Interim Town Administrator Marcia Birmingham
242 Union St.,
Rockland, MA 02370
For Immediate Release
Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2019
Contact: Benjamin Paulin
Email: [email protected]
Rockland, MassDevelopment Launch Effort to Create Union Street Economic Development Plan
ROCKLAND – Interim Town Administrator Marcia Birmingham and the Rockland Board of Selectmen, in partnership with MassDevelopment, are pleased to announce that the Town of Rockland and MassDevelopment have kicked off an effort to create a Union Street Economic Development Plan as the next step in revitalizing the town’s downtown corridor.
The initiative is made possible thanks to a technical assistance grant awarded to the town by MassDevelopment and as part of continuing efforts to promote and market the town’s newly designated 40R smart growth overlay district, which is aimed at fostering enhanced economic development and housing opportunities in Rockland Center.
MassDevelopment, the state’s finance and development agency, works with businesses, nonprofits, financial institutions, and communities to stimulate economic growth across the Commonwealth. As part of its technical assistance program, MassDevelopment awarded the Town of Rockland up to $39,000 in grant funding to be used for a consultant that will formulate the Union Street Economic Development Plan.
“Union Street is home to dozens of restaurants, businesses, and community institutions, and the creation of the Union Street Economic Development Plan will help the Town of Rockland better utilize this important business district,” said MassDevelopment President and CEO Lauren Liss. “We were pleased to connect Rockland’s municipal officials with the resources and technical assistance needed to get this plan underway.”
Rockland Selectman Mike Mullen, Jr., who chaired the town’s 40R committee when the overlay district was approved by Rockland Town Meeting in 2017, said, “The town is excited to partner with MassDevelopment to create what we believe will become the blueprint for Union Street’s success for years to come. We’ve gotten off to a great start, and we’re thrilled that MassDevelopment sees the same kinds of opportunities and promises that we’ve been working to realize over these past few years.”
Rockland officials and representatives from MassDevelopment, together with their consultant, Goody Clancy, met on Monday morning where town officials briefed the group on various goals for the Union Street corridor and then took a walking tour of Rockland Center.
In the coming weeks, Goody Clancy staff members will be meeting with a range of community stakeholders – including residents, business owners, town department heads, REiMAGINE ROCKLAND members and others – to speak with them about their thoughts about crafting the town’s new downtown blueprint.
A public forum will also be planned where residents can provide input.
Officials expect the plan to be completed and presented to the town by the end of June.