1. Developers Find New Uses for Holyoke Properties

    Developers Find New Uses for Holyoke Properties

    Marco Luzuriaga and his brother Denis are betting on the future. To be precise, that’s the future of Holyoke, a city where years of disinvestment led to vacant buildings with major environmental challenges that squashed any interest developers had in investing in them. But a slow evolution has occurred over the past few years, and the landscape is undergoing marked change. The combination of Mayor Alex Morse’s proactive stance, support from the City Council, and work by other officials led to the creation of an urban-renewal plan four years ago that is finally coming to fruition. Notable progress ...

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    1. But the amount of open space here in Holyoke is unparalleled, and we have seen a similar pattern of success in places like Soho and Jersey City, where artists moved into an area and they became vibrant, artistic communities.
    2. The Center for Culinary Arts will double the college's prior teaching capacity and provide no-cost culinary training to 50 Holyoke residents every year, serving as a career pipeline into jobs from entry level to senior management in a top-employing industry of our region.
    3. We're creating an environment that people want to be part of and are trying to reach the tipping point by putting together solutions for the most challenging sites.
    4. Our downtown is a different place than it was four or five years ago due to the availability of commercial space and opportunities to live and work here.
    5. We have 200 people on a waiting list for the 18 apartments we are creating in the Cubit building.
    6. The Parsons site was one of 10 key areas that were designated as priorities for redevelopment in our 2013 Urban Renewal Plan.
    7. The financing framework for this project is probably the most complex that Holyoke has seen in decades.
    8. We're about to close on the sale of the property.
    9. The residents had input on every part of the process.
    10. We shepherded the use of the property, reset the conversation in a similar manner to Lyman Terrace, and talked to the residents to get input about what they wanted as well as the city's goals and how we wanted to accomplish them.
    11. It's the first time the city pre-approved a permit to help secure tenants.
    12. We certainly have more to do, but the wheels are constantly in motion.
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