First Step for New Bedford Pier Redevelopment
NEW BEDFORD — Restaurants, fish markets, and other amenities could be coming to New Bedford's waterfront, after MassDevelopment announced Wednesday it is looking to redevelop the New Bedford State Pier.
The state development agency has issued a request for proposals to develop the eight-acre pier into a facility that will benefit the city and region, support maritime industries, create jobs and advance economic development.
State Sen. Mark Montigny lauded the announcement, saying he has been working since 2008 on restoring and redeveloping the pier.
The state pier currently houses the ferry terminal on the waterfront in downtown New Bedford.
Massachusetts' Department of Conservation and Recreation owns the property, which is now managed by MassDevelopment.
Montigny said he secured legislation to lease the pier to the state development agency to help properly manage the facility, which he said had been "grossly mismanaged".
"It has taken a lot of effort to get it away from state bureaucrats and into the hands of a competent, experienced development agency," he stated.
According to Montigny, the pier project marks the third phase of his economic development vision for the city, which included the rehabilitation of the Star Store into a college arts campus as well as the redevelopment of Route 18.
"I'm very pleased," he said of the MassDevelopment announcement. "The downtown has gone through a complete renaissance."
He said he would like to see State Pier turn into a thriving multi-use facility, including a "fresh off the boat" retail fish market, a space for live music, arts and culture, and eateries.
"The language clearly projects that vision of mixed use, so it isn't just a big, empty warehouse, but it's a thriving, job creating project," he said of the laws he wrote that set aside $25 million in funding and outlined goals for the project.
Other potential uses for the space include development for commercial fishing, offshore wind, cargo, marine transportation, and more.
"There's a huge, open space that has not been developed, and a bunch of different ideas," Montigny said, adding that he is excited to see the project come to fruition.
MassDevelopment said the agency plans to host a tour of the site for prospective developers on April 12.
Proposals for redevelopment are due by May 9.