SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Work is beginning on a project designed to help revitalize Springfield’s North End. A groundbreaking ceremony was held Wednesday morning for the Memorial Square Apartments, a 56-unit development on Main Street. Forty of the units will be housed in the existing Memorial Square Building at 2295 Main Street, with an additional 16 units in two neighboring buildings.
The project is being led by the New England Farm Workers Council, and is being financed with grants and other federal, city, and state money totaling more than $17.4 million.
In addition to rehabilitating a historic and visible area in the North End, the project also aims to offer a helping hand to people in need of work. The New England Farm Workers Council is partnering with the carpenters’ and laborers’ unions in order to provide apprenticeship programs and jobs to unemployed, homeless, and other low-income city residents.
Massachusetts Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Jay Ash told 22News that the project will create jobs and affordable housing, and is an example of the kind of project that benefits the entire region.
“Western Mass is going to really rely on and need a very healthy Springfield, and we’re very excited about what we’re seeing out here,” Ash said.
The Memorial Square project is one of three revitalization projects undertaken by the New England Farm Workers Council. The other two are the 42-unit Borinquen apartments, which were completed in 2011, and the Paramount/Massasoit Hotel project, which is supposed to get underway next year.