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Baker-Polito Administration Announces $3.8 Million In Salem MassWorks Awards for Street Upgrades in the Point Neighborhood, Design of Future Cycling and Pedestrian Connections 

SALEMToday, Governor Charlie Baker, Lt. Governor Karyn Polito, and Housing and Economic Development Secretary Mike Kennealy were joined by Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll, Senator Joan Lovely, and Representative Paul Tucker to announce the award of two MassWorks Infrastructure Program grants totaling $3.8 million to the City of Salem. 

The first award is a $3.25 million grant to fund traffic calming measures and pedestrian safety enhancements through a series of curb extensions, rehabilitation of sidewalks, and intersection modifications along Peabody, Harbor, and Congress Streets in Salem’s historic Point neighborhood.  The second MassWorks award is a $45,000 grant that will support the design of the North Street Connector Path, to enhance access for pedestrians and cyclists between North Salem and the Downtown and Federal Street neighborhoods.  The MassWorks awards were made through the Community One Stop for Growth platform, a single application portal and collaborative review process of grant programs launched in January 2021 that make targeted investments based on a development continuum.   “MassWorks and the programs accessed through One Stop support important local infrastructure projects that are critical for spurring housing, workforce development, and private investment,” said Governor Charlie Baker.  “We appreciate the partnership with the Legislature and local leaders to make these investments possible and look forward to our continued collaboration.”   “Congratulations to Salem for taking advantage of the One Stop program, which resulted in two grants for key upgrades that support tens of millions of dollars in private investment,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. “In just its first year, the One Stop program has made it possible for communities to access multiple funding programs at once that puts the economic and community development goals for more cities and towns within reach.”    Salem’s awards are part of this year’s round of MassWorks Infrastructure Program Grants announced last week.  This year, the Baker-Polito Administration is awarding 56 grants from the infrastructure program – the largest number of awards in a single year in six years – totaling $66.5 million to 50 communities.  Among this year’s MassWorks projects, 29 are reactivating underutilized sites, 27 are supporting transit-oriented developments and 29 have a mixed-use component.  Additionally, 14 communities are receiving their first ever MassWorks award.   Including this year’s round, the Baker-Polito Administration has awarded 326 MassWorks grants to 181 communities and has invested over $608 million in public infrastructure projects throughout the Commonwealth. These grants have directly supported the creation of 21,000 new housing units and tens of thousands of new construction and permanent jobs, while also leveraging over $13 billion in private investment.    MassWorks is a competitive program that offers cities and towns flexible capital funding to support and accelerate housing production and job growth and is the largest program in Community One Stop for Growth.  Including MassWorks grants, the Community One Stop for Growth program awarded $88 million for 196 projects in 122 communities across the Commonwealth in its first year.  Of the 196 projects awarded, nearly one-third were located in a rural or small town, half were located in a Housing Choice Community, and one-third were located in a Gateway City.    “We created the One Stop as a direct result of engaging with communities, large and small, across the Commonwealth, who told us we needed a new process that was easier to navigate, simpler to access, and all in one place,” said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Mike Kennealy.  “While the first year’s results show tremendous promise, the demand for our programs demonstrate we can do more, and the One Stop offers an opportunity to ensure valuable program funds can be directed more effectively, to more communities, in less time.”   Located less than one mile from the Salem Commuter Rail Station, the Point neighborhood includes rich architectural assets, a significant supply of affordable housing, immigrant-owned small businesses, easy access to Salem Harbor and public transit, and close proximity to Salem State University. 

With an additional $110,000 contribution from the City of Salem, the $3.25 million MassWorks grant will support increased connectivity and transportation safety for upcoming developments, The Lighthouses and Harbor Point Apartments.  The Lighthouses will occupy two locations along Peabody Street and Leavitt Street and will result in 46 units of new mixed-income housing, while Harbor Point Apartments will rehabilitate and convert two historic masonry buildings into 34 market-rate and three income-restricted units.  Combined, the multi-family housing developments will generate more than $25 million in private investments and create 83 new housing units, with 49 of those units income restricted. This MassWorks award builds on prior support for The Lighthouses through the Department of Housing and Community Development’s program to support the production of affordable housing through combinations of subsidies and tax credits, and MassDevelopment’s Brownfields Redevelopment Fund.    Salem’s second MassWorks award of $45,000 supports the City’s ongoing Municipal Harbor Planning efforts, which has identified the establishment of pedestrian access as a key priority in building meaningful connections between the waterfront and both the downtown and near-waterfront neighborhoods. These connections will also help support new private development in the area by improving access to transit and downtown Salem job opportunities.   “This substantial grant will allow us to carry out major roadway and pedestrian improvements to a critical network of streets and intersections both in the Point and at the connection between North Salem, the MBTA, and downtown,” said Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll. “Importantly, these grants, which will fund upgrades that all our residents will benefit from, are made possible because of private projects, by the North Shore CDC and Winn, in these neighborhoods. We are intentional and thoughtful about growth, and by leveraging these private projects, we’re able to advance public infrastructure projects that benefit all residents. I’m extremely grateful to the Baker Administration and our state legislators, State Representative Paul Tucker and State Senator Joan Lovely, who have made the MassWorks program possible. I also would like to thank the City staff, Councillors, and neighborhood stakeholders who have worked to advance and refine these projects.”   “It is an honor to join Mayor Driscoll, Representative Tucker, and community members to celebrate Salem’s MassWorks Infrastructure Grant Awards through the One Stop program,” said Senator Joan B. Lovely. “This funding supports two major projects which will improve areas at Congress Street and enhance the North Street Connector Path. These projects provide creative, innovative, and inclusive solutions to connect our neighborhoods, improve housing, and create job opportunities for our residents. Thank you, Governor Baker, Lieutenant Governor Polito, and Secretary Mike Kennealy for your leadership ensuring our communities remain supported and their infrastructural needs are met.”   “I am grateful to the Baker-Polito Administration for prioritizing this grant to help transform a wonderful neighborhood and continue great progress in Salem,” said Representative Paul Tucker.