The downtown Broadway Business District got a shot in the arm Tuesday morning in the form of a $1.5 million state grant.
Mayor Dan Rizzo and state Housing and Economic Development Secretary Greg Bialecki announced that the City had won a MassWorks grant for infrastructure improvement.
Bialecki and Rizzo said the award would go towards knocking down the old police station and parking garage behind City Hall in order to provide parking.
“We are doing this in partnership with the City and the business community,” Bialecki told the crowd of elected officials and Chamber of Commerce members at City Hall. “When the governor and I toured downtown just a month ago, we saw how our investment could help. The City has made investments too and so has the business community. The streets and shops and restaurants are getting to look better and better, so this is a team operation. Public infrastructure investments work best when they are close in line with private investment and housing. We’re looking to make investments that leverage more private investment.”
Rizzo said he appreciates the state working so closely with Revere and its surrounding communities. He also said the grant will help the City provide much-needed parking.
“When we decided to build up the downtown business district, we knew we would have to have parking to accommodate that,” he said. “This will provide parking for about 40 or 50 cars.”
He also said the money will provide for the expansion of the decorative lighting program, street and sidewalk work on Broadway, pedestrian crossing improvements and seed money to start a signage program for businesses.
Rizzo said he envisions taking the entire Broadway improvement model to other areas of the City.
“Once we finish here, we won’t stop this kind of program,” he said. “We’re going to try to take this to other neighborhoods around the city that could also benefit from this program. I can see taking this down to Shirley Avenue.”
Bialecki said he is very encouraged by his recent tours of cities and towns in the newly tabbed Metro North region, which includes Revere.
“What’s happening in Revere is terrific and what’s happening in Chelsea is terrific,” he said. “We believe these communities north of Boston are in a terrific position. You offer a great place to live, work and play and that’s what people want where they live.”