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Today, the Baker-Polito Administration announced an operations and management agreement transferring management of the Fall River and New Bedford State Piers from the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) to MassDevelopment. Under the agreement, DCR will retain ownership of the piers and MassDevelopment will oversee daily operations, implement improvements, and develop a five-year capital plan for the piers. 


“The Commonwealth’s state piers are economic hubs, supporting local jobs and maritime industries like commercial fishing, shipping, and tourism,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “This new management approach for Fall River and New Bedford’s piers maximizes both MassDevelopment’s real estate expertise and DCR’s knowledge of the state’s natural and recreational resources, helping these vital sites reach their full potential.”

“This long-term strategy for the Fall River and New Bedford State Piers places the Commonwealth in a better position to invest in their future,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito, chair of the Seaport Economic Council. “These piers are critical assets to the state’s maritime economy, and the Baker-Polito Administration is proud to take this step toward securing a sustainable plan for stewardship of the piers.”


“The New Bedford and Fall River State Piers serve as important economic engines that directly benefit the local communities, the Southeastern region, and the entire Commonwealth,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton. “With the recent investments made and the finalization of a new management plan, the Baker-Polito Administration continues to ensure these piers remain viable now and well into the future.”


The Baker-Polito Administration announced it had selected MassDevelopment to manage the Fall River and New Bedford State Piers in April 2017 after extensive study and local outreach, including an August 2016 report from the Commonwealth’s Seaport Economic Council that evaluated the operations of all four state piers. That report, by Karl F. Seidman Consulting Services and Urban Focus LLC, recommended that the Commonwealth strengthen governance at the piers, overhaul lease management, and improve asset management strategies.


The Baker-Polito Administration has been addressing critical early action items that surfaced during the comprehensive state piers review process. Earlier this month, New Bedford hosted a ribbon-cutting event to celebrate the completion of a $3.5 million refrigeration installation, a project financed by the administration. In July 2016, the administration announced $1.1 million in capital funding to address critical deferred maintenance needs at Gloucester’s Jodrey State Pier.


MassDevelopment currently manages Jodrey State Pier in Gloucester, on behalf of the Department of Conservation and Recreation. DCR will retain ownership of all four state piers, and will continue to manage the state pier in Plymouth, which has predominantly recreational use.


“Since its inception, MassDevelopment has helped transform state properties into economic engines in communities across the Commonwealth, and we look forward to continuing that work at the Fall River and New Bedford State Piers,” said MassDevelopment President and CEO Lauren Liss. “We remain grateful to the Baker-Polito Administration and our partners in the South Coast region for their vision and guidance on this important undertaking.” 


MassDevelopment, the state’s finance and development agency, works with businesses, nonprofits, financial institutions, and communities to stimulate economic growth across the Commonwealth. During FY2017, MassDevelopment financed or managed 377 projects generating investment of more than $4.3 billion in the Massachusetts economy. These projects are projected to create about 9,488 jobs and build or rehabilitate 1,863 residential units.



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