Former laundromat in Springfield to become Block Art Studio

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – MassDevelopment, the state’s development finance agency and land bank, has issued a $229,000 tax-exempt bond on behalf of Love Art Collective Inc. in Springfield.

The money will be used to buy and renovate a former laundromat building at 583 State Street in Springfield as part of the organization’s Block Art Studio, a Black-owned and -operated art center focused on neighborhood youth and entrepreneurs. The art center will include a gallery space, youth enrichment programs, career training, community events, and crossover events with the Springfield Museums.

“We want to build an economy that works for every corner of our state, including the Gateway Cities that for generations have been regional centers for economic vitality and growth,” said Secretary of Economic Development Yvonne Hao, who serves as chair of MassDevelopment’s Board of Directors. “These TDI grants will provide Gateway City businesses and nonprofits that want to invest in their properties with the additional resources they need to bring important projects to life.”

“This funding will support the catalytic transformation of commercial properties in Gateway Cities in ways that activate ground-floor spaces and spur additional economic activity,” said MassDevelopment President and CEO Dan Rivera. “Maximizing the potential of these properties means new or improved places for residents and visitors to dine, learn, socialize, and spend time, creating jobs and contributing to a more vibrant and inviting commercial corridor.”

In addition, grants were awarded to the following by MassDevelopment to advance the rehabilitation in Gateway Cities across Massachusetts that will have significant economic impacts on commercial corridor revitalization goals.

  • $135,000 to The Golden Bohemian LLC in Holyoke for the build-out of an event and performance venue in the vacant ground-floor space of 447 High St., a four-story mixed-use building that will feature 12 apartments on the upper floors. The space, dubbed “The Golden Bohemian,” will bring new nightlife activity to the downtown district including live music, stand-up comedy, and salsa and bachata dancing and lessons, among other community events.
  • $200,000 to NolanNova LLC in Lowell for the construction of a permanent outdoor pavilion and dining area on a vacant lot that will provide expansive outdoor seating and event space for Nibbana Cafe and Tasty Dumplings, two adjacent businesses facing significant seating constraints.
  • $72,000 to Lynn Music Foundation in Lynn to upgrade the Neil Rantoul Vault Theatre in downtown, which it leases from LynnArts, by replacing existing permanent seating with telescoping stands and seating that will make the space flexible enough to accommodate more events and programming.
  • $77,893 to Chocolaffee LLC in Revere to help the company convert its storefront from a production-only space to a more active storefront that will include a café with specialty Colombian items as well as coffee, ice cream, and smoothies, and studio space for podcasting and videography. The owners’ existing food-production business serving commercial clients, such as festivals and zoos, will continue to operate in the rear of the facility.

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