EforAll Holyoke Opens Spark Cowork

On November 21st, a ribbon cutting was held for Spark Cowork at 193 High Street, the new home and co-working space of EforAll Holyoke. A $64,000 grant provided by MassDevelopment helped fund the buildout. Entrepreneurs can rent space and have access to work stations and a conference room 24 hour a day. EforAll Holyoke will host classes and monthly workshops in the space. For more information visit the EforAll Holyoke webpage.

First Art Installation Unveiled Along Main Street Corridor

A celebration of the first art installation of the El Corazón / The Heart of Holyoke Placemaking project was held on Sunday, December 15th. The Main Street installation consists of banners with Puerto Rican flags in recognition of the Puerto Rican Cultural Area designation in 2016 by the City Council and featuring “Paper City Hidden Legends,” a series of community members recognized by Holyoke High School students in the “Pa’lante’ Restorative Justice Group”. 

The placemaking project aims to develop spaces and places that are reflective of the communities surrounding Main Street and promote economic opportunity. The City works with an Advisory Board composed of members of the community, agencies, and individuals who live or work on Main Street. After two years of community engagement planning, evaluation and design, the project is moving towards the implementation phase of art installations on the Main Street Corridor.

The project is sponsored by the City of Holyoke, Holyoke Gas & Electric, National Endowment for the Arts, MassDevelopment, Community Foundation of Western Mass, GTI/RISE, United Way, Castella Waste Systems, Bank ESB, Holyoke Local Cultural Council and 164 donors from a successful crowdfunding campaign!
For more information or to get involved, contact Cynthia Espinosa, espinosac@holyoke.org or 413-322-5655 or visit the El Corazón website.

Library Commons

picture of library

Way Finders recently broke ground on phase one of Library Commons, a mixed income housing development adjacent to the Holyoke Public Library. The development will create 38 units in three renovated buildings and a newly constructed building. Way Finders is also partnering with The Care Center to establish Roqué House, which will provide affordable apartment-style housing, personal and academic counseling, and arts and educational programming to support young parents while they earn a college degree or other credential that will lead to economic self-sufficiency.

South Holyoke Housing

The Holyoke Redevelopment Authority has partnered with the Holyoke Housing Authority (HHA) to develop between 28 and 60 new units of housing on 26 vacant parcels of land around Carlos Vega Park in South Holyoke. The housing initiative is part of the goals of Holyoke’s Urban Renewal Plan for South Holyoke, which prioritizes affordable homeownership. HHA is currently working with the neighborhood on a vision for the development. HHA is working with Abacys Architects + Planners and The Berkshire Design Group on several housing scenarios to fit the needs of the neighborhood. HHA is also conducting a survey to find out what types of housing and amenities residence are looking for in South Holyoke.

New Valley Flyer Rail Line

Amtrak has started a new rail line serving Holyoke called the Valley Flyer. This adds to the already reestablished passenger rail service in Holyoke provided by Amtrak’s Vermonter line, with service north to Vermont and south to New York and Washington DC. The new line is a pilot program to provide commuter service between Springfield, Holyoke, Northampton, and Greenfield.  The line offers four daily trips and is scheduled to last until fall of 2021. Visit the Amtrak website for more information.