CenTech success; A model for public-private partnership.
This week's groundbreaking for the CenTech Park East development in Shrewsbury is a good example of a partnership among local, state and federal players that is likely to make a real and lasting difference for the local and state economies.
The 84-acre project, scheduled for completion later this year, is expected to create about 600 jobs. Like its neighbor and model, CenTech Park, the new development will be able to accommodate the needs of a variety of light industrial and technology companies.
The key to success for the CenTech endeavor to date has been a strong partnership among the Worcester Business Development Corp., the state, and the towns of Shrewsbury and Grafton. The original CenTech Park straddles the town line, although most of the project is in Grafton. The new site lies wholly within Shrewsbury.
In the 10 years since purchasing the original CenTech Park land, WBDC has successfully developed that site, with five companies now operating there and permits in place for some additional growth.
Previously, Shrewsbury and Grafton agreed to build CenTech Boulevard and struck an inter-municipal deal to provide water and sewer to the projects. CenTech Park East's 1,800-foot access road will be paid for through a $2 million federal grant and a $1 million state public works grant, and Shrewsbury voters have approved $75,000 to continue working with WBDC.
Any development project, whether undertaken in slow or strong economic times, poses challenges and risks, but one key to success is sharing those risks, and making wise investments in players with a proven track record. All those elements are in place at CenTech Park East, which should prove to be a model for smart development in the months and years ahead.
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|Publication:||Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, MA)|
|Date:||Jun 9, 2010|
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