METHUEN — Mayor Neil Perry and town’s financial growth director need residents to take a hike — however in a great way.
Perry stated as a part of the COVID-19 restoration plan, Methuen is participating in a state program that highlights native enterprise districts throughout Massachusetts.
On this case, Merrimack Avenue from Exit 46 of Interstate 495 to the Route 113 intersection of Merrimack and Nice Valley streets has been recognized by the state as a hall that wants assist as the companies there undergo from the influence of the pandemic.
“The valley is a essential industrial hall for town,” Perry stated. “The enterprise house owners there, and all through town, have struggled via the pandemic and it’s our duty to determine any initiatives, massive or small, that may assist their restoration.”
Financial and Group Growth Director Invoice Buckley stated town received a grant from the Division of Housing and Group Growth. The grant means the company pays for a advisor to assist Methuen craft a plan to assist companies alongside the roughly mile-long hall.
As a part of that effort, the Nice Valley Strolling Tour is scheduled for June 3. Native enterprise house owners and residents will meet to debate present challenges and determine alternatives throughout the enterprise hall for development and revitalization.
The town hopes this system will determine some short-term and long-term methods to create a vibrant industrial district on Merrimack Avenue, Buckley stated.
“Merrimack Avenue companies provide a lot to our neighborhood and lots of are vacation spot places for the area,” he stated. “A plan so as to add infrastructure and streetscape enhancements to the world may have dramatic impacts on the long run success of those small companies.”
Buckley stated the state is paying for Innes Associates, a Newbury-based city planning and design agency, to create a bodily plan to assist companies return to pre-pandemic ranges of gross sales and buyer exercise.
“This statewide program is helping native companies and communities to get well from the toll of the final yr,” stated Emily Innes, founder and CEO of Innes Associates. “Group voices are essential to understanding the wants for this hall.”
Metropolis officers have already carried out some outreach, Buckley stated, including “we walked the hall and talked to small enterprise house owners.”
He stated a number of house owners participated in a survey, giving suggestions on methods the enterprise district might be improved, similar to making it extra pedestrian pleasant, bettering signage and arising with visitors adjustments.
“There are some issues that may come out of this plan,” Buckley stated. “The large piece now’s the outreach and planning and growth part.”
He added, “It is actually a gem within the metropolis’s enterprise sector” that boasts eating places and shops with regional attraction, similar to Piro’s Bakery, Borelli’s Deli and Fusion Home restaurant.
“It is an lively, small enterprise hall,” he stated. “Most of the companies there are the material of the neighborhood.”
After the strolling tour and publication of a plan, Buckley stated town will work with the Massachusetts Division of Transportation on road enhancements because the state oversees street work.
He stated further federal or state help could also be out there to the small companies there to additional assist them bounce again from the pandemic.
“A number of the infrastructure work might be coated by future grant cash,” he stated.