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$2M MassWorks grant bolsters Shirley Ave. area

By Sara Brown

SPECIAL DELIVERY: Pictured during the presentation of the $2 million MassWorks grant at the Bagel Bin on Shirley Avenue last week, from left to right, are City Councillors Arthur Guinasso, Joanne McKenna and Steve Morabito, Massachusetts Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash, State Senator Joe Boncore, Mayor Brian Arrigo, Governor Charlie Baker, House Speaker Bob DeLeo and City Councillors Ira Novoselsky, Anthony Zambuto and George Rotondo. (Advocate photo by Sara Brown)

The Shirley Avenue neighborhood recently received a $2 million grant from MassWorks. The grant will help the city to improve streets and sidewalks in the area, construct a walkway to Wonderland Plaza and support private development, which will include a 30-unit home for veterans.

“The Shirley Avenue neighborhood is the past and future of our city,” said Mayor Brian Arrigo at the Bagel Bin last week. “This grant will help Shirley Ave. continue to be the vibrant neighborhood we are all proud of.”

The MassWorks Infrastructure Program helps cities and towns with street projects that will generate income from the private sector. “This is the most flexible tool we have with communities to help them with economic development,” said Gov. Charlie Baker.

Baker said they received many competitive proposals from communities all around the Commonwealth and that Revere’s application stood out. Last year Revere received a $3.6 million MassWorks grant to transform the former Shaw’s Supermarket site into a 220-apartment/132-room hotel project currently

under construction.

“Programs like MassWorks fuel the momentum happening in Revere, benefiting residents, visitors and small businesses in the Shirley Avenue neighborhood,” Baker said. “We continue to work closely with our local partners to advance important projects like this one that drive development and prosperity in our communities.”

Councillor Ira Novoselsky said he is “so excited” about the grant and how it will improve his ward 2 community. “There’s a lot of history in this place,” he said. “We want to beautify where we live.” Novoselsky said Shirley Avenue has always been a community of immigrants and this grant will help develop the neighborhood and help new immigrants prosper in the city.

“The effectiveness of MassWorks is the program’s ability to support projects across a range of sizes and scope,” said Massachusetts Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash. “Each year we fund high-quality, shovel-ready projects, and this year is no exception.”

Since 2015, Baker’s administration has awarded more than $274 million to 134 projects in 106 communities statewide.

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