Gardner Receives $4.1 Million Grant for Development of Rear Main Street Cooridor

Oct 28, 2021 | News

Mayor Michael Nicholson, Council President Elizabeth Kazinskas, Gardner Redevelopment Authority Chair Ronald Cormier, and State Representative Jon Zlotnik announced that the City of Gardner has been selected by the Baker administration to receive over $4.1 Million in grant funding for the revitalization of Rear Main Street in Downtown Gardner. This project is part of the close to $10 Million plan the City has undertaken in the past year to revitalize the downtown.

“I am very excited to see this project get started in our Downtown,” said Mayor Mike Nicholson. “This will give new life to an area that has been overgrown and vacant for quite some time. This project will help bring people into Gardner, draw them to the Downtown, and increase the demand placed on our local businesses.”

The funding for this project comes from the Commonwealth’s MassWorks Grant program and will be used to construct a new event plaza, food truck parking area, 165-space unmetered parking lot, and information stations. This will also allow for rear access to several of the buildings on Main Street and add new entry ways connecting Main Street to the Rear Main Street – Derby Drive area.

Also taking part in this project on Rear Main Street is a new apartment complex that will have 56-units of workforce housing. The City and the Gardner Redevelopment Authority have partnered with EA Fish, Inc., who constructed the Lofts at 30 Pine in Downtown Gardner, to construct and develop this property. The building is expected to be approximately 60,000 square feet and bring in approximately $55,000 in tax revenue annually.

“It’s exciting for the City and Gardner Redevelopment Authority to partner with two private sector developers to increase our market rate and workforce housing inventory in our Downtown,” said Ronald Cormier, Gardner City Councilor and Chairman of the Gardner Redevelopment Authority. “This infusion of public and private funds within the Downtown Urban Renewal Area is key to attracting additional future investment in the City and furthering the Urban Renewal Plan goals.”

These latest grant releases coincide with the several projects that the City has undertaken in the Downtown area in the past year, totaling close $10 Million. These projects included the addition of the outdoor seating options, sidewalk improvements, water infrastructure upgrades, road paving, banners, light posts and crossing signals, bike lanes, and more.

“These funds will help us continue the redevelopment of the greater downtown area and represent one of the largest influxes of state funds into the City for development in decades. It connects to investments we’ve previously made, and compliments investments we hope to be able to make in the future,” stated Rep Zlotnik.

It is huge for our City’s growth potential to be recognized by our State partners in this way.  The MassWorks Grant funding is essential to the Rear Main St. revitalization project and the project is essential to Gardner’s continued development,” said City Council President Elizabeth Kazinskas. “I look forward to seeing Downtown Gardner keep moving in the right direction, and feel fortunate that we have the opportunity to do so.”

Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito will be visiting the City in the coming weeks to celebrate these accomplishments for the City of Gardner. In the meantime, the City will be installing banners along the fence of Orpheum Park (at the site of the former Orpheum Movie Theater) and in the windows of the Ryan Block and Temptations building that highlight the details of these programs as well as the fences around Orpheum park to highlight the projects being done.

“I really want to thank the staff in our Community Development and Planning Department working with MassDevelopment to really make this a reality,” concluded Mayor Nicholson. “Director Trevor Beauregard and his staff did a lot of work to make this happen, and I can’t thank them enough for their dedication to the City and its people.”

For more information on the projects happening in Downtown, contact:
Director Trevor Beauregard at the Department of Community Development and Planning at tbeauregard@gardner-ma.gov
Mayor Nicholson: mayor@gardner-ma.gov  978-630-1490.
City Council President Elizabeth Kazinskas ekazinskas@gardner-ma.gov (978) 337-1533
GRA Chairman Ronald Cormier railron@aol.com

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