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Dorchester, Roxbury community development groups receive grants for upcoming projects

Posted by Patrick Rosso  October 11, 2012 01:16 PM

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(Image courtesy Dorchester Bay Economic Development Corporation.)

A rendering of the Bornstein & Pearl Food Production Small Business Center

Development projects in Dorchester and Roxbury recently received financial boosts from the city of Boston.

The Dorchester Bay Economic Development Corporation and the Madison Park Development Corporation will be splitting just over $1.5 million in federal funds, awarded to the groups by the city.

The Community Service Economic Development Grants will be used to further progress on Madison Park’s Parcel 10 development and Dorchester Bay’s Bornstein & Pearl Food Production Small Business Center.

“I want to thank the Obama Administration and Secretary Kathleen Sebelius for their commitment and leadership,” Mayor Thomas M. Menino said in a statement. “The redevelopment of these vacant parcels represents increased opportunities for Boston’s growing food entrepreneurs, jobs for our residents, improved access to healthy affordable food and a more robust and resilient food system infrastructure.”

Madison Park, in partnership with Tropical Foods International, will use the money to continue planning on a $32 million multi-building development in Dudley Square, according to the city. The three-building development on the 2.1-acre parcel includes a 40,000 square-foot, two-story grocery store and five-story retail/office building.

The third building, located at 2101 Washington St., the current home of Tropical Foods, will be rehabbed and converted into space for 66 residential units and ground-floor retail.

Madison Park was tentatively designated the developer of the parcel by the Boston Redevelopment Authority over the summer, but it must still go through the Article 80 community review process and has not filed the appropriate documents to date.

For a copy of the group’s proposal, click here.

Dorchester Bay’s $13 million project, located on Quincy Street, includes the restoration and renovation of the former home of the Pearl Meat Factory, which relocated to Randolph in 2007.

The organization, working in partnership with CropCircle Kitchen, is converting the former meat-packing factory into a 35,000 square-foot, multi-tenant food production facility.

“We’re finding there are a ton of people who need this space,” said Jeanne DuBois, executive director of Dorchester Bay. “We think it will make it [the corridor] a destination and will bring the jobs but not the traffic.”

The space will be used to house over 50 small food production businesses, from food trucks to a honey maker. Close to half of the space will be shared kitchen and storage space rented by small businesses, with the other half devoted to rented commercial space.

CropCircle Kitchen, which currently manages a similar operation at the JP Brewery, home of Sweet Idea cookies, will run the facility for Dorchester Bay.

Renovations to the facility, which include the installation and rehabilitation of communal specialty equipment, blast freezer, steam table, steam oven, smokers, and large production kettle, are expected to begin in 2012 and take less than a year.

The property, which is located at 196 Quincy St., is expected to generate close to 80 jobs in the first couple of years, according to Dorchester Bay.

Email Patrick D. Rosso, Follow him @PDRosso, or friend him on Facebook.

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