MAIN STREET JOURNAL – The Commonwealth of Massachusetts announced this week a $1.6M MassWorks Infrastructure Grant Program award to fund roadway, bicycle and pedestrian improvements along Simarano Drive in Marlborough. After announcing the award, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick visited nearby 200 Forest Park in Marlborough.
“We’re here to celebrate a wonderful public-private partnership,” said Patrick. “It’s about a little bit of state money, about $1.6M, leveraging a huge amount of private investment and lots of new jobs.”
The state-funded infrastructure upgrades will complement 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.
“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. 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.
Last year, Marlborough Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) facilitated zoning changes needed to create Forest Park, resulting in a commitment of approximately $78M in development funds. 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.
Shown in picture, Governor Deval Patrick (center) during a visit to Marlborough on Tuesday, with Marlborough Mayor Vigeant (right) and Atlantic Management President and CEO Joe Zink.