Revere is the fastest growing city in the state, and on Tuesday Lt. Governor Karyn Polito was in the city to help announce three grants through the state’s One Stop for Growth program that will help the city continue to grow.
The event was held at the Food Hub at 200 Winthrop Ave., which received $130,000 through an underutilized properties program. Revere also received a $750,000 MassWorks pre-development grant for the Rte. 1A southbound ramp and roundabout that will help spur the private-public development near Gibson Park, and a $100,000 urban agenda grant to The Neighborhood Developers (TND) and Revere Works for reemployment programming for residents.
The One Stop for Growth Program is a state program that allows for consideration of more than one grant program simultaneously, saving time on research and applications to different agencies and programs.
“When the One Stop for Growth project was launched, I remember [Housing and Economic Development] Secretary [Mike] Kennealy giving a briefing to us over Zoom … and I was certainly excited about the streamline process that was outlined,” said Mayor Brian Arrigo. “Our city’s department of planning and community development, led by Tech Lang, has jumped all over the opportunity for state funding. So here we are today – because of the leadership of Governor Baker and because of the leadership of Lt. Governor Polito and Secretary Kennealy and countless others, the City of Revere and many of our community-based organizations and partners are in receipt today of nearly $1 million.”
Arrigo said the largest grant, for the Rte. 1A southbound ramp, is important as the city works on its Riverfront Master Plan. “The design and engineering work will refine a plan for us to reconstruct a new ramp and rotary that will offer direct, safe, and convenient access to the riverfront for everyone – pedestrians, cyclists and motorists,” said Arrigo. “This riverfront area has been severely underutilized for far too long, but the critical infrastructure work we will be able to do with the MassWorks grant and with the redevelopment of the G&J tow yard and the city’s acquisition of the boatyard in that neighborhood – our residents will soon have access to beautiful new public space on the riverfront.”
Arrigo said the grant for the Food Hub, which has been running out of a Winthrop Avenue building for a year, will provide the capacity to continue providing quality food to all Revere residents.
The mayor said the grant for the Revere Works program through The Neighborhood Developers is another critical source of funding to help the community. “At one point during the pandemic, Revere had the second highest unemployment of any city in the state,” said Arrigo. “After launching Revere Works in conjunction with TND, our unemployment significantly declined, and that really, truly proved that collaboration and reemployment programming really does work.”
Polito said she was pleased to see the city take the building on Winthrop Avenue and turn it into a place where food distribution can take place and that the state grants would help to increase its level of service. “You’ll be able to tap into the creative energies of people who understand how to design food and make food and be involved in workforce development and entrepreneurship and small business development and incubating that talent that exists right here in this city,” said Polito.
Polito also acknowledged the work Revere has done on the development front while it was also addressing the needs of its residents during the pandemic. She said the riverfront area will be a great project with the private development of housing along the G&J site, as well as improvements to the park and the city’s development of the boatyard.
“It was an area not developed because it was hard to get to, so the MassWorks program … is allowing you a $750,000 award for predevelopment,” said Polito. “We’ve learned how to do our jobs better, too, because MassWorks is typically a construction award, so you had to be ready to construct, ready to build. But we were hearing from a lot of communities that were not quite ready, so what do you do, you don’t want to get rejected and then start all over again in a year.
“So we backed up our program a little bit and said why don’t we help you with that predevelopment so that you can continue to move forward and hire the professionals needed to get that part of it done through the design and the engineering and the permitting and then come back to us, and we’ll help you on the construction end.”