NEW BEDFORD, Mass. (WPRI) — New Bedford took a major step forward Friday in developing a new business park on the city’s 275-acre Whaling City Golf Course.
The plan to build the business park on 100 acres of the golf course’s property will temporarily reduce the number of holes in half, according to Mayor Jon Mitchell.
“As much as we do on the waterfront, we are still very much a manufacturing city,” Mitchell said. “Roughly 15% of our workforce is in manufacturing and we think there is room to grow there because we have a very skilled workforce.”
The new business park, according to Rep. Tony Cabral, will allow for much-needed economic growth in the city.
“Repurposing the land into industrial and commercial space that we need in New Bedford,” Cabral said. “It’s like we are reinventing ourselves, in a sense.”
Mitchell said the golf course area is desirable because of it’s elevation, as well as its proximity to highways and the airport.
“Constructing a new business park from scratch is no small undertaking and a complex challenge for any city,” Mitchell said. “but if we are serious in New Bedford about reducing the property tax burden, regenerating our local economy, and keeping local government financial stable, we have no choice but to find a way to succeed.”
City findings reveal the business park will create 1 million square feet of new office space. It’s also expected to generate $2.7 million in annual property tax revenue and produce more than 1,000 new jobs.
The plans will need approval from the legislature, but the business park could be completed within two to three years.
Cabral said he is confident his peers will approve the plan, which will provide new opportunities for New Bedford.
“Opportunities for good paying jobs for the residents of this city,” he said.
A new clubhouse and parking area will be constructed under the plan and additional enhancements are being considered, such as a driving range and practice areas.
“Success for me is a plan that brings fresh interest to New Bedford’s golf scene and preserves the course as unique asset for generations to come, and I think we have that in the approach being presented today,” Chairman of the New Bedford Park Board Peter Boswell said.