Fast ferry pilot tests New Bedford – Woods Hole Connection Around Marine Science and Technology

Ferry links New Bedford, Woods Hole
By Steve Urbon
New Bedford Standard-Times

NEW BEDFORD — Mayor Scott W. Lang called it a “sleigh ride,” an over-in-a-blink transit from State Pier to Woods Hole to show local media the wonders of a watery shortcut to the “transportation hub” of Cape Cod.

“We’re going to have a lot of fun this morning,” he told the 75 guests, media representatives and crew who rode free on Monday morning as part of an introductory promotion.

New Bedford officials launched the trial service on Aug. 13 to see if there’s enough interest to resurrect the ferry route permanently.

Boston-based New England Fast Ferry Co. was the sole bidder for the twice-a-day service, which will run for four months.
Transit officials point out that the marine sciences labs and schools in the two ports are the primary target of the service, to eliminate the tedious drive across the Cape Cod Canal and around Buzzards Bay.

Several commuters on board Monday bypassed the highway ride to Wareham.

Others, hearing about the free tickets, brought their families for an excursion to the Cape on a perfect summer morning. For the first two weeks, the trips are free but starting next week the trip will cost $7 each way.

“We came for the fun of it,” said Mike Powell of Dartmouth, who was accompanied by his daughter, Sarah, and grandchildren Natalie and Justin.

Originally from Illinois, Powell said he hadn’t yet explored the area, so he grabbed the chance. Cape explorers can catch cabs in Woods Hole or take public transportation to Hyannis, where the ferries run to Nantucket.

Other passengers Monday, such as UMass-Dartmouth economics professor Daniel Georgianna, stepped off the gangplank in Woods Hole to experience how much easier it will be to do business there, where he holds a consulting contract with the National Marine Fisheries Service.

“I try to come out here twice a week, but I can’t, especially in the summer,” he said. The drive is simply too taxing.
The fast ferry, by contrast, whisks passengers from New Bedford across to Woods Hole in less time than anything but a helicopter might take.

The speed is the selling point of the New England Fast Ferry, which is diverting one of its two boats twice a day from Martha’s Vineyard for the run out of New Bedford. As the summer tourism season winds down, the Woods Hole route will have its own ferry until mid-December when the four-month experiment ends. After that city officials will evaluate the program.

A $75,000 matching grant from the state Executive Office of Transportation will fund the trial ferry service. Survey specialists are being used during the test period to interview passengers to see what they like about the service and what they would change.

Thomas Lanagan of Mattapoisett, a student at the University of Vermont who also works at the Alvin group, of ocean submersibles fame, in Woods Hole, lamented “all the gas going back and forth” around Buzzards Bay by land, and was happy with the ferry. But he would like to see one change.

“I get off of work at four or five in the afternoon,” he said. But the evening run back to New Bedford isn’t until after 7 p.m.
That could change, however, said Kristin Decas, executive director of the Harbor Development Commission.

When the summer tourism season slows down, the ferry service may be able to adjust the trip times and may even add a midday round-trip if there’s a demand, she said.

Contact Steve Urbon at surbon@s-t.com.

August 23, 2007

New Bedford Tells Its Story in Creative Ways

Classic Yachts Play New Bedford Waters for Layover
By Don Cuddy
Standard Times Staff Writer

NEW BEDFORD — With a fine easterly breeze filling their sails, the line of classic yachts gliding through the hurricane barrier lent an air of gentility to the New Bedford waterfront Wednesday afternoon.

It is a sight that many along the shore are hoping will become more commonplace, among them economic development director Matt Morrissey, who went out in a launch to greet the boats as they sailed in from Edgartown just after 1 p.m.

“It’s great to see these beautiful boats entering our harbor,” he said. “We continue to support the working waterfront, but the harbor is large enough to accommodate a mix of uses. We see a real opportunity now to bring in more recreational boating and to market the harbor to different populations.”

The arrival of the beautifully restored yachts represented something of a coup for the city, Mr. Morrissey said.
Led by the 160-foot, three-masted, staysail schooner Arabella, the visiting fleet also included several Concordia yawls, among them the Captiva, owned by John and Laurie Bullard.

