Shortly following my move from New York City to Boston a little over one year ago, it became very apparent to me that Boston and Massachusetts as a whole has an undeniably strong sense of community and connectivity – my favorite example is the unanimous support for New England Patriots despite the many controversies over the team’s conduct throughout the last 15 years. (But, for the record, they did nothing wrong.) This sense of community and connectivity carries beyond sports. I’m talking about public and private sectors working together to rebuild and advance communities for all to prosper and enjoy.

Since its inception in 2011, the MassWorks Infrastructure Program has invested $419 million through competitive grant rounds, in approximately 223 projects throughout the Commonwealth. The program, which is administered by the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development, in cooperation with the Department of Transportation and Executive Office for Administration & Finance, supports public infrastructure projects that generate additional private sector investment, including but not limited to, roadways, streetscapes, parking and water systems.

The 2016 grant round generated 114 applications from 100 communities requesting $287 million in public infrastructure grant funding. Approximately $90 million in grants have been awarded. The monies from the 2016 grant round will generate $1 billion in private investment in communities. Below are some recent real estate developments and municipal projects supported by the MassWorks Infrastructure Program:

  • Thorndike Exchange: This $2 million grant supports the widening of Thorndike Street in Lowell. The infrastructure project will significantly ease traffic flow along one of the city’s major roadways and improve access to Thorndike Exchange, a thriving ecosystem of commercial, retail and residential space slated to open in late 2017.
  • Enterprise Block: A $10 million grant to support the second phase of the Brockton’s Enterprise Block development, by funding the construction of a new 474-space municipal parking garage, which will allow for the immediate development of 111 new housing units, and create new capacity for further investment in Brockton’s downtown.
  • Forbes Crossing: A $625,000 grant supports the construction of a traffic circle at the intersection of Foxborough Boulevard and Forbes Boulevard in Foxborough. The public infrastructure will help advance Forbes Crossing, a $40 million commercial development project that will feature new retail, restaurant and office space, and a new 139-room hotel.

While the 2016 application for grants closed in September, the 2017 application will be available online in June. To learn more about the program or to apply directly, see the application handbook.

Tell us how your community could benefit from the MassWorks Infrastructure Program at @solomonmccown.