Great news, it looks like Fall River is still in the running as the location for the proposed UMD Biosciences facility! Great news! Let's hold the ticker tape parade! Flanagan is happy, Fiola is happy….I'm not impressed.
Don't get me wrong I'd rather see it here in Fall River rather than someplace else but what we're talking about now is a 4 acre complex not a 300 acre park. And really it was the park that was always that brass ring here. The idea of the facility UMass wants to build is that it would be a magnate for Bioscience companies and related industries. Having a whole park to develop was supposed to make Fall River an attractive location. Now any development would have to take place in a hodgepodge sort of way in the general area. That's not really what we were shooting for.
On top of all that, the article is basically saying that Jim Karam is saying Fall River is a preferred site IF the facility can be built at the location of the Advanced Technology Manufacturing Center. Karam is a vice chairman, and influential but this is hardly an official announcement.
And now Fiola is looking for available land in that area and the only sites of any real size are a 45 acre parcel that is off the table because Karam is developing and a 66 acre parcel that the Atlantis Charter School owns and is looking to build a campus on.
The Mayor and Fiola may want to claim this as a sort of victory, though it hasn't happened yet. The Mayor's supporters certainly feel it is a victory but really it's not it's because it's a drastic change from what was originally envisioned. On top of that it's really a rebuke of Flanagan's clumsy attempts to push the BioPark over to land in Freetown.