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$1M grant means jobs, infrastructure for North Quabbin Business Park

ATHOL — A $1 million MassWorks grant that will support development in the North Quabbin Business Park was announced Friday by state officials.

The MassWorks grant will complement $2.065 million committed in town funds for the infrastructure project that will improve the park’s water system. The new system will meet the current and future water demands to support economic growth in the area.

“The expanding development at the Business Park is what this area needs and I am confident that it will spur long-lasting economic growth while creating hundreds of new jobs,” said state Sen. Stephen M. Brewer, who was pivotal in obtaining these funds. “The magnitude of this project is driving excitement all around the (North Quabbin) region, and this funding is a confirmation that assurances made have been assurances kept,” he said.

The project, which is already underway, includes an 80,000-square-foot Market Basket and an additional 100,000-square-feet in restaurant and retail space. The plan also includes the development of 35 acres by Athol LLC and is expected to feature a new hotel and 100,000 square feet of commercial space.

“I’m very pleased with the public-private partnership to support this critical project for our region,” said Rep. Denise Andrews at the announcement. “There are many people from within the town and across the region working to see this project through and we owe our gratitude to everyone that has played a role.”

The MassWorks grant will leverage $35.9 million in private investment, and lead to the creation of approximately 600 new jobs, making it the top economic development and job creation project for the Second Franklin District, which she represents, said Andrews, D-Orange.

“This is a significant step to encourage further economic development in this region,” said Senate Majority Leader Stanley Rosenberg, D-Amherst. “The commitment of MassWorks and the efforts of the delegation, particularly those of my colleagues ... will benefit not only Athol but the entirety of the North Quabbin region for years to come.”

The Market Basket project is expected to be completed this fall.

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