SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – MassDevelopment has issued a $4.3 million tax-exempt bond on behalf of Gándara Mental Health Center Inc., which used proceeds to buy and renovate a 13,200-square-foot office building at 933 East Columbus Ave. in Springfield. The organization will relocate its corporate offices from West Springfield into the new, larger building, where it can meet increased demand for its innovative, culturally competent behavioral health, prevention, and education services that promote the well-being of Hispanic, African-American, and other culturally diverse populations. Gándara’s services include outpatient mental health and substance abuse treatment for underserved communities, as well as residential and preventative services for children, adults, and families throughout Massachusetts. The organization recently began renovations and expects to move into the facility by late spring 2022. Westfield Bank purchased the bond, which will also be used to refinance previously issued debt.
“By supporting organizations like Gándara that are enhancing access to important services, we can also help improve the social and economic well-being for all members of the community,” said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Mike Kennealy, who serves as chair of MassDevelopment’s Board of Directors. “MassDevelopment has a long history of working with nonprofit organizations looking to buy facilities, add equipment, and expand services, and I want to congratulate all of those involved for making the kinds of investments that strengthen the capacity for organizations like Gándara to carry out their mission.”
“MassDevelopment is proud to help Gándara Mental Health Center, Inc. finance its new corporate offices in the Gateway City of Springfield that will help meet growing demand for the organization’s services,” said MassDevelopment President and CEO Dan Rivera. “As we rebuild from the impacts of COVID-19, it’s more important than ever that people from all backgrounds have access to affordable mental and behavioral health resources in their community.”
“A big thank you to MassDevelopment President and CEO Dan Rivera, who once a mayor always a mayor, and his team for understanding that these types of investments are vital to meeting the public health and mental health needs of our community,” said Springfield Mayor Domenic J. Sarno. “I am also very appreciative of Gándara Mental Health Center Inc., for their continued belief and investment in our City of Springfield. Chief Development Officer Tim Sheehan and I are excited to welcome the move of their headquarters to Springfield and we look forward to holding a grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony in the future. Once again, this public and private partnership continues my administrations vision of not only enhancing our economic development opportunities but just as important supporting the public health and mental health needs of our community. Additionally, this investment continues to support a great organization, Gándara, which provides much-needed services for our residents.”
“Gándara Center and its staff engage in important work daily to provide culturally sensitive care to those in need and Westfield Bank is pleased to collaborate with the agency to fund the acquisition of its new headquarters,” said Westfield Bank Vice President and Commercial Loan Officer Wayne Webster. “The location at the gateway to Downtown Springfield will allow the agency to consolidate services under one roof and be more accessible to the clients it serves.”
Founded in 1977 to advocate and provide for equal services in the Hispanic community, Gándara Mental Health Center delivers quality bilingual behavioral health, substance use, and preventative services for a diverse clientele of nearly 15,000 children, adults, and families each year in 100 locations across Massachusetts.
“We’re excited to have our administrative office back in Springfield,” said Gándara Mental Health Center Chief Executive Officer Lois Nesci. “Not only is it a return home to the original city where the agency was established 45 years ago, our main office will once again be closer to the multitude of services we offer in western Massachusetts.”
MassDevelopment, the state’s development finance agency and land bank, works with businesses, nonprofits, banks, and communities to stimulate economic growth across the Commonwealth. During FY2021, MassDevelopment financed or managed 416 projects generating investment of more than $1.86 billion in the Massachusetts economy. These projects are estimated to create or support 6,578 jobs and build or preserve 1,909 housing units.