Greenfield applies for vacant storefront program

  • This map shows the potential vacant storefront program district in downtown Greenfield. The town recently applied for the designation, which would incentivize filling buildings that have been vacant for over a year. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

  • 222 Main St., Greenfield STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

  • Among the many vacant storefronts in downtown Greenfield is this one at 156 Main St. Staff Photo/PAUL FRANZ

  • 269 Main St., Greenfield STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

  • 365 Main St., Greenfield STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

  • 281 Main St., Greenfield STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

  • 186 Main St., Greenfield STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

  • 200 Main St., Greenfield STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

Staff Writer
Published: 6/11/2019 10:59:31 PM

GREENFIELD — With hopes of filling some vacant buildings downtown, the city has applied for the Massachusetts Vacant Downtown Storefront District Program.

The program works to incentivize getting businesses into vacant storefronts by allowing new businesses or individuals to apply to the state for tax credits for leasing or occupying a building that was previously vacant for at least 12 months, according to Greenfield’s Director of Community and Economic Development MJ Adams.

Although the city won’t know if it will receive the designation until September, Adams has high confidence.

“This is a new program and we were in the first round of applications,” Adams said. “The state has been talking about doing this program for 18 months, so we’ve been keeping our ears to the ground on it because it will really benefit the downtown community.”

There are 12 buildings that would qualify for the designation, according to Adams.

“The amount of tax credits awarded will match municipal support for businesses moving into vacant storefronts and may be up to $10,000 in refundable tax credits. A business may only receive one award from this program,” according to the Massachusetts Vacant Downtown Storefront District Program guidelines. “No municipality may receive more than two awards for the vacant storefront program annually.”

According to the state’s guidelines, “preference will be given to applicants which will generate high foot traffic or will compliment the preexisting businesses.”

Mayor William Martin said the city is looking at a long-term strategy.

“We have activities that bring vehicle traffic into downtown,” Martin said. “Now, we’re looking to get more pedestrian traffic. This is a new innovative way of stimulating downtown.”

The city will also commit to working with the property owners to see if they are eligible for the incentives. Applicants for the incentives need to be committed to staying in the space for at least two years, according to the guidelines.

“In the past, we had a sign and facade program and the downtown is also an opportunity zone,” said Adams. “We’re getting new tools in our toolbox that encourages investment and life into the downtown area.”

Adams can be reached with more specific questions at or 413-772-1548.

Reach Melina Bourdeau at or 413-772-0261 ext. 263.


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