The Massachusetts Development Finance Agency is soliciting nominations from "gateway" city officials for districts within such cities that can trigger sustained economic development.

The initiative is part of the transformative development fund, or TDI fund, which the commonwealth created through economic development legislation that Gov. Deval Patrick signed on Aug. 13.

Gateway cities are defined as midsize urban centers that anchor regional economies. Massachusetts has 26 such cities.

The TDI fund will focus on investments in the districts, according to a MassDevelopment statement. Through a request for expressions of interest, local public-private partnerships can nominate priority districts for technical assistance outline their revitalization visions.

MassDevelopment is also seeking economic development fellows to work in designated Gateway cities. The first year of the pilot program for fellows will feature three fellows each working in a single Gateway city.

The fellows will focus for three-year periods on district revitalizations, and will interact with each other to leverage skills and share best practices.

MassDevelopment, the state's finance and development agency, financed or managed 350 projects generating investment of more than $2.4 billion in the state economy.

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