“New Bedford is known around the world as a commercial harbor, but as far as yachts go, it’s a secret,” Mr. Bullard said. “So when we bring in a fleet like this and they see the port and the services we have here and the nearby historic district, they are going to come back. New Bedford is an interesting and multi-dimensional port and, without interfering in any way with the working harbor, we have the potential to reap the economic benefit here that yachts bring to places like Edgartown and Newport.”

The classic yacht cruise is sponsored by the International Yacht Restoration School in Newport, R.I., which is in the business of preserving old boats. This is their eighth cruise, but the first occasion the city port was included in the itinerary — and that came about fortuitously, according to Mrs. Bullard.

“I was at a nice dinner and met the man responsible for reviving the cruise, and I told him I would help him if he included New Bedford on the cruise track,” she said. “So he and James Russell, the vice president of IRYS, were able to convince the board of trustees to consider it. They came here in January and we took them out on the harbor and then they walked around the historic district and said, ‘We’re in.'”

Harbor Development Commissioner Kristin Decas accompanied Mr. Morrissey around the harbor, welcoming the crews and presenting each boat with a block of ice, Black Whale T-shirts, Port of New Bedford hats, and an impressive goody bag featuring a bottle of champagne with a customized label displaying the name of each individual boat, a glossy booklet describing the city and its attractions, a fleece top from Guy Cotten, Titleist golf balls and a flag from the Coalition for Buzzards Bay.

The gaff cutter Peggy Bawn, built in Carrickfergus, Ireland, in 1894 and still using cotton sails, was the oldest boat in the fleet, which included a number of extreme racing craft such as Nor’ Easter — an Alden “Q” boat — and the 1955 Concordia sloop Harrier, famous for winning all six races at Cowes Week in England that year, with the present owner Jesse Bontecou aboard.

“This is my first visit to New Bedford in about 60 years,” Mr. Bontecou said. “What a great welcome we’ve had!”
James Russell of the International Yacht Restoration School said the effort put forth by the city was overwhelming.
“We’re humbled,” he said. “The warm welcome the fleet received coming in with escort boats, bottles of champagne and all that the mayor and the Economic Development Council has laid on for us has been absolutely stupendous. We’re thrilled to be here, and I know we’re going to want to come back.”

After a gathering at Cork bar, the crews attended a dinner party at the Whaling Museum Wednesday evening and were scheduled to explore the waterfront and visit a fish processing plant today.

The cruise will end Friday with the fleet’s return to Newport.

By Wednesday evening, Mr. Morrisey was declaring the visit an unqualified success.

“The response we are getting is very positive. Everyone is saying that New Bedford is an undiscovered gem,” he said.
August 23, 2007

Another Film Company Comes to New Bedford

PBS Transforms Downtown New Bedford Into Walt Whitman’s America
By Philip Devitt
Standard-Times Correspondent

NEW BEDFORD — The men appeared dapper, the women, poised, as they strolled down Acushnet Avenue, dressed in Victorian clothing.

Several men walked hurriedly down the cobblestone street, perhaps late for a business appointment.

A woman in a hoop skirt seemed to glide along the sidewalk, cooling off her face with a folding fan.

An older man in less of a hurry smoked a cigar and pored over a book outside a store on the corner of Dover Street.
Throughout the historic district Saturday, people greeted each other with a smile, a curtsy or a tip of the hat.
This was Walt Whitman’s America.

PBS — not Doc Brown and his DeLorean — sent New Bedford back in time. The network was in town this weekend to shoot scenes for a documentary about Whitman, widely regarded as America’s most influential poet.

“Everything we’re shooting takes place in 1840s New York, so we did the research for what New York would look like at that time, cities that still have those qualities, and New Bedford was the perfect place,” script supervisor Sierra Pettengill said.

Acushnet Avenue on Saturday doubled as New York’s Broadway, where Mr. Whitman spent a lot of time, Ms. Pettengill said.
“When Walt Whitman wandered the streets of Broadway, he would identify with others. He saw himself in other people. He sort of loved that hustle and bustle of the city.”

About 15 extras, most of them local, worked on the outdoor scenes, dressed in period costumes.
For Alyn Carlson of Westport, Saturday was a chance to explore a new side of acting, and an old style of clothing, specifically the hoopskirt.

“It looks like it would be heavy, but it’s pretty breezy underneath,” she said.

