BOSTON – The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced that it is approving a $3.65 million loan guarantee to the City of Springfield, Massachusetts to finance a $41 million redevelopment of the historic Paramount Theater and Massasoit Building, which together occupy an entire block in downtown Springfield.
This transformative project is intended to provide a focal point for cultural and entertainment activities in western Massachusetts.
This project will preserve, repair and upgrade the historic Paramount Theater which has been closed since 2014, to create a performing arts center. The rehabilitation of the Massasoit Building, built in 1857 and remodeled in 1926, will reposition floors two through four back to its original use as an 81-room hotel and extensively restore and update the rest of the building, which has been vacant for more than a decade.
The project will complement several developments in nearby downtown Springfield including the $950 million mixed-use MGM Springfield entertainment complex, the redevelopment of a 265-unit apartment building, and the ongoing $84 million restoration of the historic Union Station terminal building. This investment will assist in furthering the recovery of downtown Springfield, which suffered damage from a 2011 tornado and a 2012 gas explosion.
“This loan guarantee is one of the most successful investment tools that HUD offers to local governments,” said David Tille, HUD New England Regional Administrator. “We commend the city’s leadership for their continued commitment to economic development and job creation.”
HUD’s Section 108 Loan Guarantee Assistance Program enables local governments to borrow money at reduced interest rates to promote economic development, stimulate job growth and improve public facilities. Such public investment is often needed to inspire private contributions; to provide seed money or to simply boost confidence private firms and individuals may need to invest in distressed areas.