1. Articles from masslivenews

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    1. IHOP building coming down, KFC to go up on Boston Road in Springfield

      IHOP building coming down, KFC to go up on Boston Road in Springfield

      A property owner is planning to demolish the former International House of Pancakes building on Boston Road and replace it with a new KFC restaurant. The former IHOP at 1324 Boston Road, near Pasco Road, is slated for demolition next week, and the new KFC could be ready to open by Dec. 1, said Frank Colacchio, of Boston Road/Pasco RT20 Retail LLC, the property owner. A 2,382-square-foot building is planned with 42 seats inside and an outside dining area.

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    2. Springfield gets 2 proposals for reuse of former Oak Street fire station

      Springfield gets 2 proposals for reuse of former Oak Street fire station

      The city has received two competing proposals for the purchase and redevelopment of the former Oak Street fire station in Indian Orchard -- one bid for a live-in art studio and the other to provide clinical services for opioid addiction. The two proposals were received by Tuesday's deadline, and each included an offer of $100 to buy the long-closed fire station at the intersection of Oak and Berkshire streets. The city had attempted to sell the station on four prior occasions, and this time added a $50,000 incentive that will help with redevelopment costs.

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    3. MGM Springfield's statistics on hiring and diversity continue to impress Massachusetts Gaming Commission

      MGM Springfield's statistics on hiring and diversity continue to impress Massachusetts Gaming Commission

      The chairman of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission said Friday that he and other members are "thrilled" by MGM Springfield's track record on workforce diversity in hiring employees, contractors and vendors for its $960 million resort casino. The comments from Gaming Commission Chairman Stephen Crosby came after commission staff gave glowing reports and statistics on diversity hiring during a meeting at the MassMutual Center in Springfield.

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    4. MGM Springfield gets advance approvals to open from Massachusetts Gaming Commission after glowing progress reports

      MGM Springfield gets advance approvals to open from Massachusetts Gaming Commission after glowing progress reports

      The Massachusetts Gaming Commission, after hearing glowing reports about MGM Springfield's casino project, including the quality of its work and workforce diversity, gave unanimous first-step approvals to the casino in advance of its opening Aug. 24. The commission, meeting at the MassMutual Center in Springfield, voted 5-0 that MGM Springfield is in "material compliance" with all state and commission regulations based on a series of inspections and reports from commission staff and submissions from MGM officials.

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    5. Springfield downtown art program generates 2 bids, including a Seuss-themed mural

      Springfield downtown art program generates 2 bids, including a Seuss-themed mural

      The city has received two requests for grants for public art displays in the Cultural District downtown -- one for a proposed mural on a parking garage with a Dr. Seuss theme and the other for a spiral staircase art structure suggested at Court Square. While the city had hoped for more bids, a local official involved in the review said Wednesday the focus is on quality, not the number of bids. "We'll take a look," said Brian Connors, the city's deputy planner for economic development. "If there is one great proposal that is impactful, that is a good ...

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    6. Three businesses reportedly interested in developing new restaurant at Springfield's Union Station

      Three businesses reportedly interested in developing new restaurant at Springfield's Union Station

      Christopher Moskal, executive director of the Springfield Redevelopment Authority which owns Union Station, said discussions are underway with three restaurants, but he could not say when an agreement might be reached. "We're thrilled that there are three interested parties for that last retail space," Moskal said. 'We'll give them an opportunity to come back to us and move forward." The only publicized proposal was revealed last October by restaurateurs Andy Yee and Peter Picknelly.

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    7. MGM Springfield to host year-round entertainment, seasonal events and yoga at casino's outdoor plaza

      MGM Springfield to host year-round entertainment, seasonal events and yoga at casino's outdoor plaza

      MGM Springfield is pledging there will be "something for everyone" at the open-air plaza in the heart of its $960 million resort casino, slated to open on Aug. 24. MGM Springfield officials said Wednesday the offerings at the large outdoor plaza will include activities ranging from concerts to ice skating to pop-up art to outdoor yoga. "The Plaza will be a high-energy gathering place at the heart of the resort, uniting visitors with Springfield locals, businesses and attractions," said Michael Mathis, president of MGM Springfield. "Our goal is to introduce the region to a new standard of entertainment offerings with ...

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    8. Springfield prepares to launch $2.7 million roundabout construction at Six Corners...

      Springfield prepares to launch $2.7 million roundabout construction at Six Corners...

      The city is slated to open bids on Aug. 8 for an estimated $2.7 million project to construct a roundabout at a long-troubled intersection in Six Corners aimed at improving traffic flow and safety in the area. Christopher Cignoli, the city's director of public works, said he expects construction will begin by late fall, and would then take approximately one year to complete.

