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Commonwealth awards $1.6 million infrastructure grant to Marlborough

Marlborough, MASS. November 5, 2013 – The Commonwealth of Massachusetts announced today a $1.6 million MassWorks Infrastructure Grant Program award to fund roadway, bicycle and pedestrian improvements along Simarano Drive in Marlborough’s Southwest Quadrant.

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick made the announcement, while speaking at the MetroWest Chamber of Commerce in Hopkinton, MA. He then met with local business and government officials, where he toured the development site at 200 Forest Park in Marlborough.

Governor Patrick reviews Forest Park plans with Marlborough Mayor Vigeant (R) and Atlantic Management President & CEO Joe Zink. Photo: Lora Markova

“We are here to celebrate a wonderful public-private partnership,” said Governor Patrick. “It’s about a little bit of state money, about $1.6 million, leveraging a huge amount of private investment and lots of new jobs. It’s helping to really establish a whole new neighborhood here in Marlborough, and I am proud to be a part of it.”

The state-funded infrastructure upgrades in Marlborough will complement the already robust private sector investment in the area’s mixed-use, multifamily Forest Park development. The former Hewlett-Packard and Fidelity Investment sites, now owned by Atlantic Management, will include new housing units, a hotel, and more retail and dining spaces for local residents and workers, all of whom will benefit from the road reconstruction.

“The continued investment in Marlborough by the state and by the city towards infrastructure really helps businesses and residents,” said Atlantic Management President and CEO Joe Zink. “Yesterday I saw a woman jogging down Simarano Drive without any sidewalk, and that’s dangerous. So, having new sidewalks, is going to be more conducive to biking, to people walking, jogging and just utilizing the streets, which in turn will contribute to a thriving business community.”

Governor Patrick toured Quest Diagnostic’s under-construction 200,000 square foot lab, located at Forest Park. As part of the project’s first phase, the new state-of-the-art “Hub Lab” will service the New England market when it opens in mid 2014.

“We are very excited that we’ve embarked upon this project in Marlborough, and we look forward to a long and fruitful relationship with the community,” said Quest Diagnostics Regional Vice President of Operations Timothy Anderson. “We were very pleased to host the Governor and the local representatives at our site, and we look forward to inviting them to our ribbon cutting.”

Also included in the first phase of the Forest Park development are 730,000 square feet of office, research and design space; 350 luxury rental units; and a three-story, 125-room hotel. The second phase of the project will include the construction of 50,000 square feet of retail space, a 250,000-square-foot office building, and a 900-space parking structure. The entire project is estimated to create 475 construction jobs between both the commercial and residential components.

In 2012, the Marlborough Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) facilitated the zoning changes to create Forest Park, which lead to the Quest Diagnostics lease and resulted in private invesment into the develpment of approximately $78 million. MEDC’s Executive Director Tim Cummings said the Commonwealth’s support of infrastructure improvements in Marlborough will have long-term benefits for both the local and the state economies.

“Putting it simply, tying liabilities to assets is good fiscal planning,” said Cummings. “Well-planned infrastructure investments have long-term economic benefits and directly create jobs and increase property values. The resulting economic prosperity will inevitably reverberate throughout the region. It’s money well spent, and we’re extremely grateful for it.”

Funds from the new grant will begin flowing into the city’s coffers over the next few months. Redevelopment work will likely begin within the next year—an exciting prospect for Marlborough Mayor Arthur Vigeant, who last month secured a multi-million-dollar bond package for the city’s infrastructure development in FY2014.

“This is a lucky week,” said Marlborough Mayor Arthur Vigeant. “We have a great project going with some great tenants moving in. I can’t wait to get started on Simarano Drive and just completely redo the area. This state grant gives us an opportunity to use the excess money from the city-approved bond to improve other streets in the city.”

This is not the first time public investments have been made along the Simarano corridor. State funding helped build the Rt. 495 off-ramp, known as exit “23C Simarano Drive,” in 2000. State money also contributed to the development of The Campus office complex, which has resulted in more than $13.3 million in property tax payments, and has brought more than a 1,000 jobs to the city, since 1997.

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About MEDC:
Marlborough Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) is the state chartered economic development corporation for the City of Marlborough, MA and represents a public-private partnership for planning. We work with municipal and private investors to foster economic development, job growth and community revitalization and development. For a complete overview of MEDC visit www.marlboroughedc.com.

About MassWorks Infrastructure Program:
The MassWorks Infrastructure Program provides a one-stop shop for municipalities and other eligible public entities seeking public infrastructure funding to support economic development and job creation and retention through housing development and transportation improvements. The MassWorks Infrastructure Program is administered by the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development, in cooperation with the Department of Transportation and Executive Office for Administration & Finance.
For a complete overview of MassWorks Infrastructure Program visit www.mass.gov/hed/economic/eohed/pro/infrastructure/massworks.

For press inquiries, contact:
Lora Markova
Communications Manager
press@marlboroughedc.com