Ms. Carlson works frequently with local theater companies and taught drama for eight years at Westport High School, but had not done much work in front of the camera before Saturday.

“It would be great to see more things filmed in the area,” she said. “Where else do you get cobblestone streets like this and gas lights?”

Amelia Ellert drove to the city from Reading to play a distillery maid. Carrying a basket, she braved the afternoon heat in several layers of clothing as she walked back and forth down the street.

“This is too fun to be a job. Work is supposed to be difficult, but this is fun. Two years of working in fast food shaped my opinion on that.”

Ann Marie Lopes, the city’s tourism director, watched the scenes play out Saturday, excitedly snapping photos of the action. She said the PBS crew purchased most of the props needed for the shoot from city antique stores.

“Its been a great experience, and the crew has been very nice to work with.”

Whitman is perhaps best known for “Leaves of Grass,” a collection of poems about nature and the human body and mind. He died in 1892.

Filming was scheduled to wrap up Monday and Tuesday. Ms. Lopes said the documentary is scheduled to air in January 2008.

Social worker Jane Flynn’s office at the Benjamin Rodman house on North Second Street was transformed into Whitman’s bedroom.

Socks dangled from the mantel above a fireplace in the office Saturday. A carefully placed curtain covered an air conditioner in the wall. And a modest twin bed, its sheets bunched up, gave the impression the poet had left in a hurry.

Ms. Lopes said she would like to see more film crews come to New Bedford and take advantage of the city’s resources.
“New Bedford is so unique, and it’s filled with all different kinds of people.”

August 27, 2007

Sovereign Bank Expands New Bedford Call Center

Sovereign Bank announced recently the expansion of its call center in New Bedford, Massachusetts. The bank will increase the call center’s second shift, which operates in the evening hours until 11 p.m. EST.

“With the location of the new call center in Downtown New Bedford and now with the expansion of that operation, Sovereign Bank has displayed tremendous confidence in New Bedford and its workforce,” said Mayor Scott W. Lang of Sovereign Bank’s announcement. “The city is proud of our association with Sovereign Bank and we appreciate their investing in our community. The New Bedford workforce is uniquely talented, trained in modern technology and skilled in multiple languages. Our friendly and capable workforce is quickly becoming the voice of Sovereign Bank’s customer service line.”

“Our commitment to New Bedford continues to be consistently reinforced through our support of local community organizations, housing projects, and the creation of jobs,” said Minnie Saleh, Sovereign Bank’s regional president for Bristol County. “Today, we are pleased to support our city with more than 30 additional call center positions, an increase of 30% over the positions created last year when we opened the contact center.” She added, “we thank our customers and community for their support and continue to look forward to servicing them through our extensive branch franchise and local call center.”

Jim White, Senior Vice President and Director of Sovereign Bank’s Customer Contact Centers, commented that he was extremely pleased by the success of the New Bedford Contact Center. “The contact center is a key touch point in serving customer needs and we are thrilled by the positive difference our New Bedford team members have made for our customers.”

Sovereign is seeking applicants to fill 35 customer service positions, both full-time and part-time positions. The bank is also interested in hiring bilingual candidates, who speak both English and Spanish.

Sovereign’s New Bedford contact center opened in June 2006 and currently employs 115 Customer Service Representatives.

September 26, 2007

Classic Yacht Cruise to Arrive in New Bedford Harbor Wednesday, August 22

Wednesday, August 22

A flotilla of some 25 classic sail and powerboats will parade in company through the New Bedford hurricane barrier between 2 and 4 PM on Wednesday, August 22 and will layover in the harbor. Cruise participants will come ashore to enjoy the city and the many activities organizers have planned.

Mayor Scott W. Lang, the New Bedford Economic Development Council (NBEDC), the Harbor Development Commission, New Bedford Office of Tourism and many local businesses, organizations and individuals have scheduled a full itinerary to warmly welcome the fleet of classic boats and their passengers participating in the Classic Yacht Cruise (CYC) – some launched as early as 1905 and lovingly restored- some right here in our harbor. The 160-foot, three-masted staysail schooner Arabella serves as the mother ship for the cruise.

