Downtown Framingham: Transit-Oriented Development Action Plan
In 2009, the Town of Framingham developed a master plan and vision for its downtown.The plan’s goal for Downtown to become a regional center for housing, business, transportation, and open space/recreation has been given a boost by recent market trends: more people are seeking to live and work in locations close to public transportation options.
The 2009 Downtown Plan adopted three strategies to increase activity in the Downtown:
- Revitalize and renovate buildings in the core of Downtown to encourage greater use of the historic building stock.
- Encourage infill development throughout the Downtown area to reduce the number of underutilized properties.
- Increase the amount of pedestrian activity at prominent locations along Route 135 to take advantage of proximity to public transportation options.
As a follow-on to the 2009 study, MAPC has been asked by the Town and MassDOT to develop an implementation plan for Downtown Framingham that would outline actionable steps that different stakeholders should take to make the vision a reality.
MAPC, in conjuction with consulting teams led by RKG Associates and Cecil Group, will be assisting the Town in developing realistic and actionable implementation steps to promote investment in the Downtown. To inform the implementation plan, the project team will be undertaking the following tasks:
- Develop an updated market analysis to gauge demand for new housing and commercial development in the Downtown.
- Conduct a development feasibility analysis on several test parcels in the Downtown to determine the scale of development that might be needed to attract private investment.
- Recommend zoning changes that would support the vision for Downtown and encourage private sector investment.
- Develop recommendations for vehicular, transit, bicycle, and pedestrian improvements that would support both existing and new development in Downtown, and help mitigate traffic issues to the extent possible.
- Solicit input from Downtown stakeholder groups, Town Boards and Committees, and from the general public throughout the planning process.
At the end of this process, MAPC will present the Town and MassDOT with a comprehensive set of actionable steps that will create a roadmap for bringing additional investment in a coordinated manner to Downtown Framingham.
Final Report and Products
MAPC and the Town of Framingham hosted an open house on Tuesday, November 18th for the public to come and learn about the planning effort in Downtown Framingham. There were interactive stations for the public to provide their input on key questions about the future of Downtown. About 150 people attended the three hour forum.