The SRA will advance an invitation to the development community for redevelopment proposals on three prime properties owned by the SRA in the downtown. The invitation is extended to local, regional, and national developers and investors with proven success in adaptive re-use in similar markets. The three properties include 113-117 State Street, 1135-1155 Main Street, and 11-21 Stockbridge Street, and totals 130,000 gross square feet.
These properties were acquired by the SRA in October of 2021 after years of real estate speculation and disinvestment which ultimately ended in bank foreclosure. The foreclosure presented an opportunity for the SRA to acquire these significant buildings, at one of the most prominent intersections in the city; State Street and Main Street. Thus, giving the City/SRA the opportunity to determine the future ownership of the buildings and to ensure that their redevelopment is consistent with the goals and objectives of the City’s master planning work to date.
The SRA was established to assist the City in creating development opportunities that stimulate economic development and to provide the foundations for enhanced economic activity within its Urban Renewal Plan Areas. The City worked with the SRA in acquiring the properties which are identified as priority sites in the City’s Main Street and Convention District Master Development Plan and the Court Square Urban Renewal Plan because of their significance and ability to positively shift the economic trajectory of the area and surrounding businesses. Both the referenced planning documents and their stated objectives were approved by the City Council.
Mayor Sarno states, “First, I want to thank CDO Tim Sheehan, SRA Executive Director Amanda Pham and the SRA Board including Chairman Armando Feliciano, the terrific team at Focus Springfield including Stephen Cary, Brendon Holland and Josue ‘Airman’ Vazquez, MGM Springfield President and COO Chris Kelley and MCCA Executive Director David Gibbons and their respective teams for working together to help advance the development of my administration’s goal and vision of our Urban Renewal Plan, the Main Street and Convention District Master Development Plan and Court Square Urban Renewal Plan, all of which are conducive and beneficial to the needs of our downtown, South End and Armoury Quadrangle neighborhoods.”
“My administration stands ready to work with a creative and qualified development team that can see the development opportunities that these properties have and their potential for creating a more unified and cohesive South Main Street District. My goal is to create more synergy and involvement with MGM Springfield to create street and sidewalk activation not only to the MassMutual Center but just as important, a promenade ‘avenue’ into our South End business district to experience the Italian-American delicacies day and night,” continued Mayor Sarno. “In doing so, we will be attracting more businesses, more residents, more visitors and more of that good four-letter word – JOBS!”
The City/SRA’s priorities as stated in the invitation include the integration of activated pedestrian friendly mixed-use development which further expands the ground floor attractions and amenities to the district and populates the upper floors with uses that strengthen the commercial value of downtown and favorably influence additional development in the Main Street Convention Center District.
SRA Executive Director Amanda Pham stated, “The Redevelopment Authority is very excited to announce the formal release of this solicitation for the sale and redevelopment of its property portfolio on Main Street. These properties are just the beginning of the proactive measures the SRA is taking to promote and facilitate unique opportunities in this new and emerging district. With the Main Street and Convention District Master plan memorialized in the recent Court Square Urban Renewal Amendment 12, we can continue to implement urban revitalization strategies to support economic growth throughout.”
Beyond the redevelopment of these three buildings the City, SRA, and the Springfield Parking Authority are exploring how to more efficiently consider the parking infrastructure in the area that would service the intended redevelopment, with an eye on urban walkability and improved pedestrian infrastructure. Ultimately, parking is a dynamic aspect of urban development, as it involves the consideration of social, environmental, financial, economic, and developmental aspects. The City has undertaken preliminary planning work in this regard over the past two years and is now preparing to advance these efforts to final design and implementation.
“Springfield continues to prove its willingness to engage in public partnerships with private development interests. Such is evidenced by the $1.5 billion of recent real estate investment, much of which simply would not have happened without the City. The City again stands ready to be an effective and committed public partner to this redevelopment effort, given its importance to our economic development initiatives along with its proximity to two of our significant downtown anchors and its overall economic potential and the many good paying jobs that could come” said Mayor Sarno.
“The City/SRA’s commitment to this development stems from the forward-thinking design principles of the MGM- Springfield Casino and Resort, which has fluid engagement with Main Street and the Mass Mutual Center’s decision to more fully access its building from State Street. In order to have the intended level of interaction between the patrons of these two anchors with this district, people need a reason to spend time here. That sense of engagement comes from blending creative adaptive reuse of existing buildings, introducing new infill construction on underutilized sites and curating commercial uses so that they provide the district with a sense of uniqueness, energy, engagement and opportunity,” said Tim Sheehan, Chief Development Officer.
For more information relative to this unique development opportunity and obtain a copy of the formal solicitation, please visit www.springfield-ma.gov/sra/sra/redevelopment.