Roslindale Village Revitalization Plan *
The Roslindale Village Main Streets organization wished to understand how its strategy should shift within the neighborhood context of new businesses, a stable population base, and rising incomes. Truly a village, Roslindale Main Streets wished to continue its growth and prosperity without sacrificing its successes.
- How can the Main Streets organization manage change to enhance the positive qualities of the village, rather than detract from these assets?
- How can a vision for the village be based on the character of the commercial district?
- What is the right business mix for the Village? Are there too many restaurants?
- How should the organizational framework of the Roslindale Main Streets organization change to allow advocates the proper tools to help the district prosper?
Challenges were met by first conducting a market analysis to determine existing business mix and market demand. Despite worries on the part of the Main Streets organization that the district was too heavily weighted toward dining and food establishments, the team found that the quality and size of this market cluster is a significant strength of the district. Recommendations recruiting additional restaurants and food uses and increased marketing for dining. The team also capitalized on the uniqueness of Adams Park as a central green space in the commercial district and made recommendations to pedestrianize one adjacent street to provide better connectivity to the commercial district.
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- Increased recruitment of food-related businesses to the Square to create a destination food Village for specialty, homemade and restaurant good businesses
- Envisioned Adams Park as a true pedestrian centerpiece of the village by transforming Poplar Street into a pedestrian street and green link between commercial activity and the Park itself
- Transformed Washington Street into a two-way thoroughfare to allow Poplar to become pedestrian pathway
- Strengthened the commercial district boundaries by using signage and landscape improvements to demark gateways to Roslindale Village, and create incentives for development at the fringes
- Enhanced the commuter rail connection with landscape and public art improvements
- Recommended an increase in density and height in the district to support vitality and a diverse mix of uses
* MIT “Revitalizing Urban Main Streets” Practicum, Susan Silberberg and Karl Seidman, Lecturers