We hear regular announcements of how Massachusetts is benefiting from the Federal ARRA funds as they are released incrementally. However, it is not clear that we are making best use of these funds in growing our economy. Our State Administration may be distracted by the current economic difficulties, but they cannot let down in the quest for a robust future economy.
Reading from an article written by Tom Palmer, there is some concern that we are letting bureaucracy get in the way of “doing the right thing”
(Tom Palmer, a former reporter and editor for The Boston Globe, contributes a news journal to McDermottVentures.com about development-related events in Boston and the region.)
The specific section is the write-up of “Market Smart”, a policy coined by the Robinson & Cole agency.
Robinson & Cole has even trademarked the term “Market Smart,” which it advises is the best bang for the stimulus buck. “The public private partnership — the only way we think we’re going to get out of this recession,” Blaesser said.
About $20 million in projects have gone out to bid, and some have been awarded already.
But none have fallen into the Market Smart category, which includes:
— Redevelopment — reusing vacant or underutilized properties with existing transportation advantages or utilities in place.
— Public Private Partnerships — public land or dollars used in connection with a private developer.
— Sustainable Development — revitalizing city or town centers, multi-use projects, protecting historic resources, projects with minimal environmental impact.
— Economic Impact — projects that generate new private investment, jobs, tax revenue, and economic opportunities and new uses.
Market Smart are the ones “that offer the most tangible long-term benefits.”
The key is not using undeveloped land.
Robinson & Cole apparently feel that there are 5 to 10 projects Statewide that exhibit “Market Smart” characteristics and could qualify for ARRA funds.
So, what is the hang-up? Will any of these beneficial projects break through the bureaucracy and get ARRA funds this year? The people of the Commonwealth are waiting.