What to do with southern Square

Feb 19, 2021 by

Published in the February 19, 2021 edition.

WAKEFIELD — The Main Street business district south of Water Street may be getting some badly needed help.

The Boston/New England chapter of the Urban Land Institute (ULI) recently selected Wakefield as a location for their Technical Assistance Panel. ULI created the program, according to a release from the town,  to provide municipalities expert advice on vexing development and land-use challenges. During this three-day program, a panel of ULI members will study South Main Street in the area across from the Americal Civic Center.

The “target area” includes 460-466R Main St., currently a contractor’s office; the old Ristorante Molise site at 462-468 Main St.; 472 Main St., which used to be a barber shop, a women’s gym and a yogurt shop; 474 Main St., once the site of a rug company; 478 Main St., now home to the popular Sweet Bay Gifts; 486 Main St., once Tucker’s auto supply store, and 500 Main St., which Santander wants to turn into a bank branch with drive-thru.

The ULI panel’s presentation of its recommendations and findings will be on Tuesday, March 2, 2021, at 6 p.m. via Zoom. The public can attend the ULI’s presentation via Zoom, (646) 558-8656 (tel) / ID: 878 3570 0134. Join now.

Pre-COVID, the Town of Wakefield applied for the Technical Assistant Panel’s program to study South Main Street, the 460 to 500 Main Street block in particular. While South Main currently features many successful storefronts, the area to be studied includes some that have been vacant for years, like the former Restaurant Molise building. As a gateway to the downtown, ULI will provide tools and advice to best position this area for vibrancy and business recruitment.

The ULI team will meet with local stakeholders and Town of Wakefield representatives over three days, from Friday, February 26 to Tuesday, March 2, 2021, to gather background information and feedback.

The Urban Land Institute is a 501(c) (3) nonprofit research and education organization supported by its members. If you have any questions about this project, please reach out to Erin Kokinda, Community and Economic Development Director, at 781-246-6397 or ekokinda@wakefield.ma.us.

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