Gov. Charlie Baker came to the Bagel Bin last Thursday afternoon to present a $2 million MassWorks grant to city officials for upgrades to Shirley Avenue area.
The award will enable substantial improvements to street surfaces and sidewalks within Revere’s Coastal Developmental Transformative Development District. This will benefit nearby businesses, construction of new private developments, including a new, 30-unit veteran’s housing development.
“There are many, many competitive proposals that we receive every year as part of the MassWorks program. MassWorks is probably the most flexible tool we have for communities with economic development,” Baker said. “So you won in a very competitive field. This is a $2 million grant that will be used for a whole series of streetscapes and utility solutions that will make it possible for the Shirley Avenue district to do some other work that I know is important to the city.”
“This is so exciting” said Ward 2 Councillor Ira Novoselsky. “There’s a lot of history on Shirley Avenue It’s a diverse neighborhood and we’re continuing to beautify where we live.”Novoselsy also noted an earlier $2.5 million MassWorks grant that was given to the city to help with the infrastructure development of the old Shaw’s site.
“Days like today show how we’re moving forward as a Commonwealth,” Speaker of the House Robert DeLeo said.
The grant is intended for infrastructure program that helps communities prepare for longterm, especially in mixed use, walkable districts.
“We certainly appreciate the confidence in the future of Revere that this MassWorks grant represents,” said Mayor Brian Arrigo. “Shirley Avenue truly is the past, present and future of our city. This commitment from the Commonwealth will help assure that Shirley Avenue can continue to be a dynamic, vibrant neighborhood that we can all be proud of.”
Joining Gov. Baker were Massachusetts Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Jay Ash, State Sen. Joe Boncore, Ward 1 Councillor Joanne McKenna, Ward 3 Councillor Arthur Guinasso, Councillor at Large Steve Morabito, Councillor at Large Anthony Zambuto and Councillor at Large George Rotondo.
“In listening to the mayor’s state of the city address it really hit me all the wonderful development going on around the state under the Baker administration and in particular what is going on in this city. Take a look at Suffolk Downs and the talk of Amazon. Whether its Amazon or not Suffolk Downs is going to be a very successful development. In addition to that Wonderland Park and the Necco property.” DeLeo said. “This grant is a continuation of the investments that we’ve made to see further business development. For this part of the city which is ethnically, culturally diverse part of the city and the importance that this will play in watching this city grow.”
“As the Commonwealth moves forward so does the city of Revere,” Boncore said. “This is a much needed development and we will welcome further development.
“We have been waiting for resources to come to Shirley Ave.,” said Vanny Hout of the Revere Community Committee.
The MassWorks grant could be used for new planters, trash barrels, sidewalks and parks, Novoselsky said.
Kristen Janjar, also of the Revere Community Committee, said, she is hoping to see the city work on the staircase that goes from Florence St. down to Campbell Ave. and from there on to North Shore Road.
“It’s a cement staircase and it’s super old and beat up,” she said.
Since 1999, Bagel Bin owner George Vlladesi has seen other politicians like Sen. John McCain, and former Sen. Scott Brown, who is now the ambassador to New Zealand and Samoa.
“I’m pleased Ira got the benefit of the grant to benefit Shirley Ave.,” Guinasso said. “Maybe the next grant will go to Ward 3.”