Employment at Devens, the 4,400-acre, mixed-use community in north-central Massachusetts that has taken shape since Fort Devens closed, has jumped 24 percent over the past two years due to growth in manufacturing, transportation and warehousing, and professional services.
After two decades of redevelopment, total employment among businesses, government agencies and nonprofits at the reuse project managed by MassDevelopment now stands at 4,977, according to a new study by the University of Massachusetts Donahue Institute.
Private sector and nonprofit organizations had estimated combined sales of more than $1.4 billion in fiscal 2016. Devens’ total contribution to the Massachusetts economy nearly reached $2.5 billion after counting additional spending of $1 billion in local supply chains supported by the community’s tenants.
“The increasing number of Devens employees has resulted from significant commercial growth and has led to a demand for a mix of housing types in new Devens neighborhoods like Emerson Green,” said MassDevelopment President and CEO Marty Jones. “We’re pleased to work with the business community, residents and surrounding towns to continue to advance the redevelopment of Devens as a major driver of the regional economy and make even more sustainable growth possible.”
On Tuesday, WGL Energy Systems announced it had finished installing a 3.2-megawatt solar facility at Devens. The fully installed photovoltaic solar system is designed to provide power to the residential, commercial and industrial customers of the Devens Utilities Department.
The system consists of 10,488 rooftop solar panels installed on top of two buildings in Devens. WGL Energy owns and operates the facility and will sell power to the Devens community under a 24-year power purchase agreement, according to a release.