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Fort Devens, Massachusetts

Overview

In the twenty years since the closure of Fort Devens, 4,977 jobs – more than twice the lost civilian jobs – have been created by the public and private sector on the former base.

Devens Today

Since the closure of Fort Devens, the Massachusetts Development Finance Agency (MassDevelopment), together with the Joint Boards of Selectment representing the towns of Ayer, Harvard and Shirley, have redeveloped the area to become a significant employment center and contributor to the Commonwealth’s high-tech economy. The comprehensive re-use plan, designed by citizens and public officials, includes advanced manufacturing, government services, wholesale trade, and transportation and warehousing. 

In 2016, Devens was home to 102 entities that have created 4,977 jobs – more than twice the civilian jobs lost when the base closed. Of these establishments, 76 percent are private businesses, 18 percent are nonprofits, and the remainder are governmental entities. Current occupants range from small companies in a business incubator to large operations, such as Britol-Myers Squibb (BMS), a global biopharmaceutical company. BMS currently occupies 400,000 square feet of laboratory and office space as a result of a total capital investment of $750 million since 2009. 

In response to local demand for workforce housing, Devens also includes affordable, energy-efficient homes. Devens has 1,700 acres of open space and larger recreational areas for hiking, boating, fishing, and swimming. Devens also hosts a job training center; a community college satellite campus; daycare and K-12 education options; social-service providers; and comprehensive municipal services. A business services district includes two hotels, restaurants, and retail.

Background

After serving as the U.S. Army's New England Headquarters for 75 years, the 1991 Base Realignment and Closure Commission recommended the closure of Fort Devens, resulting in the loss of 2,178 civilian positions. 

The U.S. Army sold 4,400 acres of the former military installation, including all of its utilities, to MassDevelopment, which purchased the land through an economic development conveyance in 1996. 

Updated October, 2017

Point of Contact:

Mark Sternman
Director of Governmental Relations and Communications
MassDevelopment
https://www.massdevelopment.com/

State:
MA
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