Westfield to Launch Development Effort for New Air Industrial Park
August 31, 2012
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  • WESTFIELD — The Westfield Redevelopment Authority plans to launch preliminary development work on the city’s newest industrial park project as early as next week.

    Director Jeffrey R. Daley said the agency plans to initiate a land survey of the property that will formally define property lines and other boundaries of the project beginning Tuesday.

    The proposed park, about 80 acres, sits adjacent to Barnes Regional Airport off North Road and abuts two large aviation firms, General Dynamics Aviation Services and Gulfstream Aerospace, located on Elise Street. Gulfstream is currently building a new $23 million maintenance facility that will bring an additional 100 high-skilled jobs to its current 130-member workforce. That facility is scheduled to be operational next spring.

    The park location also includes land formerly used by Whip City Speedway, which closed in 2011.

    “We are now assessing the cost for start-up of this project,” Daley said. “The survey work will include title searches for the land,” he said.

    Other work will include a pre-development environmental study that will lead to a necessary permitting process, a parking and traffic study and a determination of infrastructure needs, said Daley.

    The WRA was revived earlier this year to help promote economic development for the city. The agency this week authorized Daley to spend up to $10,000 for pre-development work at the new park and hired the local law firm of Annino, Draper and Moore to provide legal services.

    The city budgeted about $83,000 as start-up funding for the agency, and more than $6.4 million in state funding was received earlier this year to projects including the airport industrial park and another proposed business park on about 66 acres off Turnpike Industrial Road and Cabot Road.

    Daley estimated the cost to prepare the airport industrial park will be in the “few hundred thousands (of dollars)” area and said the city and WRA will seek out additional state and federal grants to continue to finance the process.

    Construction at Gulfstream and announcement of the city’s industrial park plans have already generated interest in the new park, Daley said.