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


Sharing the Olympic bounty this Thanksgiving


It has been almost a year since the legislature voted overwhelmingly to form a special commission to study the feasibility of bringing the 2024 Summer Olympics to the Commonwealth. At the time of vote, it was clear that any potential Boston bid would include the Commonwealth's  "larger cities" and would use the games as a means to drive economic development in all corners of the Commonwealth, especially in Gateway Cities.


Unfortunately, as reports continue to come out that Boston has emerged as the front runner  for the US Olympic Committee's sole bid, the original intent to include Gateway Cities in the Olympic Games has slowly collapsed into the gravitational pull of Boston.


This became increasingly clear this week as another round of Boston-centric Olympic news hit the newsstands, most notably that the Kraft family, who have been supporters of bringing the Olympics to Boston, has voiced  interest in building a soccer stadium in South Boston. While the stadium would be the long-term home to the New England Revolution, the planners of Boston's Olympic bid have been considering a similar location for a venue for the games and would undoubtedly use the stadium as part of the what Boston Mayor Marty Walsh referred to "a walkable Olympics in the city."


If the soccer stadium is in fact built in South Boston for use in a constricted Boston Olympics, it would be a big blow to Gateway Cities like Everett, Revere, and Lynn, which had been rumored locations for the stadium prior to the Olympic talk.


While the actual economic benefits of bringing the Olympics to Boston region remain uncertain, including the Gateway Cities in a truly Commonwealth Olympics would be a game changer for the state. The billions of investment that would be spent in transportation, housing and local infrastructure in Gateway Cities would go far further in moving the state's overall economy forward than just doubling down on the incredible success Boston has seen in the past decade.


Maybe even more important, the original intent to include the Gateway Cities and their regions into the planning process and potential benefits of a successful Boston Olympics was a matter of fairness. If current plans continue, Massachusetts taxpayers would responsible for any financial liabilities of cost overruns, while Boston would enjoy the economic returns basking in that famous Olympic glow. Gateway City leaders can only hope that the Thanksgiving spirit captures the Boston 2024 partnership.


- Winthrop Roosevelt



Housing & Economic Development


As part of an effort to fill a $329 million budget shortfall, the Patrick administration proposed a series of cuts, including the $16 million for the Transformative Development Fund and $7 million for brownfields redevelopment recently passed in last session's economic development bill.


Malden Mayor Gary Christenson and Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll outline the next chapter for Gateway Cities in a Boston Globe op-ed column.


Demolition of several abandoned buildings in Haverhill is scheduled to begin in early January, making way for the new Harbor Place development, according to the Eagle-Tribune.


The Fall River City Council unanimously approves a 1.60 tax shift from commercial rates to residential rates, in an effort to take tax burdens off of local businesses.


A new incubator for high-tech startups is in the works in Leominster. The space will take advantage of relatively inexpensive space and service to attract startups, the Sentinel & Enterprise reports.


Plans for a Washington Square hotel in Worcester are outlined. The six-story, 120-room hotel will cater to professionals.


The stalled redevelopment of downtown Quincy gets a boost with the announcement of plans to build two six-story luxury apartment buildings with 12,000-square feet of retail space and restaurants.


The tornado that hit Revere four months ago has not sidetracked the construction of the new Waterfront Square, a $500 million project which will include a hotel, 900 residences, 165,000 square feet of office space and 80,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space.


A federal judge rules that local ordinances in Lynn and Worcester requiring banks to go to mediation with homeowners who are behind on mortgage payments can continue, the Item reports.


A investigation by the New England Center for Investigative Reporting finds that as more and more cities turn tax liens over to for-profit debt collectors, people are becoming homeless.




Governor Patrick and Brockton Mayor Will Carpenter announce long awaited plans for the Downtown Brockton Higher Education Collaborative, a $21 million, state-funded renovation of a long-vacant building downtown. Massasoit Community College, Bridgewater State University, and the University of Massachusetts, Boston will offer classes to some 1,000 students, creating 250 construction and permanent jobs.


The Salem School Committee votes to explore giving schools more autonomy, the Salem News reports.


The Greater New Bedford Regional Vocational Technical High School celebrates the completion of a five-year, $17 million expansion and renovation.


The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education allow the application for the New Heights Charter School in Brockton to proceed.


Lynn school officials urge the state to deny a request by the KIPP charter school to expand, saying the charter and public schools will be competing for space for new schools at the same time, the Item reports. 




Governor Patrick announces $42 million to replace three Fall River bridges and the Wamsutta Bridge in New Bedford to further advance the South Coast Rail Project and a separate MBTA contract to upgrade grade crossings in Taunton and New Bedford. Commonwealth says these South Coast real investments are just a charade.  


MassDOT hosts a meeting in Worcester on the Northern New England Intercity Rail Initiative.


Health/Public Safety


The New Bedford Department of Housing and Community Development along with UMass Extension are encouraging local markets to help encourage healthy eating habits. Several businesses have already signed on, with many stores displaying healthy foods prominently, providing lists of healthy choice specials and printouts of healthy recipes readily.


With Steward Health Careplanning to shut down Quincy Medical Center, officials in Methuen and Haverhill, where other Steward hospitals are located, are getting nervous, the Eagle-Tribune reports.


Lowell city officials look to utilize grant funding to expand the city's police force, but in the long term, city funds would be needed to sustain the higher personnel level.


Lawrence Mayor Daniel Rivera unveils new software that will allow residents to easily file complaints against police officers reports.




Sports Illustrated captures the storied Fitchburg-Leominister Thanksgiving day game football rivalry.


LatinoUSA interviews Corinn Williams in a story about the work of New Bedford's Community Economic Development Center of Southeastern Massachusetts.  



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