WAKEFIELD - Lt. Governor Karyn Polito was recently joined by Senator Jason Lewis, Town Administrator Stephen Maio, and Town Council Chair Julie Smith-Galvin to announce a $2 million MassWorks Infrastructure grant to fund water system upgrades along North Avenue, Quannapowitt Parkway, and Lowell Street adjacent to Lake Quannapowitt. These improvements will support ongoing housing development that advances the goals and objectives of the Town’s Housing Production Plan.

In addition to the MassWorks grant, this project will leverage $150,000 in local funds and will expand water delivery capacity along North Avenue, supporting opportunities for housing or mixed-use development from Route 128 to downtown Wakefield. This area includes the Wakefield MBTA Commuter Rail Station and was identified in the Town’s Housing Production Plan as an opportunity area for transit-oriented growth. Planning for two developments is currently underway and is expected to generate more than 500 units of multi-family housing.

“MassWorks and the programs accessed through One Stop support local infrastructure and community development projects that produce housing, spur job creation, and unlock private investment,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “The One Stop program has been beneficial to both state and local partners, and we look forward to continuing this collaborative relationship going forward.”

“Congratulations to Wakefield for receiving this infrastructure award, which will help the Town to advance its plan to build more needed housing near its downtown and Commuter Rail Station,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. “I also want to commend Wakefield for taking full advantage of the One Stop program, utilizing the Expression of Interest option, and securing an additional grant to develop a master plan.”

Wakefield’s award is part of this year’s round of MassWorks Infrastructure Program Grants announced this week. This year, the Baker-Polito Administration is awarding 56 grants from the infrastructure program – the largest number of awards in a single year in six years – totaling $66.5 million to 50 communities. Among this year’s MassWorks projects, 29 are reactivating underutilized sites, 27 are supporting transit-oriented developments, 29 have a mixed-use component. Additionally, 14 communities are receiving their first ever MassWorks award.

Including this year’s round, the Baker-Polito Administration has awarded 326 MassWorks grants to 181 communities, investing over $608 million in public infrastructure projects throughout the state. These grants have directly supported the creation of 21,000 new housing units, tens of thousands of construction and new permanent jobs, while also leveraging over $13 billion in private investment.

MassWorks is a competitive program that offers cities and towns flexible capital funding to support and accelerate housing production and job growth. It is the largest program in Community One Stop for Growth, the platform that was launched in January 2021, and replaced multiple application processes for separate grant programs that support local economic development initiatives with a single application portal that includes a streamlined, collaborative review process. Including MassWorks grants, the Community One Stop for Growth program resulted in awarding $88 million for 196 projects in 122 communities across the Commonwealth in its first year. Of the 196 projects awarded, nearly one-third were located in a rural or small town, half were located in a Housing Choice Community, and one-third were located in a Gateway City.

Included in the One Stop is the Urban Agenda Grant Program, launched by the Baker-Polito Administration in 2015, to promote economic vitality in urban neighborhoods by fostering partnerships that that capitalize on unique local assets and community-driven responses to specific challenges. In this year’s round of Urban Agenda awards, Wakefield received a $50,000 grant that will allow the town to work with the Metropolitan Area Planning Council to develop a community master planning process to produce a Master Plan with an outlook of 2032.

“The support from the Commonwealth will allow us to make much needed water main improvements on North Avenue," said Wakefield Town Council Chair Julie Smith-Galvin. “This upgrade will provide water quantity and quality improvements to existing residents as well as new residents at planned housing developments in the area.”

“It’s critical to properly maintain and tend to aging infrastructure, but the costs can be a big hurdle,” said Town Administrator Stephen Maio. “Receiving such a substantial MassWorks grant for the North Avenue upgrade will allow us to utilize our budget to fund other important projects in Town. We are continually grateful for our very important partnership with the State in these areas"

“I'm thrilled that the Town of Wakefield and the Commonwealth are partnering on this significant economic development initiative," said Senator Jason Lewis. "As we continue to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, investments like this in infrastructure, housing stock, and local commercial development are vital components of a strong recovery."“I am thrilled that the State has recognized Wakefield’s leadership in and commitment to smart, transit-oriented housing production,” said Representative Kate Lipper-Garabedian. “With my colleagues in the Wakefield legislative delegation, I am pleased to commit funding to the MassWorks program so that local efforts to support housing production are reinforced with state support. It is particularly rewarding to see that my District benefit from this state funding.”

Learn more about the programs that are part of the Community One Stop for Growth application process. View the full list of this year’s MassWorks grant recipients.

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