The Holyoke Redevelopment Authority has prepared an urban renewal plan titled “Connect. Construct. Create. – A plan to revitalize Center City Holyoke”. The action steps laid out in the plan will maximize opportunities for private development within the Center City over the next several years. Its primary purpose is to promote economic development and growth in Holyoke by capitalizing on the City’s unique characteristics, ‘connecting’ people and places; ‘constructing’ public infrastructure and a diverse stock of commercial, residential and industrial buildings; and ‘creating’ a more vibrant and prosperous Center City.

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Some major actions include:

  • Key parcel acquisitions that result in rehabilitation, demolition or aggregation to form a larger parcel more marketable for development,
  • Infrastructure upgrades,
  • Traffic improvements,
  • Streetscape enhancements,
  • Investments in public/open spaces,
  • Partnerships with existing organizations, businesses or others to assist in on-going or future redevelopment projects.

And the goals of the URP are to:

  1. Promote private investment and create new jobs
  • Retain critical business – such as retail, manufacturing, commercial
  • Attract new business –fill vacant buildings and parcels with new jobs
  • Support existing and key planned development projects – such as the Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center
  1. Improve housing options
  • Provide more housing choices – market rate and affordable housing, rental and ownership
  • Improve housing stock – better quality, more choices, rehabilitate existing
  • Increase home ownership opportunities –a policy statement for Holyoke Redevelopment Authority supported actions
  1. Rehabilitate or remove blighted properties
  • Address public safety concerns – such as deteriorating structures
  • Preserve valuable resources – rehabilitate/restore historic resources
  • Improve image – by addressing the most distressed property
  1. Upgrade public infrastructure
  • Streetscape improvements and street paving
  • Subsurface power, water and sewer improvements
  • Bridge replacements
  1. Create a sustainable community
  • Promote and enhance green energy – HG&E low cost renewable power
  • Promote transportation options – bicycle, pedestrian, rail, mass transit
  • Promote a mix of housing (rental through home ownership) and businesses (retail, manufacturing, office, health care, etc.)
  1. Improve quality of life
  • Enhance open space network – rehabilitate parks, expand Canalwalk, and promote open spaces
  • Enhance cultural offerings – Victory Theater, art events and promoting the City as a destination for creative economy industries
  1. Increase the tax base in the Center City area
  • Redevelop underutilized and vacant property – increases property values
  • Add more density – residential and commercial
  1. Modify Regulations and Develop Programs to Support URP Actions
  • Modify Zoning Bylaw where needed to support URP program
  • Develop Design Guidelines for the Center City Area
  • Create incentive programs to assist private development, property owners and businesses who are proposing actions that support URP goals – such as programs that address hazardous materials and building improvements, amongst others.
  • Promote energy efficiency in buildings