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    9. Owner cleans up vacant Black Pearl block in Springfield's South End

      Owner cleans up vacant Black Pearl block in Springfield's South End

      - Lawyers for the city and for a vacant restaurant-apartment block in the South End said the property is being maintained and cleaned under a recent Housing Court agreement. Jhanvi Hospitality, owner of the former Black Pearl property at 1127 Main St., has been keeping the site clear of trash and debris as required under a Western District Housing Court agreement reached in June, lawyers for both sides said recently. The three-building property, referred to as the Burbach-McKinney building, is across the street from the $960 million MGM Springfield casino, slated to open Aug. 24.

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      Mentions: Springfield
    10. Springfield plans environmental review before seeking buyer to redevelop junkyard lots

      Springfield plans environmental review before seeking buyer to redevelop junkyard lots

      The city is planning to hire a company for an environmental assessment of a 14-acre swath of tax-title properties along Bay and Tapley streets with the hope that it will lead to the sale, cleanup and redevelopment of the site. The city recently received a $99,940 grant from MassDevelopment, the state's economic development finance arm, that will pay for the environmental assessment before the city pursues a new owner to develop the site, city officials said. The site has past industrial uses including storage of automotive parts and metal recyling.

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    11. There are still jobs at MGM Springfield, and Job Talk Tuesday at Cambridge College will have the details

      There are still jobs at MGM Springfield, and Job Talk Tuesday at Cambridge College will have the details

      MGM Springfield is boosting its Job Talk Tuesday program by moving it to Cambridge College in Tower Square with a live, in-person question and answer format. The new format will begin Tuesday and continue for the next month, MGM Springfield said in a press release. The change occurs as MGM's resort casino plans for a Aug. 24 opening and hiring efforts continue. Job Talk Tuesday has been a weekly MGM Springfield Facebook Live Q&A session in which MGM Springfield workforce development representatives answer questions as they are posted on MGM's Facebook page.

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      Mentions: Springfield MGM
    12. As casino opening looms, MGM Springfield on course to meet hiring goals for diversity, Springfield residents

      As casino opening looms, MGM Springfield on course to meet hiring goals for diversity, Springfield residents

      MGM Springfield officials told the Massachusetts Gaming Commission on Thursday that they are well on course with the hiring of 3,000 casino employees, as pledged, and with meeting goals for local hiring and diversity. Gaming Commission officials praised the effort and results during its meeting in Boston, occurring as the $960 million resort casino is a month away from opening on Aug. 24. As MGM Springfield President Michael Mathis quipped during the meeting, just before 11 a.m. -- the casino is scheduled to open in "36 days and 3 minutes."

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    13. Springfield officials celebrate opening of Holiday Inn Express in downtown (photos)

      Springfield officials celebrate opening of Holiday Inn Express in downtown (photos)

      City officials and other well-wishers gathered Wednesday at the new Holiday Inn Express on State Street, celebrating its recent opening which ended years of delays and anticipation. The 98-room hotel opened in April at the former Epiphany Tower, 145 State St., across the street from the MassMutual Center and a short distance from the MGM Springfield casino project.

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    14. Springfield City Council approves tax incentives for Willys-Overland downtown housing...

      Springfield City Council approves tax incentives for Willys-Overland downtown housing...

      The City Council approved tax incentives for the historic Willys-Overland property on Chestnut Street on Monday, providing property tax relief to the new owner to assist plans to convert the site to market-rate housing. The vote was 8-0 to approve the 10-year tax increment exemption agreement with Davenport Companies, under the name Chestnut Acquisitions LLC. Under the agreement, Davenport will have a total tax savings estimated at $310,000 over 10 years, according to the Assessors Department.

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      Mentions: Springfield
    15. Springfield has a lot of balls in the air this week with International Jugglers...

      Springfield has a lot of balls in the air this week with International Jugglers...

      The International Jugglers' Association will converge on the city for the next six days, drawing an estimated 600 jugglers and juggling enthusiasts from around the world. The International Jugglers' Association 71st convention is expected to pump more than $1 million into the region's economy. Local hotels alone have booked 1,100 hotel rooms over the six days of the event, said Mary Kay Wydra, president of the Greater Springfield Convention and Visitors Bureau, in a press release.

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    16. Westover wraps up Air Show drawing crowds of 60,000+

      Westover wraps up Air Show drawing crowds of 60,000+

      When Lucas and Liam Goncalves saw an information table for the U.S. Air Force they couldn't wait to meet the people sitting behind it. "Can we go talk to them?" Lucas, 7, asked and already started running as their mother gave them the OK. The two were among some of the most enthusiastic visitors to Sunday's Great New England Air and Space Show, which an estimated 63,400 people to Westover Air Reserve Base over the two days of the event.

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      Mentions: Chicopee
    17. MGM Springfield reveals that new 3,400 space parking garage will be free to patrons and the public

      MGM Springfield reveals that new 3,400 space parking garage will be free to patrons and the public

      The MGM Springfield parking garage, nearing completion in the downtown-South End area, will be free of charge to casino patrons and the general public, according to MGM. Saverio Mancini, MGM Springfield spokesman, said Friday that parking will be free in the garage in response to recent questions raised by The Republican and MassLive. "With less than 50 days until our grand opening, it's an exciting time for downtown Springfield," Mancini said. "In the coming weeks, we look forward to providing the public the details about how to access our property, including our free parking."

