Community Visioning for St. Mark’s Area Main Street (2013)

  • Download our full report.
  • You can also download our the matrix we used to analyze and synthesize the comments.

On November 16, 2013, St. Mark’s Area Main Street (SMAMS) convened a community visioning meeting to chart a course for the future of the organization. This Saturday morning gathering brought together more than 65 residents, business owners, property owners, and elected representatives for a three-hour working meeting. Attendees worked together – first as a large group, then in smaller discussion groups – to help outline the ways in which SMAMS can continue to support the development of the neighborhood business district.

This community visioning meeting came at a critical point for SMAMS. The organization’s last strategic planning effort (Connection Dot Ave, 2004) was focused primarily on upcoming large-scale developments in the SMAMS District. The renovation of Ashmont Station, the completion of the Carruth Building, and the redesign of Peabody Square were all major focal points of the 2004 community planning process.

The 2004 Connection Dot Ave process led to the development of 5 key goals for the future of the district. These goals have guided our efforts over the last decade as SMAMS has worked alongside residents, businesses, elected representatives, and many others to bring significant positive changes to the business district. We’ve made progress – the business district has higher foot traffic, a better mix of businesses, more dining and shopping opportunities, and better public spaces than in 2004. However, there is still a great deal of work to do.

Based on the input from the November 2013 meeting, we’ve adopted the following priorities for SMAMS:

  1. Continue to improve the business mix in the SMAMS district.
  2. Encourage beautification throughout the SMAMS district.
  3. Activate public spaces and build community.
  4. Seek opportunities for renovation and development.

In addition to the priorities described above, SMAMS has also committed to incorporating several cross-cutting objectives into our work. This is how we plan to address our top priorities:

  1. Build connections and partnerships.
  2. Collect and share information.
  3. Incorporate and encourage the arts.
  4. Engage youth in our community.
  5. Support active lifestyles and encourage pedestrian-scale development.

The Board of Directors intended the 2013 visioning meeting to be an opportunity for SMAMS to check in with our community. Our full report describes what we heard at the visioning meeting, our top priorities and objectives as an organization, and how we’ll move forward.