The annual event, organized by the International Yacht Restoration School (IYRS) of Newport (R.I.), will cruise in southern New England waters, starting in Nantucket in conjunction with Opera House Cup Regatta and sailing to Martha’s Vineyard, Tarpaulin Cove, New Bedford, Cuttyhunk and its final destination, Newport (R.I.).

The CYC draws a fleet that represents a time capsule of classic yacht design—from wooden boats launched in the early 1900s to recently launched modern classics built in a “spirit of tradition.” Participating power and sailboats range in length from 39 to 76 feet.

Among the activities planned are a reception Wednesday evening at Cork Wine Bar, a fundraising dinner at the Whaling Museum and several activities on Thursday including: sailing on two of the vessels for children in the Community Boating program; tours of Foley’s Fish Processing Plant, an Eastern Fisheries scalloper, Joseph Abboud Manufacturing, the National Historic Park and Whale Boat Races.

“For New Bedford to be chosen as a layover for the IYRS cruise is good news for the city,” said Mayor Scott W. Lang. “Our hope is that the captains and their crews feel welcome here and have a memorable stay in New Bedford. We hope they enjoy all that we have to offer and that they return to our beautiful working harbor and historic city.”

A number of area businesses have donated items to welcome the vessels including Sperry Sails of Marion, Crystal Ice, Cardoza’s Wine and Spirits, Continental Plastics, Hunt Yacht design, Titleist golf balls, the Coalition for Buzzards Bay and The Black Whale. Jeff Pontiff’s New Bedford Harbor Tours will be running regular launch service.

“The layover presents an important opportunity to tell our story to many individuals connected to companies, jobs and investment dollars,” said NBEDC Executive Director Matthew Morrissey.

As part of a broader business development campaign of the NBEDC, each captain will receive a personalized commemorative book designed by MediumStudio and printed by Reynolds-DeWalt, entitled “New Bedford IS…” Both firms have donated their services. This version of the book contains specific information important to mariners.

“We welcome IYRS to the Port of New Bedford to explore our great city and learn about New Bedford’s maritime traditions. The group will have the opportunity to experience first hand the authentic charm of a working port with beautiful vistas of hundreds of fishing vessels throughout the harbor.  IYRS’s voyage to New Bedford demonstrates the diversity of our port and how recreational, tourism, and industry-based operations compliment and benefit one another,” said Kristin Decas, Executive Director of the Harbor Development Commission.

New Bedford resident Laurie Bullard, co-admiral for the Classic Yacht Cruise and New Bedford port captain said, “I see this as an outstanding opportunity for New Bedford – a chance to showcase the beauty, history and culture of the city. We have a large, deep-water and safe harbor, the best ice on the East Coast, excellent marine services, great museums, talented artisans, restaurants with delicious food, attractive shops and lovely residential areas. Thanks to the efforts of a huge number of folks, the fleet will receive the best while they are in our harbor.”

Among the many organizations participating are the National Historic Park (Celeste Bernardo, executive director and Jennifer Gonsalves, ranger), the Whaling Museum (Anne Brengle, executive director), Office of Tourism and Marketing (Anne Marie Lopes, director), the Harbor Development Commission (Kristin Decas, executive director) and the NBEDC (Matthew A. Morrissey, executive director). Various city departments will provide essential support.

Photographers who would like to shoot the fleet’s arrival should consider locations such as Fort Phoenix (Fairhaven) and the navigation gate of the Hurricane Barrier. It is recommended that photographers call Deirdre Opp of IYRS on Aug. 22 to get a more accurate estimate of when the fleet will arrive (mobile: 401-835-7323).

About IYRS: Located in the heart of historic Newport, the International Yacht Restoration School has transformed a once-abandoned section of waterfront into a thriving center for maritime education and restoration. Its highly regarded educational programs, which draw students from around the world, make the school a valuable training institution for the maritime industry. IYRS offers two curricula of study: a two-year program in boat building and restoration and a one-year program in marine systems and associated technology (in addition to a full menu of Continuing Education courses). Emphasis in both programs is on developing a high degree of technical and craftsmanship skill, leading to certifications that are highly regarded by the marine industry. IYRS also promotes an understanding of maritime heritage to the public at large through its lecture series; publications such as Restoration Quarterly; and a campus that is open year-round to the public, which includes a working marina that attracts classic power and sailboats in the summer season. IYRS students restore historically important boats and as a byproduct of the program, students have returned a fleet of classic boats to the water including small rowing skiffs and power boats, the first Concordia yawl and yachts of important designers and boat builders.

