Your View: New Bedford EDC Regeneration Project — Grow, or risk sliding backward

Posted May 23, 2017 at 2:01 AM
As business and civic leaders in the community, we feel compelled to make our voices heard on the concept of a second business park being established on a portion of the New Bedford Municipal Golf Course.
As the project now moves forward through various public processes, the fundamental issue that needs to be kept in mind, is this: In order to deliver high-performing schools, safe neighborhoods, and a strong quality life for its residents, New Bedford must embrace fresh ideas for growing our economic base and work hard to implement those ideas.
As business and civic leaders in the community, we feel compelled to make our voices heard on the concept of a second business park being established on a portion of the New Bedford Municipal Golf Course.
As the project now moves forward through various public processes, the fundamental issue that needs to be kept in mind, is this: In order to deliver high-performing schools, safe neighborhoods, and a strong quality life for its residents, New Bedford must embrace fresh ideas for growing our economic base and work hard to implement those ideas.
And the Mitchell administration has recruited an important partner. MassDevelopment, the state’s lead economic development agency, whose mission is job-creation and which has a long track record of successful business park projects across the state. We think it is great news that MassDevelopment is partnering with the city to pursue a transformative project, and is willing to bear the risks and challenges that would discourage short-term-focused, profit-driven developers.
Finally, the concept for the new business park will allow the city to preserve the original nine-hole layout designed by the famous landscape architect Donald Ross, and construct a new clubhouse to replace the poor quality facilities that exist today. Given that virtually every golf course in Southeastern Massachusetts is struggling to survive these days, the project offers a unique opportunity to prevent the possible closure of the entire course in the years ahead.
In the months ahead, the city and MassDevelopment will work through an array of issues, and rely on multiple public processes to make sure that all voices are heard and the final result is an asset to our community.
But what we know at this initial stage could not be more exciting or more promising. We see a win-win for New Bedford and we are proud to offer our strong support.
This op-ed was submitted on behalf of the following members of the Regeneration Project of the New Bedford Economic Development Council:
Elizabeth Isherwood, Chairwoman, Greater New Bedford Industrial Foundation
Anthony Sapienza, President, JA Apparel Corp. President New Bedford EDC
Rick Kidder, President & CEO, New Bedford Area Chamber of Commerce David Wechsler, President and CEO, Maritime International
Gerry Kavanaugh, Senior Vice-Chancellor for Strategic Management, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth
Anne Broholm, CEO, AHEAD, LCC
Maureen Sylvia Armstrong, President, CEO and owner, Sylvia Group Insurance
Paul Bishins, Property Owner/Developer, Building 19 Site & other properties
Nicholas Christ, President and CEO, BayCoast Bank
David Slutz, Managing Director, Potentia Business Solutions
Christian Farland, Principal Engineer and President, Farland Corp.
Patrick Murray, President and CEO, Bristol County Savings Bank
Dr. John Sbrega, President, Bristol Community College
John Vasconcellos, President, Community Foundation of SE MA
David Martin, President, HTP, Inc.
Scott Pray, President, D.F. Pray General Contractors
James Russell, President and CEO, New Bedford Whaling Museum
Bob Unger, Owner/Partner, Moby Dick Brewing Co.
James Lopes, Law Offices of James J. Lopes, New Bedford Historical Commission
Rosemary Gill, Executive Director, Zeiterion Performing Arts Center
Joseph Nauman, Executive Vice President, Corp. & Legal, Acushnet Company
Richard Canastra, Owner, Whaling Seafood Display Auction
Doug Glassman, Owner, SERVPRO of New Bedford
David Cabral, President, Five Star Cos.
Jeff Glassman, Owner, Darn It! Inc.
Lou Ann Nygaard, CFO, AHEAD, LLC
Keith Hovan, President and CEO, SouthCoast Health System
Carl Ribeiro, Greater NB Industrial Foundation & Luzo Food Service Corp.
Jeffery Vancura, CFO, Imtra Corp.
Jennifer Downing, Executive Director, Leadership SouthCoast
Pete Selley, Senior Vice President, Bristol County Savings Bank
Robert Mitchell, Greater NB Industrial Foundation & R.A. Mitchell Co.

 

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