Taunton Development Corporation History
45th Anniversary

Myles Standish Industrial Park is an 1,029 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.

In late fall of 1977, the first phase was completed and the lots were available for sale.  The construction included a 20,000 lineal foot 12-inch water main and a 15,000 lineal foot sewer main, both having been connected with the municipal systems; 6,600 lineal feet of road surface, a surface drainage system and street lighting with some site clearance.  By the spring of 1978, Phase I was finalized.  The first phase would provide the city with 1,000 to 1,500 new job opportunities.  Myles Standish Industrial Park was officially dedicated on June 23, 1978, with a suitable program involving federal, state and city officials, that included the ground breaking ceremonies of Boyden Plastics and Waters Associates Inc.  Special acknowledgements for four former mayors were included in the ceremony; Theodore Aleixo, Jr. and the late Benjamin Friedman, Joseph Flood, and Rudolph DeSilva.

In the early 80’s when I-495 was completed, the momentum shifted.  Dozens of companies began to take interest in the below-market-priced lots in the industrial park. In the mid 80’s, the Taunton Development Corporation in cooperation with the City of Taunton attempted to purchase addition land.  After several years of persistent lobbying by the late Senator John F. Parker and later, Senator Marc Pacheco, in April of 1995, they finally acquired 218 acres, which is now known as Phase II.  Phase III was obtained in August of 2000 and contained 154 acres. In 2012, The Taunton Development Corporation partnered with MassDevelopment to form the Taunton Development MassDevelopment Corporation to acquire and redevelop 220 acres of the former P. A. Dever State Hospital land as Phase IV and Phase V of Myles Standish Industrial Park or the MSIP Expansion project. The first 170 acres was redeveloped as industrial expansion lots along the new Charles F. Colton Road. The last 50 acres along the new Dever Drive off Bay Street is the new Business Park at Myles Standish.

The United States Department of Commerce, Economic Development Administration, has used Myles Standish industrial park as an example of the development of an industrial park and the benefits that a city and its residents realize for taxes and employment.

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