Incentive Strategies and Projects
The basis for all economic development is investment. When private investment is not enough to move projects forward, public/private partnerships may be necessary to facilitate the best and most expedient outcomes. The administration of Mayor Gray realized the public/private investment need, and in January 2014 began the process to establish a proactive approach. To guide development incentives, the City has established strategies which aid the community in determining the most appropriate development projects. The incentives go beyond the TIF (Tax Increment Financing) program and includes opportunities such as negotiated PILOT (Payment In Lieu of Taxes) agreements for Solar. This page provides access to information on public/private partnerships.
Economic Investment Priorities
The below priorities for incentives result from the TIF Incentives Plan outlined in the attachments.
- Diversify the tax base and reduce the burden on residential properties.
- Provide a means to stimulate private capital investment in commercial and industrial properties resulting in a substantive increase in net taxable property value.
- Encourage qualifying existing businesses to expand within the City of Amesbury.
- Attract new businesses that are compatible with the City of Amesbury.
- Foster reconstruction and renovation of vacant or underutilized commercial properties.
- Provide private funds to leverage public improvements that are mutually beneficial and necessary for the City and business community.
- Stimulate the creation of jobs that pay above the median income for Amesbury.
- Attract and expand business that encourage an economic ripple effect throughout the community.
- Increase the expediency at which redevelopment occurs, by changing the financial options of development in a manner that favorably alters the financial feasibility.
The above priorities are expressed below as more specific criteria, to establish a public/private partnership. These are a few of the more crucial project criteria; more detail is expressed in the reports attached to this webpage.
- Taxation: Projects should provide positive tax benefits to the community to address the impacts of the new development, and to reduce the tax burden on residents.
- Job retention and/or creation: The City’s interest is a reasonably significant number of jobs created and retained. The requirement shall be considered as greater for projects with more investment by the City.
- Project Capacity to Leverage Investments and Economic Development: The project will create an economic ripple effect as a result of, but not limited to, the following: the character of the proposed use, company notoriety, the potential business to business relationship to other uses in the City, the ripple effect of employees working at the business, and/or those visiting the business and their propensity to frequent other businesses in the City. The project could also represent the relocation of a business with an existing documented customer base in the region, or business with notoriety that expands the City’s regional draw, which will provide additional visitors to the City.
This is a chronological listing of partnership-based projects since January 2014. The supporting documentation for these projects are hyperlinked in the column to the far right.
TIF Incentives Plan – January 2014: The TIF process began early in 2014 with the TIF incentives plan and guidelines. The plan and guidelines are meant to leverage private/public funds to address site constraints which prevent development. The City Council adopted the plan and guidelines and the TIF projects listed below have resulted.
Fashion Retail Market Analysis and Zone - March 2014: At the time, a development team was interested in a Fashion Retail project for the Golden Triangle. The City moved forward to develop a presentation based on a market analysis and established zoning to support the project. The developers unfortunately did not move forward. While every opportunity may not move forward, not making the effort will guarantee failure.
EPA Rapid Response - Heritage Park Cleanup - September 2014: The EPA Rapid Response Team, working with the City and MassDEP, removed PCB's at Heritage Park and constructed a bulkhead wall along the Powow and Back Rivers.
TIF - 284 Elm St. 92-Room Hotel TIF - October 2014: The project received the first TIF agreement, for a 92-room $10-million hotel on a site that has been vacant for 30 years. The Hotel began construction in July 2015 and completed construction in November 2016 and is now operating successfully.
Solar Citizens Energy PILOT - March 2015: The project received approval for a PILOT to facilitate the construction of a six-megawatt solar field at the Waste Management landfill site off South Hunt Road.
TIF - 2 Industrial Way - DesignWerkes Manufacturing – August 2015: The City moved forward with a crucial TIF that enabled a manufacturer to expand within Amesbury. Moving from 12,000 square feet in leased space, to renovate an abandoned 43,000 square foot building. To date the company has already exceeded its five year commitment for job creation of 15 new hires and hired 19 employees. Fourteen of the new employees are Amesbury residents.
LEAD Leverage Economic Access for Development – Resolution – July 2016: Access to development sites is a crucial component of facilitating growth. Rather than wait until permits are filed to discover access is an issue, the City developed a local policy to begin developing access plans. This was established as a City Resolution after a presentation to the City Council.
TIF - 77 Elm- 24,000 square-foot, former three-story Mill Building – August 2016: The property required a substantial amount of work. The prior Assessor's value was $768,000, the new value, after the work is complete, will exceed $2.5 million. The project is planned for 21,000 sq ft of net leasable area over three floors, at 7,000 sq ft per floor.
Global Hockey Facility – 410,000 square feet, six- Rink Complex - April 2018: The project is in the process of seeking Planning Board approavl and incentives through the City.