MassDevelopment Names Koretz to Aid Downtown Haverhill District

MassDevelopment has hired a Transformative Development Initiative (TDI) fellow to work in Haverhill to advance local redevelopment visions for Haverhill’s District in Development.

Noah Koretz previously served as the director of the North Suburban Consortium at the Malden Redevelopment Authority, where he managed federal HOME-funded affordable housing investment in eight communities, including several Gateway Cities. He formerly practiced commercial and real estate law in Boston, and is a graduate of Cornell University with a law degree from The George Washington University and a master’s degree in city planning from MIT.  In Haverhill, he will help to revitalize the city’s Merrimack Street Transformative District, which connects two ends of a vibrant downtown and which the city is developing as an attractive, safe and diverse place to work, live, study, recreate, dine, and shop. Other fellows were named for Lynn and Springfield. They are Joseph Mulligan III, Lynn,, and Laura Masulis, Springfield.

“MassDevelopment is thrilled to make these initial commitments of increased capacity to the Transformative Development Districts in Development, based on extensive conversations with each community about its development needs,” said MassDevelopment President and CEO Marty Jones. “Our team looks forward to working with each of the Districts and to helping Noah Koretz, Laura Masulis, and Joseph Mulligan work with Haverhill, Lynn, and Springfield to achieve their distinct development visions.”

TDI Fellows, who have experience in city planning, community partnership building, real estate, and economic development, work in host districts for three years in collaboration with local partnerships.

Haverhill, Lynn, and Springfield are three of the ten Gateway Cities selected in December as the pilot TDI Districts in Development—along with Brockton, Holyoke, New Bedford, Peabody, Pittsfield, Revere and Worcester. As a part of the program, each will receive a range of real estate development services to support local visions for redevelopment, and to catalyze and leverage investments and economic activities. Everett and Malden are receiving directed regional planning and implementation assistance to advance their Districts’ TDI visions.

“As mayor of the City of Haverhill, I am thankful to MassDevelopment for this assistance and continued support for our activities. I am committed to furthering the transformative efforts underway in our downtown,” said Haverhill Mayor James Fiorentini. “We are excited to have Noah Koretz join with our partnership and help us to accomplish our goals in downtown Haverhill.”

To match three TDI Districts with the first cohort of TDI Fellows, MassDevelopment considered which TDI Districts had demonstrated the most need for additional capacity to advance their redevelopment plans. After narrowing down the pool of fellows applicants through multiple rounds of interviews the process culminated in a matching day in which the finalists met with representatives from Haverhill, Lynn and Springfield organized to help candidates to learn more about the needs of the Districts and for the Cities to learn more about candidates’ skill-sets.

The fellows begin work late this month, starting with an extensive orientation including a week at MassDevelopment and a week shadowing public, private and nonprofit organizations involved in their host TDI District’s redevelopment planning.

As the Fellows begin work, all ten of the TDI Districts will be signing Memoranda of Agreement with MassDevelopment regarding the initial assistance they will receive through TDI, and MassDevelopment is scheduling kickoff meetings with each District in May and June. The two additional Gateway Cities selected for regional planning services, Everett and Malden, will have an Urban Land Institute Technical Assistance Panel (ULI TAP) in June.

The ten Districts in Development for the program’s pilot year were chosen from the 26 Gateway Cities’ submissions to the 2014 Call for Districts, in which all identified local collaborative partnerships, strategic district visions, and community engagement plans. Gateway Cities that were not designated this pilot year are eligible and encouraged to submit for future rounds. All twenty-six Gateway Cities, in addition to all Massachusetts cities and towns, will continue to receive and be eligible for typical MassDevelopment services.

TDI also provides resources for all Gateway Cities with Cowork grants for innovative collaborative workspaces, and small Placemaking grants of $1,000 to $10,000 for small-scale projects supportive of district visions to help build community identity while supporting improvement of public spaces—such as pocket parks, pop-up stores, community gardens, and farmers’ markets. The Placemaking grant program will be launched in late April to the twenty-six Gateway Cities’ districts.

MassDevelopment, the state’s finance and development agency, works with businesses, nonprofits, financial institutions, and communities to stimulate economic growth across the Commonwealth. During FY2014, MassDevelopment financed or managed 314 projects generating investment of more than $2.9 billion in the Massachusetts economy. These projects are projected to create more than 6,300 jobs and build or rehabilitate more than 1,600 residential units.