Big Year for the Underutilized Properties Program!

Earlier this month, the Baker-Polito Administration and state and local officials gathered in Pittsfield to announce more than $143 million in grant awards supporting 337 local economic development projects in 169 communities. 

The grant awards were made through the Community One Stop for Growth, a single application portal that provides a streamlined, collaborative review process for 12 state grant programs that fund economic development projects related to community capacity building, planning and zoning, site preparation, building construction and infrastructure. 

Here at AHF, we are most focused on the Underutilized Property Program (UPP). Since the program’s inception two years ago, we have worked with project partners to apply for UPP grant funding to support a range of development activity at their respective sites. This year was a big year for the program with $21,683,685 awarded to 49 projects. A big congratulations to all the awardees!  See the full list here.

We are thrilled to learn that the following projects will be awarded UPP funding. 

Photo by Jason Baker.

North Brookfield Townhouse, North Brookfield MA

Quick overview: The Friends of the North Brookfield Town House have been working for over a decade to preserve and repurpose the historic Town House in the center of North Brookfield, a 4,600 person rural community in Central Massachusetts. The Friends’ goal is to transform the Town House into a regional community and art center, returning it to “the center of everything.”

Funding: The town will use UPP funding to prepare advanced construction documents to address ADA accessibility and code compliance for this vacant, underutilized historic Town House property.

AHF involvement: Brainstorming sessions and support to build most competitive application possible; letter of support

Wright Building,  Pittsfield MA

Quick overview: Allegrone Companies will renovate the National Register listed Wright Building, preserving and restoring its historic facade while updating its infrastructure, systems, and finishes to support new residential and retail uses. The redevelopment additionally will address a blighted adjacent property and will create a pedestrian corridor behind both buildingsThe full project will transform almost an entire city block in downtown Pittsfield.

Funding will be used for accessibility and fire/life safety, closing the gap between supportable debt, developer equity, and construction costs for this blighted and vacant block.

AHF involvement: Brainstorming sessions to determine the most competitive approach, compiling developer’s data and budgets into a compelling story and timely grant application.

Photo by Lisa Vollmer Photography

343 Main Street, Great Barrington MA

Quick overview: 343 Main Street is a historic, underutilized, and substantially vacant building owned by Alander Construction, a local full-service development company. The project is the adaptive re-use of a mostly vacant, historic, two-story, 22,000-square-foot former auto dealership,transforming it into much needed mixed income housing  and two retail storefronts.

Funding will be used for Phase 2 of interior fit and finishes for tenant spaces.

AHF involvement: Strategic planning and drafting and compilation of grant application.

Let’s work together.