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November 29, 2023

North Central Mass. chamber to launch low-cost fund for real estate development

A five story brick building with a courtyard in front. Image | Courtesy of Google Maps The Dickinson Building in Fitchburg

The North Central Massachusetts Development Corp., the economic arm of the North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce, is creating new funding opportunities for real estate developers to access low or no-cost funds.

The Regional Business Investment Fund intends to encourage more real estate development in the North Central Massachusetts region, using flexible loans used to cover costs not traditionally covered by lenders, according to a Tuesday press release issued by NCMDC. 

The initial funding for this initiative was provided by the the City of Fitchburg and the City of Gardner, which each contributed $250,000. The remaining $250,000 was provided by the NCMDC. Projects in Fitchburg and Gardner will be prioritized because of the municipalities’ contributions to the fund, and NCMDC is hopeful other municipalities in the area will contribute in the future.  

The first loans from the fund have already been provided to the property owners of the Dickenson Building, located at 332-244 Main St. in Fitchburg. The owner of the building, Christopher Iousa, will utilize a $60,000 loan to repair an exterior wall to ensure the safety of the building, allowing the site to continue to be occupied by tenants and potentially be utilized in the future for housing development. 

“The City of Fitchburg has already benefited from this unique funding opportunity with the work completed on Main Street,” Fitchburg Mayor Stephen DiNatale said in the press release. “We thank the North Central Massachusetts Development Corporation for their partnership in this program, which will provide an opportunity for developers to invest in Fitchburg and align with our efforts to reinvent our downtown.”

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