For more information, visit the school’s website at www.iyrs.org. The website’s Media Room houses the latest press releases in addition to background sheets on the school and its major restoration projects. Media Contact: Cynthia Goss, 203-430-4145.

Hopes Grow for Hotel in New Bedford

Natalie Myers
Providence Business News

After nearly 40 years without a hotel downtown or along the nearby waterfront, it looks as though New Bedford might finally get one.

Lafrance Hospitality Co. is in the process of negotiating a purchase and sale agreement for the Finicky Cat Food property at 16 Front St. on the city’s waterfront.

“We haven’t finalized anything at this point,” said Richard Lafrance, CEO of the Westport-based hospitality company, which owns and operates four Hampton Inn hotels in Massachusetts and one Comfort Inn in New Hampshire. “In a month we can probably announce the whole thing.”

But LaFrance did say the plan is to build a 90- to 100-room hotel on the 2-acre property. The company hopes to start construction by next spring. Lafrance said he estimates it will be a $9- to $10-million project.

If it happens, the hotel deal would come none too soon for the small seaport city.

New Bedford needs a hotel closer to downtown, said Matt Morrissey, executive director of the New Bedford Economic Development Council. The number of tourists visiting the city has increased 11 percent from 2005 to 2006 to a total of 800,000. Morrissey said, however, the there has been a 25 percent growth in the number of visitors in the past few years.
A surge of arts and cultural events and organizations is attracting people, and with that more restaurants and new businesses are opening.

But there is no place for out-of-town visitors to stay, unless they want to stay at the Days Inn off Interstate 195, about four miles from the heart of downtown, or the Comfort Inn, the extended-stay Marriott Residence Inn or the Dartmouth Motor Inn, all of which are about five miles away from the city’s attractions.

The property on Front Street, on the other hand, sits about 300 yards away from historic downtown New Bedford, Morrissey said.

“[The hotel] will be a tremendous asset to overall economic development in the city,” he said. “It’s the missing link.”
Katherine Knowles, executive director of the Zeiterion Theater, which is about 500 yards from where the hotel would be located, used other words to describe the hotel’s contribution to economic development.

Especially from an arts and culture organization’s perspective, Knowles said, a hotel within walking distance is “vitally important” to the economic health of the city.

About 20 percent of the theater’s audience comes from Providence, she said. A smaller percent comes from Connecticut and upstate New York. But Knowles thinks more would come and stay the night of the show if there were a more accessible hotel.

“There is a whole day of activities available downtown,” she said, listing the New Bedford Whaling Museum, the New Bedford Art Museum and a number of galleries, restaurants and the working waterfront. “The hotel would change the dynamic. More people would come for the day.”

In addition, Morrissey said, 33 percent more people are taking the fast ferry from New Bedford to Martha’s Vineyard. He hopes the hotel would sway them to stay in the city a bit longer before or after they take the ferry.

“We have to explain why we don’t have [a hotel] at this point,” he said. “Individuals coming to the city, they look for the hotel … and not having a national brand hotel like a Hilton or Marriott or a high-end boutique hotel … it doesn’t accurately reflect our development activity.”

Since 2000, New Bedford has experienced more than $80 million in renovations to commercial and residential property downtown, though some projects are under way or in pre-construction.

Other hotel deals had been announced and then fell through since then, Morrissey said. But he would not comment as to why.

He did say, however, that Mayor Scott Lang made attracting a hotel developer to the downtown a priority shortly after taking office in January last year.

Around the same time, the NBEDC commissioned a hotel market demand study with Pinnacle Advisory Group. The study concluded that New Bedford is “an emerging market that’s clearly expanding,” Morrissey said. “It said a hotel downtown/waterfront is warranted.”

The NBEDC used the results of the study to attract about a dozen hotel developers to visit the city.

“Lafrance was the most aggressive in creating a sense of understanding of the market,” Morrissey said. “And in understanding what we were hoping would be developed.”

August 2007

City Economic Development Leaders Pursue Employer Input

Beginning in September, the Lang Administration and the New Bedford Economic Development Council are embarking on an ambitious series of meetings to share ideas and receive feedback from more than 60 of the city’s employers.

