- Associated Press - Thursday, December 22, 2016

BOSTON (AP) - Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker says a push to develop vacant or underutilized state-owned property is paying dividends.

Administration officials said Thursday that 85 properties encompassing 570 acres in 41 communities have been identified since the “Open for Business” program was launched in October 2015.

To date, 22 sites have already been sold, leased or are under agreement with developers. Officials said those projects will generate more than $400 million for the state and $8.2 million in annual property taxes for cities and towns. They’re also expected to create 260 new jobs and more than 1,500 units of housing.

Baker describes some of the state-owned properties as not only unused but “downright eyesores.”

The sites include former state hospitals, land adjacent to MBTA stations and areas located underneath elevated state highways.

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