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New neighbors, loan pool in Marlborough

As testament to the Marlborough 2010 organization’s efforts to help make Marlborough the first city in the state to have fully implemented chapter 43D expedited permitting regulations, John Riordan, the organization’s executive director, listed a number of companies that would be expanding their current operations in Marlborough, would soon begin operations in Marlborough, or were seriously considering future operations in the city.

Among the companies that will soon begin operations in the city is Galway, Ireland-based medical device company Creganna Medical Devices, which is looking to expand its U.S. manufacturing operations and is working with Marlborough 2010 to resolve regulatory issues, Riordan said.

Riordan also said the city was seriously courting clean energy company American Solar Technology of Colorado and Circles Inc., a Boston-based marketing firm.

Riordan noted that despite encouraging signs that Marlborough is attractive for corporate development, the city still lags behind some of its neighbors in suburban office vacancy rates, particularly in the western part of town. Riordan said Westborough, Southborough and Northborough were all performing better than Marlborough in this regard.

Riordan also said that more efforts were needed to both revitalize the city’s downtown district and to tie that area in with the city’s “hospitality zone” in the western part of the city.

The city is close to implementing a $1 million gap-financing loan pool for investment in the city’s downtown and French Hill neighborhoods, said Riordan.

Partnerships with Marlborough Savings Bank and Sovereign Bank, among others, led to the creation of the pool that will help bridge the gaps in financing, Riordan said, “for projects in challenged neighborhoods or with small footprints that present substantial risk for developers, but rewards too.”

A formal announcement of the fund’s institution will come in the next few weeks, Riordan said.
Riordan made his remarks this morning at the first annual meeting of Marlborough 2010, a planning agency created last year to help develop an economic development and infrastructure upgrade plan for the city.

The morning’s keynote address was delivered by Dan O’Connell, Massachusetts secretary of housing and economic development. On a statewide level, O’Connell said, the administration was courting some 274 active business leads for the Commonwealth, which would create upward of 27,000 new jobs in the state.

O’Connell also identified the administration’s key priorities in the coming year, including developing a competitive clean energy sector, curbing housing foreclosures, re-vamping the state’s auto insurance system and getting Gov. Patrick’s $1 billion life sciences initiative off the ground.

O’Connell concluded his remarks with reference to Gov. Patrick’s expected announcement this afternoon regarding casino gambling in the state, saying that if the governor were to approve legalized gambling, it would not come at the expense of the state lottery, it would be for pure economic development reasons and for the greater good of diversifying the state’s economic base, and would heavily favor resort-style casinos.

This article originally appeared here