Marlborough, MA, May 31, 2014 --(PR.com
)-- The Marlborough community would like to see more dining, leisure and entertainment options in the downtown area. This according to 100 local residents, employers and public officials, who gathered at Thursday’s Downtown Marlborough Public Forum to brainstorm potential plans for the city’s future.
Organized by the Marlborough Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), and facilitated by the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC), the open event sought to identify a collective vision for the city’s downtown area that could serve as a long-term roadmap for its future development.
“People in Marlborough care deeply about their city, and that makes holding this kind of event extremely important,” said MEDC Executive Director Tim Cummings. “We’re not just asking the community to support our plans. We are looking for them to guide us, to tell us what they want their city to look and feel like. And I think we are off to a great start.”
Under the guidance of MAPC’s team, forum attendees worked through a number of exercises aimed at answering the question: “How do you envision downtown Marlborough in 20 years?” Together, they came up with a list of a few dozen amenities they would like to see in the city’s downtown area, and then each participant voted for his or her 8 favorites.
With almost 40 votes, an arts and theatre space topped the list of most desirable additions to Marlborough’s Main Street, followed closely by requests for an outdoor café, a brewpub and a movie theater. Local transportation, nightlife options, a music hall, condominiums and a local food market also placed high on the community’s downtown Marlborough wish list.
“Tonight’s event went better than I could have expected,” said Marlborough City Councilor and Urban Affairs Committee Chair Joe Delano, who is a member of the study group working with MEDC on the downtown initiative. “I think we’re continuing the great momentum we have in the city, and I hope we can put in place the conditions that will allow all the great ideas we have here to come to fruition.”
Forum participants were also shown images of various buildings, and asked to vote on whether they think the architectural styles would be a good fit for Marlborough.
“I think it’s important to get the people’s input,” said City Council President Patricia Pope, who is also a member of the downtown study group. “As far as amenities people wanted to see, I think everybody was pretty on target, but architecturally it was an interesting conversation, and it is now going to be somewhat ominous to put all of this in words to make it work for folks, but we're going to do our best."
"It is great to see people's enthusiasm for the future, and this is definitely exciting," Cummings said. "But it is also important to keep in mind that this future is highly dependent on the participation of the private sector. We are working to create the right environment, regulations, and policies to assist, support and incentivize the kind of development we would like in our downtown. But ultimately, it is up to the private sector developers to want to join with us in our vision, and we certainly hope that they will."
Marlborough Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) is the state chartered economic development corporation for the City of Marlborough, MA and represents a public-private partnership for planning. We work with municipal and private investors to foster economic development, job growth and community revitalization and development. For a complete overview of MEDC visit www.marlboroughedc.com.