Framingham Receives $7.7M for Phase II of Economic Development Project
The Massachusetts Life Sciences Center Board of Directors today approved a $7.7 million grant to the Town of Framingham for Phase II of a regional economic development project. The grant fulfills one of the targeted investments in the Life Sciences Act, which calls for a total investment of $12.9 million for a multi-phased wastewater system that will serve Framingham’s Technology Park. Today’s action follows the Center’s approval of a $5.2 million grant in November 2008 for Phase I of the project.
“This continued investment reinforces the economic importance of Framingham, as well as acknowledging its future as a major contributor to the life sciences sector,” said State Senator Karen Spilka. “With this grant investment, Framingham will enjoy the dual benefit of saving money while bringing good, high-paying jobs into the area. It will also benefit the MetroWest region as a whole as we continue to grow smart and grow strong.”
The funding will allow the Town of Framingham to upgrade its wastewater collection system in conjunction with a large-scale expansion project by Genzyme Corporation that is projected to create more than 300 new jobs in biomanufacturing. The company estimates that their building project will also create 125 full-time equivalent construction jobs. The Town forecasts that the wastewater project will create 40 construction jobs. The wastewater project will improve Framingham’s overall water and sewer systems, and will benefit other employers in the area as well.
Phase I of the project, completed in September 2009, included the replacement of a wastewater pump station along with ancillary pipe work. The project has been established to align with Genzyme’s proposed schedule for bringing new manufacturing processes on-line.
“This project represents a partnership between the state, a local community, and the private sector to meet infrastructure needs, while creating hundreds of jobs here in Massachusetts,” said Governor Deval Patrick. “This is the sort of targeted investment we must continue making even during challenging economic times, as we work to foster economic growth in Massachusetts.”
“This is an example of how the Life Sciences Center’s resources can and will be used to leverage additional private investment in order to create jobs, increase state revenues and support vital life sciences research in our state,” said Dr. Susan Windham-Bannister, President and CEO of the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center. “Through the Center’s capital investment program, we aim to make all regions of our state “life sciences ready”.
“During these challenging economic times it is imperative that government step in and help our businesses grow and expand,” said State Representative Pam Richardson. “This project strengthens the region and helps MetroWest continue to be a growing economic engine for the Commonwealth.”
“Today’s meeting was a major step forward for Framingham and the Commonwealth,” said State Representative Tom Sannicandro. “I’m excited that Framingham will play such an integral role in these exciting innovations that will create jobs and improve the quality of life for so many.”
“The Town of Framingham is very gratified to work in close partnership with the Commonwealth in this critically important infrastructure project,” said Framingham Town Manager Julian Suso. “It will facilitate the strategic expansion of Genzyme Corporation, allowing Genzyme to considerably enhance their excellent work in the development and manufacturing of life-saving products. This same infrastructure project will further serve as the lynch-pin for similar job-creating business expansions in the Technology Park area to the benefit of all. We thank Governor Patrick, Senator Spilka, Representatives Richardson and Sannicandro, Dr. Susan Windham-Bannister and the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center Board of Directors for their vote of confidence in the Town of Framingham to proceed with this exciting Life Sciences Initiative.”
“As a result of this successful collaboration with both the state and the Town of Framingham, we are able to continue to expand our presence here, contributing to the local economy as we work to serve the needs of patients with serious diseases worldwide,” said Henry Fitzgerald, Genzyme’s Vice President of Facility Operations. “We have already hired more than 100 people associated with the start-up of this new manufacturing facility and we look forward to continuing to bring in new employees as the project progresses, building on our long-term commitment to Massachusetts.”