SOMERVILLE, Mass. /Massachusetts Newswire/ — As part of the Patrick-Murray Administration’s historic Massachusetts Works program to promote job growth and long-term economic recovery, Governor Deval Patrick on Monday joined state and local officials to announce a $490,000 Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) Transit Oriented Development (TOD) grant to the City of Somerville to fund bicycle and pedestrian improvements near the privately-funded, multi-family residential MaxPak development project.
“This important investment illustrates how prioritizing projects near public transportation can address the economic vitality of communities while creating private investments, and jobs today and for tomorrow,” said Governor Patrick.
MassDOT’s TOD Infrastructure and Housing Support Program (“TOD Bond Program”) is intended to help create more compact, mixed-use, walkable development near transit stations. The TOD Bond Program provides financing for pedestrian improvements, bicycle facilities, housing projects and parking facilities within a quarter-mile of commuter rail, subway or bus stations, as well as ferry terminals.
The former 5.5-acre Brownfield site has been reclaimed and permitted as a TOD project for 199 residential units; 25 of which will be designated as affordable housing. The $50 million project is entirely funded by KSS Realty. Construction has started on the MaxPak site with demolition underway to prepare for construction of the first 15 housing units.
The MaxPak project is adjacent to the planned Green Line Extension, which will extend MBTA service to three densely-populated municipalities with high demand for public transit. The Green Line Extension is a significant economic development and transportation access improvement project for this key region of the Commonwealth.
As a result of the redevelopment of the MaxPak site, an extension of an existing Community Path is planned, encouraging alternative methods of transportation. The TOD grant funds a Community Path extension from Cedar Street to Lowell Street.
“MassDOT’s TOD grant program is designed for just this type of investment,” said MassDOT Secretary and CEO Jeffrey Mullan. “We are committed to helping create more compact, mixed-use, walkable development close to transit stations.”
“We’re delighted to have the Governor in Somerville again, especially announcing this additional support for the Community Path, which is such an important project for our city. It’s crucial to build the Community Path at the same time as the Green Line Extension, since they are complementary,” said Senator Patricia D. Jehlen.
“What we have here are two fantastic projects coming together thanks to the leadership and vision of the Patrick-Murray Administration. The Community Path is an immensely popular bicycle and pedestrian corridor through our city that links to the Minuteman Path west of Somerville” said Somerville Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone. “This grant money will bring it right to the doorstep of the planned Green Line extension through Somerville, which is underway only because the Patrick-Murray Administration took charge after multiple previous administrations neglected it. And when you combine the popularity of Community Path with the impact of the Green Line extension, you get transformational development projects like what is taking place at the MaxPak site. This administration is building the infrastructure that will put Somerville on the path to success for decades to come.”
To learn more about Massachusetts Works, visit www.mass.gov/governor/massworks. For additional information on how the Patrick-Murray Administration’s agenda has led Massachusetts out of a global recession faster and stronger than the rest of the nation, visit www.mass.gov/governor/agenda.
MassDOT is the new, unified transportation organization created in 2009 under the historic reform legislation passed by the Legislature and signed into law by Governor Patrick. MassDOT’s four divisions are focused on delivering safe and efficient transportation services across the Commonwealth. For transportation news and updates, visit the MassDOT website at www.mass.gov/massdot, the MassDOT blog at www.mass.gov/blog/transportation or follow MassDOT on twitter at www.twitter.com/massdot.