SPRINGFIELD MAYOR DOMENIC J. SARNO ANNOUNCES FORMATION OF PUBLIC-PRIVATE PARTNERSHIP TO LEAD REDEVELOPMENT EFFORTS
REDEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY, DEVELOPSPRINGFIELD TO SPEARHEAD REBUILDING EFFORTS
June 10, 2011 – Mayor Domenic J. Sarno announced today the formation of a public-private partnership to spearhead rebuilding efforts in the aftermath of the June 1 tornadoes.
“Two existing organizations, the Springfield Redevelopment Authority (SRA) and DevelopSpringfield, have been tapped to form a public-private alliance to plan and manage a comprehensive multi-year effort to rebuild all sections of the City affected by the disaster,” Sarno said.
“These organizations will be able to receive federal, state, foundation and private grants and contributions, and the partnership approach will take full advantage of the distinct capabilities and track record of each organization,” stated Sarno.
Since its creation, the SRA has managed more than 35 urban redevelopment projects throughout the City of Springfield, including the Court Square Urban Renewal Project and the South End Urban Renewal Project. Most recently, the SRA became the lead agency for the Union Station Regional Intermodal Transportation Center.
SRA Chairman Armando Feliciano stated, “The City needs a coordinated and flexible response to these unprecedented circumstances and the partnership will help to provide that response.”
Formed in 2008 as a private non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation, DevelopSpringfield focuses on advancing development projects, stimulating and supporting economic growth, and expediting the revitalization process within the City of Springfield. The organization’s mission is to help create conditions that encourage private development, with a bricks-and-mortar focus and always with an eye toward understanding and meeting Springfield’s unique and diverse redevelopment needs.
In 2009, DevelopSpringfield established a $1 million storefront improvement program for State and Main Streets. It also has been actively involved in the redevelopment of the State Street Corridor, including efforts to develop a new supermarket on State Street and has partnered with American International College to advance the Eastern Gateway redevelopment initiative.
The organization is led by a 13-member board of directors including representatives from the City, Commonwealth of Massachusetts, local businesses and residents of the community. Its Chairman, Nicholas A. Fyntrilakis, of Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company, spoke about the new partnership. “This unfortunate situation requires a unique approach and a coordinated rebuilding strategy that will affect the long-term growth and prosperity of the City,” he said.
The first step in the rebuilding process will be to develop a comprehensive redevelopment strategy to guide a multi-year effort. Funding will be sought to pay for a blueprint for sustained action and subsequent implementation. Mayor Sarno has already instructed staff to put together a framework for the implementation.
Mayor Sarno said, “all key stakeholders, including neighborhood groups and the business community, will be consulted throughout the planning and implementation process. My administration will support the partnership in every way possible and I am confident that the City will capitalize on its multiple strengths and rebuild a stronger and more vibrant Springfield.”
Mayor Sarno is encouraging those interested in contributing toward economic redevelopment efforts in the impacted areas to send their donations to DevelopSpringfield, Post Office Box 15288, Springfield, MA 01115-5288.