$4M MassWorks Grant Award for Walnut Street
Posted on 10/26/2022
Undersecretary of Community Development Ashley Stolba & Land Use and Economic Development Director Paige Duncan at todays press conferenceFoxborough receives $4 mil MassWorks Grant for Walnut Street intersection
Today the Baker-Polito Administration and the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development announced the award of $4 million in MassWorks Infrastructure grant funds to the Town of Foxborough/Foxborough Housing Authority (FHA).  This Award will substantially fund installation of a traffic signal at the Walnut Street/Commercial Street (Route 140) intersection in Foxborough. The grant will also extend a sewer line along Walnut Street and across Route 140. These combined infrastructure improvements will allow for development of 200 affordable senior apartments by the FHA on 16 acres located at the corner of Route 140 and Walnut Street. 
Land Use and Economic Development Director Paige Duncan and other town staff have been working on the signalization of this intersection for years. “Foxborough has been focused on this16-acre property for more than a decade. In 2019, we received a Housing Choice Capital Grant to fund the signal and sewer design. Having the 100% design plans completed, plus the selection of a development team for the Walnut Street site, made us eligible for this year’s MassWorks grant. There is a tremendous need for these senior housing units and we are thrilled for the project to take a major step forward. In addition to the much-needed housing, improving the safety of a very dangerous intersection affecting many Foxborough residents was of paramount concern. Without the signal, the affordable housing project could not be built, and without the affordable housing project, the signal would not have been funded. This is a major win for Foxborough.”

Foxborough Housing Authority Chair Greg Spier believes the stars are aligning for the largest proposed senior affordable housing project in the Commonwealth and the first one that the FHA has worked on in 20 years. “We’ve been working for more than 10 years on this development. The MassWorks Grant for this amount will take us one very big step towards fulfilling this development as proposed.  This award is a testament to Paige’s and her team’s hard work to get this grant.  We are also very fortunate to have the Joint Venture group working on this development,” remarked Spier.
Head of the Walnut Street Joint Venture Team Michael Mattos is “Extremely excited and grateful for the MassWorks award which will provide the proposed housing project with significant capital to help fund the necessary infrastructure and help this project come to fruition.”
Town Manager Bill Keegan had high praise for all involved in aiding and supporting this grant application. “I am grateful to Paige Duncan for her leadership in preparing this grant. She provided the guidance and direction we needed to get this done.  I am also grateful for the support provided by DPW Director Chris Gallagher and to Town Engineer Lance DelPriore for providing the necessary sewer line and traffic signal engineering and cost estimates we needed for the project.  I also want to acknowledge and thank Bill Buckley and his team at Bay Colony Group for providing the intersection design plans for Walnut Street and Route 140.  A big thanks also goes out to our legislative delegation of Rep. F. Jay Barrows and Sen. Paul Feeney for their support and pursuit of this grant at the State level.  We also cannot diminish and underestimate the support that the Town received from the Baker/Polito Administration.  They saw the value and significance of what this project will mean for Foxborough and to this region.  They stepped up with a huge way to help this project gain momentum!
State Rep. Jay Barrows acknowledged “This is another vital step in the progress of creating affordable housing as well as finally addressing the most dangerous intersection along Route 140.  I appreciate everyone’s efforts, from State and Local Government, our community and beyond on this project and look forward to it becoming a reality.”

Through the Construction of the infrastructure improvements is anticipated to begin in the spring of 2023 and will take 12-18 months. The Walnut Street Joint Venture team intends to apply for initial state approvals later this month. Assuming they are awarded the required state funding for the housing project, the development team anticipates beginning construction of the housing project in the first quarter of 2024. Phase 1 of the project will consist of 141 units in two three-story buildings while Phase 2 will include 59 units in one three-story building. Stay tuned for additional updates on this project as they develop.

The MassWorks grant award is a part of the Community One Stop for Growth Grant awards. The 2022 awards totaled $143 million for 337 projects in 169 communities in the Commonwealth. These grants have supported the creation of over 26,000 units of housing in the State. The Office of the Governor’s press release and press conference on all the Community One Stop for Growth grants, including MassWorks, can be found here.