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Taunton Development Corporation History
35th Anniversary
1973-2008

 

Myles Standish Industrial Park is an 805 acre site located in the northwest section of Taunton.  It is now a strong potential economic asset, which shows the culmination of an intense, unified, co-operative community effort over a 20 year period. The initial drive for this movement took root in the mid 1960’s when former Mayor Benjamin A. Friedman and Senator John F. Parker initiated a transfer of land from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts so that a substantial portion of the Paul A. Dever State School’s unoccupied land area would be subsequently deeded to the City of Taunton.

The total area was approximately 1,650 acres, which was acquired by the U.S. Army in 1942.  The US Army base was named Camp Myles Standish; it was a major embarkation point on the east coast for the troops going to Europe in World War II.  In 1948, the federal government was no longer in need of the area, so they deeded it to the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health.  The one condition was that for a 25-year period, the land could not be used for any other purpose then to help the mentally ill.  When the 25-year period was up, the Taunton Industrial Development Commission renewed its effort to acquire several hundred acres for industrial development. In June of 1974, a deed for approximately 437 acres was approved by the state legislature and former Governor Francis Sargent. 

From 1974-1975, the Commission received 1.5 million dollars in grants.  In December of 1974, engineering began for the construction of Phase I – approximately 117 acres.  The Industrial Development Commission formed a task force made up of all the city agencies whose services would be involved to consider and approve concepts, preliminary and final engineering, costs and a master plan.

In 1973 the Taunton Development Corporation was founded and given the responsibilities of management and marketing for the industrial park following the completion of the construction of Phase I.  The extension of Interstate 495 from Interstate 95 was approved by Governor Michael Dukakis in May of 1976.  Construction began in 1977 and completion was scheduled for 1981.  The industrial park would be just 100 yards from the Bay St. exit from Interstate 495.

Originally, the park was named “Northwest,” mainly because a name was needed in the filing of the grant application, and secondly because it is located in that section of the city; but as the planning and development continued in the park, it became evident that this name was quite common in several different communities.  Therefore, with the co-operation of the municipal council, the school committee and the officials of the three local high schools, a contest was developed by the Industrial Development Commission to create a more appropriate name and logo.  Eighty-five students took part in the competition and their entries were judged by a committee made up of representatives from the local news media: a daily newspaper and two radio stations.  Finally, the name Myles Standish Industrial Park was selected; mostly because of its historical values.

 

 

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