The Gateway Cities Journal
News and information for leaders who care about Gateway Cities


Sending Transformative Redevelopment to the Governor's Desk!


In January of 2013, the Gateway Cities Legislative Caucus threw its "hat into the ring" when we introduced a piece of legislation that sought to innovate the way the Commonwealth approaches economic development in our Gateway Cities. After a year and a half of hard work, we are proud to say a sizable portion of our original Gateway Cities package was successfully passed by both chambers as part of a negotiated economic development bill.  When Governor Patrick signs the bill into law, it will mark the beginning of a new era for smart development and investment in urban centers across the state, with the potential to transform our Gateway Cities into powerful regional engines for growth and opportunity.


The center piece of the legislation is the creation of a $16 million Transformative Development Fund, to be administered by MassDevelopment. The Fund will seek to support, in the words of the bill, "redevelopment on a scale and character capable of catalyzing significant follow-on private investment, leading over time to transformation of an entire downtown or urban neighborhood, and consistent with local plans." This groundbreaking fund is flexible enough to allow MassDevelopment to support many vital elements of the development processes that are currently hard to do in many Gateway Cities, from providing essential planning capacity to creating project development pipelines that prepare sites for potential developers.


Also included in the legislation are several provisions that seek to strengthen or expand proven programs that are already promoting economic development in the Gateway Cities.  The bill invests an additional $10 million into the states' Brownfield Redevelopment Fund to support the clean-up of contaminated land on former industrial sites. It expands by $20 million state incentives for market-rate housing investment in Gateway Cities, and it improves the state Historic Building Tax Credit. These enhancements will give municipalities and developers a stronger toolbox to get projects off of the drawing boards and into the ground.


The passage of this bill is a major step forward for Gateway Cities and an important turning point in how the state views the potential of urban communities outside of Greater Boston. But this one victory will not be enough to restore Gateway Cities to their former economic glory. The Gateway Cities Legislative Caucus will continue to work with the rest of our colleagues at the State House to make sure the needs and priorities of the urban communities we represent are a central part of Commonwealth's plan to move the entire state into a more prosperous future. We celebrate this victory with you and look forward to continuing the fight!


Representative Antonio Cabral

Senator Ben Downing 

Co-Chairs - Gateway Cities Legislative Caucus





The legislature passes a comprehensive economic development bill with many Gateway City components. The MassINC blog provides a summary.


Mayor Thomas Koch of Quincy selects Redgate Real Estate Advisors of Boston to move the $1.6 billion downtown redevelopment project forward, Banker & Tradesmen reports.


New Bedford receivesa $70 million allocation for harbor development in the environmental bond bill. The funds include $35 million for dredging, almost $25 million for rehabilitation and improvements on State Pier, and $10 million for Fort Taber.


Gov. Patrick tours a "downtown on the rebound" in Lawrence, the Eagle-Tribune reports.


The Springfield City Council looks for strategies to deal with irresponsible absentee landlords.


Harvard's Joint Center for Housing Studies releases the annual State of the Nation's Housing. The report finds that while homelessness has fallen by approximately 12 percent nationally since 2007, in Massachusetts, the homeless population has risen by 80 percent.


A new bond bill includes $20 million for an expansion of the Tsongas Center in Lowell, the Sun reports.




In an op-ed in the Republican, MassINC's Benjamin Forman and PVTA administrator Mary MacInnes describe the economic benefits of the comprehensive transit plan recently completed by the PVTA.  Similarly, in an opinion for CommonWealth, Forman and co-author Mary Ebeling, write about the benefits of transit planning studies currently underway in 10 other Gateway City regions.




Governor Patrick awards $7.9 million in Green Communities grants.  Renovations are scheduled for Holyoke City Hall, along with a new steam boiler for the Glenwood School in Springfield.


Demolition of the old, coal-fired power plant in Salem begins, the Salem News reports.


Legislators in Pittsfield oppose a gas line, citing environmental concerns. The line proposed by Texan company Kinder Morgan Energy Services would run along northern Massachusetts.

Public Safety


Brockton Interfaith Community led an effort that won backing from the State Trial Court headed by Harry Spence to put a Drug Court in Brockton. BIC put together an extraordinary coalition of support from law enforcement, the Mayor, City Councilors, community groups, social service agencies. New drug Courts will also be established in Fall River, Lowell, and Taunton.




It's full speed ahead, says MGM, the designated casino developer in Springfield, despite the looming November ballot question that could repeal the state's casino law.




Fall River native Mary Moniz receives high school diploma at one hundred years old, after having left the country during the Great Depression. She emphasizes the importance of education to her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.


For a full list of Massachusetts Gateway Cities, click here. The Gateway Cities Journal is a weekly news publication of MassINC. If you would like to unsubscribe to The Journal but would still like to hear from MassINC, please let us know. If you are not yet on our list and would like to sign up, click here. To contribute news or comments, please email MassINC.



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MassINC's Gateway Cities Innovation Institute
Tel: (617) 742-6800
Fax: (617) 589-0929


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