Gateway Cities Innovation Institute Applauds MassDevelopment’s Hiring of Director of Transformative Development

New role will focus on economic development in Gateway Cities

The Gateway Cities Innovation Institute at MassINC is excited that MassDevelopment has hired Anne Gatling Haynes as Director of Transformative Development. This appointment is sign of further momentum around House Bill 311, An Act to Promote Transformative Development in Gateway Cities, which is currently being considered by the Joint Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies.

“It’s an encouraging sign that MassDevelopment is staffing up to focus on the Gateway Cities,” said Ben Forman, Executive Director of the Gateway Cities Innovation Institute. “Now we need to pass the legislation that will give MassDevelopment, mayors, and potential developers and investors the tools they need to move the needle on transforming the economies of the Gateway Cities.”

Sponsored by Senator Ben Downing (D-Pittsfield) and Rep. Antonio Cabral (D-New Bedford), the bill:

  • Creates a new $125 million Transformative Redevelopment Fund at MassDevelopment to support commercial development, infrastructure improvements, and safeguards for homebuyers who rehab residential property;
  • Expands and improves the state’s existing incentive programs for businesses that sign leases to anchor large-scale revitalization projects; and
  • Expands and improves the state’s existing tax credit for the redevelopment of historic properties.

Research by MassINC’s Gateway Cities Innovation Institute has shown that low real estate values in the Gateway Cities are a major obstacle to attracting the kinds of private investment these communities need to reposition for a changing economy. House Bill 311 will lower those barriers for projects that have transformative potential.

“Creating tools to repair weak real estate markets is smart economic development policy,” said Forman. “With this legislation, in the near-term, we’ll start to see more cranes in the skylines beyond I-495. And the transformed spaces constructions workers create will be there to fuel regional economic growth for the long term.”

House Speaker Robert DeLeo has publicly stated that he is looking for ideas on how to spur creation in communities beyond Route 495 for a larger economic development bill he is hoping to pass before the end of this session.

Ms. Haynes comes to MassDevelopment after stints as the CEO of the Economic Development Corporation of New Haven, Conn., and advising New York City’s Deputy Mayor for Economic Development. A Lexington, Mass., native, she holds architectural degrees from the University of Virginia and Yale University, and an MBA from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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