Mayor Jon Mitchell Welcomes Investors to New Bedford, Wants to “Out-Hustle” All Other Cities
NEW BEDFORD – A group of approximately thirty investors considering funding commercial and housing developments in New Bedford attended a tour of the city’s downtown revitalization district today.
Speaking to investors alongside New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell was Marty Jones, President of MassDevelopment- the finance and development agency of Massachusetts, and State Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Jay Ash.
The collaborative effort between state and city officials on the project began when New Bedford was selected by MassDevelopment to participate in the Transformative Development Initiative (TDI) in 2014. The goal of this initiative for New Bedford, and cities alike, is to work with local developers, businesses, and investors to stimulate the city’s economy by revitalizing commercial property in areas that hold high potential for revenue.
The importance of today’s event was to provide developers a first-hand look at the land and buildings they are considering investment in. Equally as important for the Mayors office, was convincing these potential business-partners of the room for economic growth and stability of the area.
Mayor Mitchell echoed his confidence in New Bedford’s ability to attract business and economic growth in his speech to investors just before the tour was set to begin. The city’s thirty-eighth mayor explained his belief that New Bedford’s location in-between Boston, Providence, and the Cape and Islands makes it a competitive metro-area in the state, and has even set his plans around it.
“This is an all-out effort to attract capitol from other places. Boston primarily, New York, and others.” Mitchell said. “Fundamentally, its [New Bedford] a stand-alone city, and we see ourselves as a metro-area south of Boston.
Our disposition here, with the Economic Development Team, is to out-hustle every other city in our state.”
Following Mayor Mitchell’s words the group made its way to the areas selected for revitalization, stopping to point out specific buildings ready for development. The group visited buildings on Williams Street, County Street, and Union Street and continued down to the Moby Dick Brewing Company for drinks and to await busses that would take them to visit the south end.
As no documents were signed nor buildings knocked down today, a crucial step was taken between the officials heading the project and the potential investors they want to attract. This was the first step towards a possible business deal that would financially guarantee the redevelopment of the buildings selected and further the economic progress of the city.