The 495/MetroWest Suburban Edge Community Commission met in Maynard recently to discuss effective downtown redevelopment strategies.
The commission, established by the state Legislature in 2015, studies the development challenges of the Commonwealth’s 35 “edge communities”— places with populations of up to 35,000 that aren’t adjacent to Gateway Cities. The group focuses on transportation, infrastructure, residential development, and reuse of former industrial facilities.
The commission met at the soon-to-open Battle Road Brewery & Brew House at Mill & Main, a 1.1-million-square-foot redevelopment project involving former mill properties.
“The Town of Maynard is a case study in downtown revitalization and the perfect place to discuss best practices for reviving historic mills and downtown areas,” said state Representative Kate Hogan, Democrat of Stow. “Mill & Main has been a catalyst for sustainable community development here in Maynard and hopefully, through conversations like these, it can serve as an example for other towns in the 495/MetroWest region.”
The commission will hold regular meetings in towns across the 495/MetroWest region through June 2017 to hear from state, regional, and local agencies and organizations that have experience with the various development challenges the commission seeks to address. With the help of its research partner, the UMass Dartmouth Public Policy Center, it will then develop recommendations aimed at ensuring that edge communities can participate in state development initiatives and benefit from state resources.
At its most recent meeting, Maynard Town Administrator Kevin Sweet, Assistant Town Administrator Andrew Scribner-MacLean, and Greg Hill of Battle Road Brewery & Brew House shared the town’s vision for the mill and spoke about how establishments like Battle Road create excitement and draw residents to downtown Maynard.
Jennifer Fenn Lefferts can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.