WORCESTER BUSINESS JOURNAL – While an undergraduate student at Suffolk University, Tim Cummings realized his passion for government and public policy — most notably at the local level.
“You can directly see the benefits and impacts of what you do,” said Cummings, executive director of the Marlborough Economic Development Corporation.
The state-chartered entity, founded in 2006, has been working to revive the city’s economy and, most recently, establish it as a life science hub. In Sept. 2011, it released a comprehensive master plan, and, earlier this year, proposed substantial zoning changes to spur growth and enliven the downtown area.
Cummings noted recent successes: The office space vacancy rate has dropped from roughly 35 to 22 percent over the last year. In 2012, The TJX Cos. Inc., and Quest Diagnostics relocated to campuses that previously sat vacant after the loss of Hewlett-Packard and Fidelity Investments, and the city also serves as the home of Quest Diagnostics and Boston Scientific, among numerous other companies, big and small.
Reinforcing its commitment to life sciences, the city was recently named a Platinum BioReady Community by the Massachusetts Biotechnology Council. Not only is Marlborough home to roughly 30 life science companies, it meets a battery of criteria, such as having pre-permitted and identified building and land sites for biotechnology or manufacturing use, according to the council’s website.
Other highlights: SanDisk is working on a deal on a research and development facility in Marlborough; a Hilton Garden Inn has been proposed; and Boston Biomedical Associates plans to lease space on Crowley Drive, according to recent reports.
Equally encouraging is the community support and engagement, Cummings said; many residents have turned out to listen and voice their opinions at a series of forums.
Still, there is much to do, Cummings said, also noting the “regional challenge” of transportation. But the community is collectively moving forward to foster growth.
“The city council, from the president down to the body and the mayor, are working tirelessly and cooperatively to bring about a city that has been reaping the benefits of their collaboration,” he said.
This article originally appeared here.