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Framingham, MA Downtown TOD Strategy Wins APA-Massachusetts Award 

Work by RKG helps lead to downtown zoning that is revitalizing the Boston suburb's downtown

A collaborative project that led to substantial zoning changes in downtown Framingham, MA was selected for a planning award from the American Planning Association’s Massachusetts Chapter. Vice President and Principal Eric Halvorsen, AICP was among those honored by the APA on December 14th at Tufts University in Medford, MA.

 

Members of the RKG team authored documents undertook extensive research in 2016 that led to downtown zoning changes that have since enabled a pipeline of nearly 1,000 new housing units. Multi-family housing had been virtually outlawed by Framingham’s zoning and regulatory policies for several decades. Now, with a renewed focus on economic development and stronger utilization of a the downtown’s MBTA commuter rail station, denser mixed-use projects are injecting vitality into the once-struggling core. New residential developments like the Alta Union House are helping the city meet its strong demand for housing, while bringing downtown retailers needed customers and adding value to city tax rolls. Growing downtown businesses like Jack’s Abby Brewing stand to benefit tremendously from increased foot traffic and more welcoming, populated streets.

Separately, RKG is in the process of completing Phase I of Framingham’s Economic Development Strategic Plan. The EDSP offers a citywide analysis of Framingham’s strengths, weaknesses, and economic development opportunities, as well as neighborhood-specific strategies for the Nobscot and Southeast Framingham communities.

Framingham, a gateway city of around 72,000 residents, is 20 miles west of Boston. It is home to the headquarters of a number of major corporations including TJX, Bose, and Staples, and a growing biohealth cluster led by French pharmaceutical firm Sanofi.