as we emerge from the pandemic, these venues will thrive.  So Greenfield needs to explore a different future for the First National Bank building and MassDevelopment’s assistance will be of great help as we will continue to look for fresh opportunities to put this community asset back to work.”

MassDevelopment has awarded 14 cities funding through its Real Estate Services Technical Assistance program to address site-specific and district-wide economic development challenges. 

“The Baker-Polito Administration is committed to helping communities achieve their economic development goals,” said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Mike Kennealy, who serves as chair of MassDevelopment’s Board of Directors. “MassDevelopment’s Real Estate Services Technical Assistance program is one of the many tools available to cities and towns in Massachusetts looking to revitalize key properties and improve their downtowns.”

“By offering access to our in-house expertise and range of consultants, MassDevelopment’s Real Estate Services Technical Assistance program helps cities and towns move the ball forward on important economic development projects in their communities,” said MassDevelopment President and CEO Dan Rivera. “The projects receiving awards today will advance housing and job creation, property redevelopment, and increased vibrancy in our downtown neighborhoods.”

FY22 Real Estate Services Technical Assistance Awarded Projects:

Town of Abington – $25,000

The Town of Abington will use this award for a feasibility study to evaluate the Center School at 65 Thaxter Ave., including infrastructural and abatement needs and the potential to transform the building into transit-oriented affordable housing.

City of Attleboro – $5,000

The City of Attleboro will use this award for a preliminary analysis of the reuse and restoration of the East Attleborough Academy Building at 28 Sanford St., which, constructed in 1842, is the last remaining building from the original village of Attleborough and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

City of Brockton – $25,000

The City of Brockton will use this award for the planning and implementation of a Business Improvement District (BID) that encompasses downtown Brockton.

Town of Buckland – $10,000

The Town of Buckland will use this award to prepare a former Town Highway Department garage at 50 Conway St. for private acquisition and redevelopment.

City of Fall River – $20,000

The City of Fall River will use this award to study the historic downtown retail and business core of the city focusing on underutilized parking lots and their redevelopment potential.

City of Fitchburg – $45,000

The City of Fitchburg will use this award to repurpose the former Wanoosnoc Road School building located on seven-plus acres at 44 Wanoosnoc Rd. near downtown Fitchburg. The City will assess existing conditions and engage the community to determine the highest and best use in order to develop a competitive RFP for the redevelopment of the property.

Town of Foxborough – $25,000

The Town of Foxborough, through the Foxborough Housing Authority, seeks to lease 16 acres at the intersection of Walnut Street and Route 140 to a private developer for the development of affordable senior housing, and will use this award to analyze responses to its RFP.

City of Gardner – $10,000

The City of Gardner will use this award for a study to support District Improvement Financing (DIF) that will address sewer infrastructure needs across non-contiguous areas including the downtown and the Mill Street Corridor Urban Renewal Areas.

City of Greenfield – $25,000

The City of Greenfield will use this award to develop an RFP for the First National Bank Building, the last unresolved property in the city’s Bank Row Urban Renewal District, targeting a project that will further revitalize the downtown.

City of Lynn – $55,000

The City of Lynn will use a $5,000 award for a planning effort to coordinate state and local agencies to identify a path forward for viaducts owned by the MBTA that are located across 10,419 square feet under the MBTA Commuter Rail in downtown Lynn.

The City of Lynn, through the Lynn Economic Development and Industrial Corporation, will use a $50,000  award to fund a district masterplan to support the redevelopment of the former Whyte’s Enterprise Laundry site at 83 Willow St. and increase investment at other public and private parcels on Willow St. The City seeks to re-densify the urban core, through a mix of retail, housing, and office uses that contribute to its vitality and potential as an “18-hour” downtown economy. MassDevelopment also provided awards from the Brownfields Redevelopment Fund in 2017 ($99,500), 2019 ($248,000), and 2020 ($250,000) to support redevelopment of the former Whyte’s Enterprise Laundry site.

Town of Montague – $35,000

The Town of Montague will use this award to complete a property reuse assessment of the Strathmore Mill Complex at 20 Canal St. that will help advance redevelopment of the canal district’s north end. MassDevelopment also provided an award from the Brownfields Redevelopment Fund in 2019 ($250,000) to support redevelopment of the Strathmore Mill Complex.

City of Revere – $10,000

The City of Revere will use this award to complete a reuse assessment for the McKinley School building at 65 Yeamans St., with the goal to have nonprofit or for-profit entities partner with the city to use the space for educational or workforce-development programming.

Town of Seekonk – $25,000

The Town of Seekonk will use this award to develop an opportunities and constraints analysis in support of the redevelopment of the 7.8-acre Attleboro Dye Works site at 36 Maple Ave. The town has identified two acres for redevelopment with the remainder envisioned for open space and river access. MassDevelopment also provided an award from the Brownfields Redevelopment Fund in 2017 ($99,800) and 2020 ($250,000) to support redevelopment of the Attleboro Dye Works site.

City of Taunton – $15,000

The City of Taunton will use this award to perform an opportunities and constraints analysis to inform the transformation of a municipally owned vacant corner lot at 56 Taunton Green into a mixed-use building.