“As Mayor of the City of New Bedford, I have met with dozens of local employers, and would like to continue to dedicate time to interacting with the business community, learning their ideas and setbacks and sharing New Bedford’s objectives and plans regarding economic development. I look forward to sharing information about available resources and learning about business needs with which the city can assist,” Mayor Scott W. Lang stated.

“To keep sustainable economic development going, you need a broad-based approach and understanding throughout the business community,” said Matthew Morrissey, executive director of the New Bedford Economic Development Council. “We also understand that there are always pressures that face businesses and we want to know what we can do to help.”

Tony Sapienza, president of the Council and president of Joseph Abboud Manufacturing, which is one of the largest employers in the city, stated in a recent letter to employers:

Over the last year and a half, the Scott W. Lang Administration has undertaken an ambitious agenda and moved to align the City of New Bedford’s resources, attempting to build a better climate for living and working in the City. While sustainable progress takes time, already there are gains in the areas of economic development, public safety, education, and neighborhood issues.

Specifically, the City’s crime rate is down in nearly every category. The drop out rate has been reduced for the first time in 10 years. The number of permit applications and awards are at an historic high, and we are aggressively pursuing new job creation opportunities in the emerging sectors of alternative energy, life sciences, marine science and technology, medical devices, and bio-technology. The City has taken over $5 million in tax title and debilitated property. Development in the city is occurring at a rate not seen before, and there is more contiguous planning than in memory.

While progress in these areas is critical, the Lang Administration and the NBEDC feel that it is the continued success of our current employers that is most important. We must make every effort to retain the city’s outstanding employers like Smith Enterprises.

We are seeking your help, and hope in turn to find ways the City can better support your business needs. We want to ensure the future success of Smith Enterprises as we continue to shape the City’s economic development agenda.

My wish is that you will find an hour to join me, Mayor Lang or NBEDC Executive Director Matthew Morrissey for a brief conversation about how the City of New Bedford can better respond to your company’s needs.

Ms. Deidre Jarvis will follow up this letter with a call to schedule a time most convenient for you.

Sincerely,

Anthony Sapienza
President, NBEDC Board of Directors
President, Joseph Abboud Manufacturing

If you are an employer and you would like to share your thoughts about how we might help you sustain and build your business, please call Deirdre Jarvis at 508.991.3122 to set up an appointment.

NBEDC Seeks to Broaden its Business Base

The New Bedford Economic Development Council voted unanimously on August 15 to broaden its base of Council members to “at least 75”; to form working groups in focus areas of the City’s economic development agenda including: Emerging job sectors; Existing and small business development; Sales, Marketing and Communications; Workforce Development; and the Creative Economy; and to hone its governing board from 24 to 9 members. The vote culminates a four-month review.

“Truly sustainable economic development requires a broad and inclusive base of business support and buy-in,” said Tony Sapienza, president of the Council and president of Joseph Abboud Manufacturing, a company which employs more than 600 people in New Bedford.

“Over the last year, it has become clear that the work of the Council is as important as it has ever been. As the only agency charged with economic development throughout the City, we have been building on the solid work of past and present board leadership. We will expect that each member of the Council will serve on a working group and that our executive director will be communicating with the entire Council weekly,” continued Mr. Sapienza.

“While we respect the concept of the previous configuration of the 24 members of the governing board representing many different organizations, in practice, it has not allowed us to focus on NBEDC’s unique mission,” he said.

The new board of nine members consists of a cross section of the City with three members from the private sector, three from the community at large, two appointed by the Mayor, and the Mayor, ex-officio. The members are: Tony Sapienza, President, Joseph Abboud Mfg. (Chairman); Bill Davis, President and CEO, Ze-gen, Inc.; Peter Kavanaugh, President La-Z-Boy; Katherine Knowles, Executive Director, The Zeiterion Performing Arts Center; Scott W. Lang, Mayor; (Ex officio); Jim Mathes, President, SMILES Mentoring; Joe Nauman, Executive Vice President, Corporate and Legal, Acushnet Co.; Paul Vigeant, Assistant Chancellor, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth (Ex-officio).

