MassWorks Awards Ashland $3 million for Downtown Improvements

Cynthia Whitty
Photo/Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development
Issue Date: 
December, 2018
Article Body: 

A $3 million MassWorks Infrastructure Grant was announced on Nov. 1 at the Ashland town hall in support of the Ashland Downtown Revitalization Project for Main and Front streets.
Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito, Senate President Karen Spilka, Ashland Town Manager Michael Herbert, and other town and community leaders attended the award event.
The town is calling the process to revitalize its downtown the “first refresh of that area in decades.”
Town Manager Michael Herbert is finalizing agreements, at the time of this writing, with both Eversource and BSC Group ( to do 100 percent design of the project.
“We should then be able to go out to bid for the work in late summer or early fall of 2019. The $3 million MassWorks grant is a key component to financing the entire project,” Herbert said in an email.
“While we can’t use the funds for the undergrounding of utilities, it does practically cover the costs of the streetscape work, which allows us to divert the funds we had programmed for the streetscape to the utility work,” Herbert said. “Needless to say, Senate President Spilka was very instrumental in this. Senator Spilka was also key in helping us reduce the design deposit Eversource wanted from $560,000 to $150,000.”
According to a press release issued by the state, this project leverages $6.8 million in local funding and builds on Ashland’s work to revitalize its downtown with enhancements such as the Riverwalk Trail and The Corner Spot. About $3.8 million in planned developments will generate 13 new housing units, 2,000 square feet of mixed-use commercial space and the rehabilitation of an existing brewery, tap room and café. The downtown revitalization is also expected to attract about $30 million in private investment for the redevelopment of an 116,000 square-foot mill complex and former fire and police station. (
For information and project updates, visit