Greenfield announces final plan to revitalize downtown

Franklin County

GREENFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – A virtual event is being held to announce the final recommendations of the “Local Rapid Recovery Plan” for downtown Greenfield.

The plans are facilitated by the Commonwealth, standardized across communities, and are developed in coordination with the city of Greenfield to help improve economic challenges and COVID-related impacts to businesses.

According to Greenfield Department of Community and Economic Development Director MJ Adams, “Our recommendations bring into focus ideas for strengthening our Downtown that were in the works even before COVID-19 came to town. Greenfield’s participation in the Local Rapid Recovery Program provides clear next steps and access to the new financial resources to advance our priorities into reality.”

The event is scheduled from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. for all community members on Zoom.

According to a news release sent to 22News from Greenfield Mayor’s Office, the following recommendations are being advanced for consideration include:

  1. Create a plaza at Court Square in front of City Hall to invigorate Downtown by accommodating social gatherings, civic events and other community activities.
  2. Create a marketing Initiative for Downtown (incorporating “Visit Greenfield” website/page.
  3. Implement a Request for Proposal (RFP) process to solicit developer interest in the First National Bank.
  4. Complete the planned pocket park and activate the adjacent Fiske Avenue Alley space with
    enhancements/amenities (e.g., overhead lights, greenery, seating) to complement the park and adjacent
    eateries and possibly serve as small event space.
  5. Explore the use of UCH-TIF program (Urban Center Housing Tax Increment Financing) to encourage
    residential development in upper floors of Downtown properties.
  6. Develop a Parking Benefit District to provide a predicable funding source for Downtown activities
    including the creation of an organization that could manage Downtown programs and projects.
  7. Develop a Business Directory/Community Information Kiosk to display information about business
    offerings in Downtown and a place to promote community activities.
  8. Complete a 100% Corner Demonstration Project with multiple improvements (e.g., streetscape elements, mural, large vertical banners/ improved storefront treatments at corner establishments).
  9. Create a storefront/signage improvement program designed to encourage high quality storefront
    treatments with more flexibility than existing program to entice more projects.
  10. Implement a Wayfinding System to get people to and around Downtown that builds on preliminary
    previous wayfinding sign design work.
  11. Install additional streetscape elements (curb-to-storefront) that would complement the
    planned curb-to-curb Main Street roadway improvement and parking redesign
  12. Revise and implement Sign-bylaw regulations to encourage a variety of signage in Downtown and allow businesses to have more than one sign.

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