In addition, Mayor Lang and members of the NBEDC staff will begin meeting with more than 50 employers throughout the City to ensure that their needs and their ideas are being integrated into the City’s economic development activities.

Two New Staff Members Join the NBEDC

Executive Director Matthew A. Morrissey announced the addition of two new staff members to the New Bedford Economic Development Council (NBEDC).

Derek Santos has accepted an offer for the position of Director of Planning and Development.  In this new position, Derek will be responsible for the coordination and implementation of a range of economic development initiatives throughout the city.  He will work closely on business development activities with city departments and state agencies to ensure that there is strong coordination on all economic development-related projects.  Derek will also work within the organization to ensure that its operations run smoothly and efficiently.

For the past 12 years, Derek has been involved on various sides of development projects throughout the city, both in his position as historical architect for the National Park Service and as an active member of the City’s Planning Board.
At the national park, Derek has worked with a wide range of governmental and private agencies and organizations to carry out planning and development in the park.  Derek’s recent responsibilities included managing the planning and construction for the $7M Corson Block rehabilitation and serving as the lead of the planning and design team for the $15M Route 18 Access Improvement Project.

“As the NBEDC continues to build, Derek’s experience with development in the City and his strong background in permitting will be a tremendous asset to our work,” commented Mr. Morrissey.
Derek’s official start date will be on September 4, 2007.

——

Jeffery Robinson has accepted an offer for the New Bedford Economic Development Council’s part-time controller position.  For the last six years, Jeffery has been the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth’s controller, managing a public budget of $160 million.  Prior to his university position, Jeffery was the controller for Massachusetts Maritime Academy. Mr. Morrissey said, “We are particularly fortunate to have someone of Jeff’s caliber and experience working with us as we grow.”

Mr. Morrissey expressed his thanks to the New Directions team of Brenda Francis and Bill Edward for their assistance in providing outstanding service in interviewing all the first round candidates for the planning and development position.  “They interviewed the top six candidates, ran through a comprehensive list of questions, took detailed notes and provided me with both their notes and scoring. It is a great service that New Directions provides to any employer in the city,” said Mr. Morrissey.

August 9th Grand Opening Helps Build Up-Scale Cluster in Downtown New Bedford

A premier clothing boutique with designer labels, for both men and women, found in the most prominent fashion districts of Boston, Los Angeles and New York, celebrates its grand opening on AHA! Night this coming Thursday, August 9th at its Historic Downtown location at 173 Union Street in New Bedford, Mass..

Attia Clothing, offers labels such as 7, Joe’s Jeans, Paper Denim and Cloth, Citizens and True Religion, along with many of the recently discovered and yet to be discovered designers.

Proprietor Meghan Attia McNally reports how the historic beauty of Downtown New Bedford drew her to the area and decided to make it her home.

“This area is beautiful., The people are wonderful and I believe in the city’s potential. Like many other business owners, that’s why I’m investing in the city and starting my business in Downtown New Bedford. There’s a strong sense of support here.”

Megan sees the real benefit of having businesses already established in the Downtown area. “Businesses are flourishing in the city; and, the people are following. Recently, a couple from Brookline had dinner next to us at a restaurant, Café Balena, and they were excited the store was opening,” said Meghan. “Businesses such as Blush Beauty Bar, Bejeweled, Salon Lola and Cork Wine and Tapas Bar are bringing the same vision of fashion and style to our city. You can now get your nails and hair done at Salon Lola, go to Blush for your make-up, pick up your jewelry at Bejeweled and come to Attia for that special outfit to make your Friday night a fashionable affair at Cork.”

The store will be open Tuesday through Saturday from 12:00 – 8:00pm and by appointment for a private shopping experience on Monday. Call 508-997-3053 for more information or to schedule your private appointment.

Attia’s Grand Opening will be held on August 9th in front of the store featuring a first class fashion show by CMG Modeling, Blush Beauty Bar, Bejeweled and Salon Lola along and with the help of Cardoza’s Wine & Spirits, Cork, Franchise Studios and John Farrall Productions.

The event starts at 6:00 p.m. with a cocktail hour, ribbon cutting and fashion show and then moves to the backyard at Celia’s for the after party at 9:30 p.m. For an invitation please contact Meghan at mmcnally@attiaclothing.com.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007