Partnerships and Collaborations
The concept of local economic development is encouraging community participation and consensus building to respond to local needs. In 2011, a group of business leaders in the City of Worcester began discussions of ways to improve collaboration and bolster its business organizations to unite under one vision for the future development of the City. This organization, known as the Economic Development Coordinating Council (EDCC), was formed as an agreement between the City of Worcester, the Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce, the Worcester Business Development Corporation (WBDC), and the Massachusetts Biomedical Initiatives (MBI), to foster this type of environment, enabling the stimulation of new opportunities and capitalizing on existing opportunities for economic growth within the community.
In early 2016, the Baker-Polito Administration announced the formation of the Worcester Biomanufacturing Taskforce to pursue the establishment of a biomanufacturing cluster in Worcester, utilizing the Administration’s “Open for Business” initiative. As a result of this taskforce, it was determined that a new biomanufacturing zone would be established on an underutilized portion of the former Worcester State Hospital, placing it back into an active and productive use.
Today, the WBDC owns 46 acres of the former Worcester State Hospital complex and is seeking to redevelop the site to support a new, state-of-the-art biomanufacturing park that will attract bio-manufacturers, create jobs, promote biomedical initiatives, and generate revenue for the Worcester region and the Commonwealth.
A project of this magnitude requires innovative approaches and significant resources:
- The WBDC is The Reactory’s designated developer, working directly with the Commonwealth on the site conveyance of the ~46 acres. The WBDC is responsible for the overall site development, including the demolition of existing structures and preparation of sites for future development.
- The City of Worcester assists in permitting the site, providing guidance through various local Boards and Commissions to ensure completion. Further, the City is committed to financing assistance through a District Improvement Fund (DIF), funding the infrastructure costs.
- The Chamber assists in identifying potential tenants and/or developers that could locate within the area and help to identify and promote biomedical initiatives that could assist in the overall development.
- MBI is working with the Chamber to attract potential companies to locate within The Reactory. MBI also assists with identifying potential programs that could support companies interested in locating within The Reactory.