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BOSTON-As part of city Mayor Thomas M. Menino’s new economic development initiative–called the Back Streets program–the Boston Redevelopment Authority has released a request for proposal to develop an 83,000-sf building on a 150,000-sf parcel here.

The program was developed to retain and grow the city’s small and mid-sized industrial and commercial businesses. According to a released statement, these companies provide the city with over 100,000 jobs and the program will provide these companies with financial help, technical assistance and general support to enable them to remain in the city and weather the economic slowdown.

In keeping with this initiative, Meredith Bauman, spokesperson for the BRA, tells GlobeSt.com that the RFP is being issued with favorable consideration to maritime industries. The building is currently occupied by Boston Sand and Gravel–a company that provides concrete to the Central Artery project–whose lease on the property is up within a year.

This RFP is also part of the one of the goals of the mayor’s program, which is establishing a policy of no net loss of industrial space in the city. Bauman points out that this means that if Boston Sand and Gravel vacates their space, the city will not allow the building to be converted to office space. “We won’t turn our back on these industries,” says Bauman. “Industries for years to come will have a place here.”

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