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    18. Want to buy an old fire station? Springfield willing to chip in $50,000 for redevelopment

      Want to buy an old fire station? Springfield willing to chip in $50,000 for redevelopment

      After four unsuccessful efforts in recent years to sell the former century-old Oak Street fire station in Indian Orchard, the city is trying again -- this time with a $50,000 incentive offered to a buyer willing to redevelop the site. The city's first-time offer up to $50,000 to a successful bidder is from the city's annual allocation of federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds, as approved by Mayor Domenic J. Sarno. The incentive is for exterior improvements such as roof, masonry and window repairs, according to the city's advertisement for proposals.

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    19. Springfield offering grants for downtown public art displays

      Springfield offering grants for downtown public art displays

      The city is offering grants for the installation of public art displays in the Cultural District downtown, seeking art that is "inspirational and positive in nature" and that reflects a city-inspired theme. The city anticipates awarding multiple grants, ranging from $1,000 to $10,000 each and totaling $25,000, under the city's federally funded Community Development Block Grant program. All bids are due by July 31 at 2 p.m. at the Office of Procurement at City Hall. Complete bid packages are available by calling 413-787-6290.

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    20. Historic 110-ton Holyoke home moved from Yankee Pedlar

      Historic 110-ton Holyoke home moved from Yankee Pedlar

      The home, built in 1923 was once part of the Yankee Pedlar, which is to be demolished to make way for a new PeoplesBank. As part of the agreement that allows the former restaurant and inn to be demolished, the bank owners had to offer the house next to it to anyone who agreed to move it. OneHolyoke CDC, a private non-profit housing provider, stepped up and offered to move the building to a vacant lot it purchased at 278 Pine St. The building will be converted into a two-family home in a $345,000 rehabilitation project.

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    21. Silverbrick LLC receives 1st approval to renovate Cabotville Mills in Chicopee

      Silverbrick LLC receives 1st approval to renovate Cabotville Mills in Chicopee

      The proposed project to turn the Cabotville Mill into nearly 600 apartments received preliminary approvals in the developer's first meeting with the City Council Wednesday. The City Council's Zoning Committee voted 6-0 in favor of recommending Aaron Papowitz, founder of Siverbrick LLC and 4 Perkins LLC, which is the company proposing the project, be granted a special permit for the conversion. The plans are still in the conceptual stage so the decision was made contingent on the approval of the city engineer, the fire chief and other city officials. It will also be reviewed by the Planning Board ...

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    22. MGM Springfield reveals Regal Cinemas will run luxury movie theater at its $960 million...

      MGM Springfield reveals Regal Cinemas will run luxury movie theater at its $960 million...

      MGM Springfield announced Thursday that it has chosen Regal Cinemas to operate the movie theater complex that is part of the company's $960 million resort casino project. MGM Springfield President Michael Mathis announced the selection of Regal during the regular meeting of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission in Boston. Gaming Commission Chairman Steven Crosby congratulated MGM upon announcing the selection.  Mathis said MGM Springfield is excited to partner with Regal for its seven-screen theater, as part of its entertainment offerings in Springfield. Regal currently operates nine other theaters across Massachusetts, according to the company's website.

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      Mentions: Springfield MGM
    23. MGM Springfield, city officials prepare for deluge of casino visitors, traffic in opening week

      MGM Springfield, city officials prepare for deluge of casino visitors, traffic in opening week

      Representatives of MGM Springfield and the city said Friday they are discussing ways to cope with the potential record numbers of people and traffic that will visit the downtown area during the opening days of the $960 million resort casino. The logistical plans and strategies for the deluge of traffic is not yet finalized, but communication with the public and local businesses will be critical in advance of the casino's grand opening on Aug. 24, said MGM and city officials. The issue was discussed Friday at a meeting of the City Council Casino Oversight Committee at City Hall.

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      Mentions: Springfield MGM
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    Springfield selects company for solar panel projects expected to save $2 million over 20 years University of Massachusetts hires new administrator, Jason Irizarry, to expand partnership, presence in Springfield Springfield housing agencies and Regional Employment Board combine forces to bring job training to low-income city residents Gov. Deval Patrick signs bill to repeal dreaded tax on software services Downtown Springfield merchants, local leaders praise plans for UMass satellite campus at Tower Square Chicopee approves tax break for Menck Windows Westover Metropolitan Development Corp. in Chicopee celebrates 40th anniversary University of Massachusetts opens 'welcome center' for students at Springfield Tower Square satellite campus Deval Patrick touts $5.2 million investment in UMass Springfield satellite center as vital for education, economic development Pioneer Valley Performing Arts school begins $1.8 million expansion IHOP building coming down, KFC to go up on Boston Road in Springfield Solar farm proposal gets heavy scrutiny from Belchertown Planning Board