BOSTON – MassDevelopment has issued a $12,460,000 tax-exempt lease on behalf of the WGBH Educational Foundation (GBH). GBH will use the proceeds to fund renovations and electrical system upgrades and buy and install equipment at its building at 44 Hampden St. in Springfield, which is home to GBH partner New England Public Media (NEPM), a new nonprofit created by a merger of public television station WGBY and public radio station NEPR. GBH will also use the proceeds to upgrade technical systems at its headquarters and studios at 1 and 10 Guest St. in Boston. The tax-exempt lease was financed by Bank of America.
“From keeping residents informed to helping families put food on the table, nonprofit organizations across the Commonwealth strengthen our local economies and serve our communities in various ways,” said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Mike Kennealy, who serves as chair of MassDevelopment’s Board of Directors. “MassDevelopment’s financing solutions assist these institutions as they look to upgrade equipment, build new structures, or renovate existing spaces.”
“GBH’s mission of educating and engaging people through local public media programs is of vital importance to ensuring a healthy civic discourse across New England,” said MassDevelopment President and CEO Dan Rivera. “MassDevelopment is proud to support GBH with tax-exempt financing that will allow the organization to renovate facilities and upgrade equipment that is crucial to its work.”
“We are grateful to access affordable financing through MassDevelopment,” said GBH Chief Financial Officer André Alexander. “Through this process, we were able to advance the vital improvements needed for our facilities in Springfield and Boston. These funds allow us to continue serving the community with our educational, mission-based programs.”
GBH is the leading multiplatform creator for public media in America. As the largest producer of content for PBS and partner to NPR and PRX, GBH delivers compelling experiences, stories, and information to audiences wherever they are. GBH produces digital and broadcast programming that engages, illuminates, and inspires, through drama and science, history, arts, culture, and journalism. GBH’s television channels include GBH 2, GBH 44, GBH Kids, and national services WORLD and Create. With studios and a newsroom headquartered in Boston, GBH reaches across New England with GBH 89.7, Boston’s Local NPR; CRB Classical 99.5; CAI, the Cape and Islands NPR station; and as a partner to NEPM in Springfield.
NEPM is a community-supported, independent nonprofit organization based in Springfield that builds on the legacy and strengths of WGBY-TV and New England Public Radio. It provides audiences with a broad array of local and national programs across all media—TV, radio, online, and mobile, including PBS and NPR programs as well as locally produced series, podcasts, and specials. Its four digital TV channels and two radio networks present news, jazz and classical music, documentaries, talk, drama, plus cultural and educational programming.
In 2021, New England Public Media also received a $200,000 grant from the Cultural Facilities Fund, administered by MassDevelopment and Mass Cultural Council, to support renovation of the building at 44 Hampden St. in Springfield into a new engagement and education space.
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.