Planning and Development Department Accomplishments
During Fiscal Year 2013
- Completed update to the Comprehensive Master Plan, Sustainable Lowell 2025.
- Continued to lead public/private partnership efforts to implement the Hamilton Canal District Master Plan, including infrastructure construction, facilitating private development financing, grant-writing, and involvement in ongoing land assembly and permitting efforts.
- Obtained more than $4 million in new state and federal grant funds during FY13.
- Completed Tanner Street Master Plan as a key step toward development of an Urban Renewal Plan to help create the next generation of commercial and industrial development sites for the City.
- Implemented the BetterBuildings program to improve energy efficiency of downtown Lowell buildings, including becoming the first grantee nationally to meet its goals for total square footage of buildings retrofitted.
- Managed the implementation of the Ameresco Energy Services Contract to dramatically reduce energy costs and usage in municipal buildings.
- Supported the ongoing transformation of Jackson Street with the opening of the Canal Street Bridge, Hamilton Canalway, and Lowell Community Health Center.
- Successfully attracted, retained, and supported the expansion of several important businesses (large and small) including Verizon, Plum Choice, Lowell Sewing, Cortron, LowellBank, Tremonte Pizzeria, Sweet Lydia’s, Stellar Web Design, R&D Torpi, and the Black Koi Restaurant, helping to achieve increases in private employment levels in the City, despite the ongoing recession.
- Managed the ongoing design and construction of the network of mutli-use recreational trails along Lowell’s waterways, including the Riverwalk, Canalways, and Concord River Greenway.
- Helped facilitate private redevelopment projects including the rehabilitation of long-vacant buildings at the Lawrence Mills, Boott Mills, and Hamilton Mills, as well as the Freudenberg Building at 110 Canal Street in FY13. Continuing partnerships with developers to support similar efforts at the Massachusetts Mills and additional portions of the Hamilton Mills.
- Continued the assessment and remediation of brownfields sites in the Hamilton Canal District, Acre Plan neighborhood, and elsewhere.
- Assisted several dozen non-profit organizations with operating funds in support of programs for youth, the elderly, special needs populations, homelessness care and prevention, economic development, and recreation.
- Completed the implementation and close out of more than $6.7M in Federal Stimulus Programs. Together these programs supported the redevelopment of affordable housing in neighborhoods impacted by the foreclosure crisis; funded lead-paint abatement projects; created new jobs and other economic stimulus activities, supported individuals and families at-risk of becoming homeless and re-housed homeless households; implemented bike lane infrastructure and supported installation of energy efficiency technology on municipal properties.
- Designed and implemented traffic and street improvements, working closely with Engineering and the state’s MassDOT, to further improve transportation throughout the City. DPD started the bike lane and sharrow program in the City to promote “green” means of transportation and installed 17 miles of bike lanes and sharrows.
- DPD staff have played a leading role in the City Manager’s neighborhood initiative projects in the Lower Highlands/Cambodiatown, Back Central, and the Acre/East Pawtucketville with economic development assistance, façade grants, management of park and capital improvement projects, code enforcement, and public outreach efforts.