Gateway Cities in Massachusetts

Working collaboratively with MassINC’s Gateway Cities Innovation Institute, Hodge Economic Consulting (now Cambridge Econometrics) authored a research report analyzing Gateway Cities in Massachusetts. State investment in Gateway Cities was closely examined, real estate development trends compared to Boston were assessed, and ideas were outlined to enhance transformative development. Case studies of Worcester’s CitySquare and New York state’s Upstate Revitalization Initiative were used to showcase examples of catalytic investment that are leading to significant private sector investment.

The report found that while Massachusetts is investing disproportionately in Gateway Cities, these investments are:

  1. dominated by education spending;
  2. there are few examples of larger-scale investments that can logically be connected to generating transformative development; and
  3. the state does not (yet) track investment or evaluate impact

Despite an infusion of programs and focus on the state’s small to medium sized cities, the real estate development trends point to a widening gap with Boston, with building permits and property values still below pre-recession levels. The report recommends a mix of higher state investment levels, stronger alignment of investment with targeted redevelopment strategies, and an increase in transparency and accountability.

Please do contact me to find out more about this project and how it could be applied to other cities.

Dan Hodge Executive Vice President [email protected]