downtown Springfield

WAMC

A New York City-based developer unveiled plans today for a major renovation to an apartment complex in downtown Springfield.  The project was hailed by city officials as another big step in downtown’s  revitalization.

Officials with the SilverBrick group outlined plans for what they said would be a $6 million renovation of the 280-unit complex that fronts Main Street.  The extensive makeover will include luxury amenities intended to persuade people to pay market-rate rents to live in the urban center.

WAMC

Efforts continue to save an historic community center in Springfield, Massachusetts from foreclosure.  The Dunbar Community Center has been an oasis for inner-city youth for decades, but now faces an uncertain future.

The board of directors of the Dunbar Community Center is continuing to negotiate with its mortgage-holder to avoid foreclosure and the possible closing of the center in Springfield’s Mason Square neighborhood.   A statement from the board this week said no foreclosure sale had been scheduled.

WAMC

A large apartment complex in downtown Springfield, Massachusetts was sold this summer to a New York City-based developer. A renovation plan will be announced this week.  City officials say addressing the dearth of market-rate housing is a key to revitalizing downtown Springfield.

WAMC

A financial institution with roots in Springfield, Massachusetts that go back almost a century is planning to expand its headquarters in the downtown area.  Springfield economic development officials say they are concentrating on this type of small business growth as the fate of a casino that promises to bring thousands of jobs to the city is in the hands of state voters.

             Freedom Credit Union has announced a $2.2 million expansion of its Main Street headquarters, a project that when completed will bring more than 50 jobs to downtown Springfield.

In a city where public safety consistently ranks as the top issue in public opinion polls, a veteran Springfield city councilor caused a buzz this week when he suggested people had become complacent about violence.

In an op-ed published on MassLive.com, Springfield City Councilor-at-large Tim Rooke called on the “silent majority” to speak up and help dismantle the violent drug gangs that he said are causing families to move out of Springfield and hurting businesses.

WAMC

A study released today envisions transforming an area of downtown Springfield, Massachusetts that was rocked by a natural gas explosion two years ago into an incubator for the innovation economy.

     The study suggests a combination of improvements to public parks, sidewalks and streets in concert with investments by private building owners would be needed to transform the roughly three- block area impacted by the November 2012 explosion into an area attractive to entrepreneurs.

An elevated portion of highway in Springfield, Ma.
WAMC

Congress last week, before going on a five-week recess, approved a short-term bill to pay for highway and transit projects.  The temporary funding means the Massachusetts Department of Transportation will seek bids later this month for the rehabilitation of the Interstate 91 viaduct, or elevated highway, which runs through downtown Springfield.  The project is expected to cost $260 million and take three construction seasons to complete.  WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill got an update on the project today from MassDOT Highway Administrator Frank DePoala

WAMC

Plans were announced today for a unity festival this fall in Springfield, Massachusetts. Organizers hope to bring together people from throughout western Massachusetts to highlight the region’s cultural, religious, racial, and age diversity. 

The theme of the festival, scheduled for mid-October, is the promotion of social integration through song.

WAMC

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick has announced nearly $84 million in funding for 24 affordable housing projects across the state. New housing in western Massachusetts includes projects in Springfield, Northampton, Greenfield, Williamstown, and Pittsfield.

Governor Patrick said the newly funded projects will create more than 1,300 apartments and over 2,000 construction jobs.  It is part of an economic development strategy that has seen his administration commit more than $1 billion to the creation of affordable housing in the last seven-and-a-half years.

SFD

A new law in Massachusetts sets a uniform standard for rating the severity of natural gas leaks and sets a timetable for making repairs.  Governor Deval Patrick publicized the new law at a ceremonial bill signing today in Springfield -- a city still scarred from a natural gas explosion two years ago.

The bill establishes natural gas leak classification standards. It requires the gas companies to repair the most dangerous leaks immediately and produce plans for the timely replacement of aging pipelines.  Repairs must be prioritized if the leak is detected in a school zone.

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