The St. Mark’s Area Main Street (SMAMS) district, in Boston’s Dorchester neighborhood, just might be the ideal location for your business. Our combination of easy access, historic and modern architecture, and supportive residents add up to a unique neighborhood business experience.

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Carruth Bldg - Evening

The SMAMS district (highlighted section of Dorchester Ave in the .pdf  linked above) is close to U.S. Route 93 and is served by two MBTA (“T”) subway stations, a historic trolley, and many bus routes. It is home to several civic groups with residents and homeowners who are invested in their neighborhood and committed to supporting positive businesses.

The opening of the acclaimed Ashmont Grill in 2005 marked the beginning of massive investment in the district. Development since then includes:

  • The complete reconstruction of the MBTA’s Ashmont/Peabody Square Red Line Station. Investment: $57 million.
  • The Carruth Building at Ashmont/Peabody Square Station. A Transit-Oriented Development project hosting a bank, restaurant, gourmet coffee shop, several other businesses, and 116 housing units. Investment: $52 million.
  • Historic renovations to Shawmut Station, one stop from Ashmont/Peabody Square, restoring the look of the original 1928 station. Investment: $8 million.
  • Mass. Affordable Housing Alliance’s (MAHA) “Home-ownership University” at 1803 Dorchester Ave., providing first-time homebuyer classes, hosting all kinds of civic functions, and offering prime retail space. Investment: $5 million.
  • Redesign/reconstruction of Peabody Square — increased safety for pedestrians and drivers, additional greenspace, and a pilot “green streets” stormwater pollution control system. Investment: $2.5 million

The ABCD’s of the St. Mark’s Area


The SMAMS district enjoys great accessibility: Dorchester Avenue is the “Main Street” of Dorchester and a major route for local traffic and South Shore commuters. The district is served by the Ashmont/Peabody Square and Shawmut subway stations, the historic Mattapan Trolley line, and many bus routes, accommodating 17,000 riders each day. We are also close to the Southeast Expressway/I-93.


The St. Mark’s Area boasts some of the most beautiful architecture in Boston — from graceful Victorian homes to the stunning “wing” roof of the new Ashmont Station to the bold Carruth Building, which blends vintage and modern styling and hosts a wide variety of businesses and residences. The district also includes the Peabody Square Park, a beautiful “pocket park” hosting the historic Peabody Square Clock.


Our neighborhood is truly a community. Five active civic associations plus SMAMS share this stretch of Dorchester Ave., all contributing to the vitality of our businesses and the surrounding residential neighborhoods. Yard sales, a farmers’ market, cleanup days, and pumpkin carving parties are just a few examples of neighborhood involvement. And this commitment includes patronizing our local businesses!

Dollars & Demographics

SMAMS can provide demographic reports, free of charge, for any commercial property in the district.


St. Mark’s Area Main Street began in 1998 as an informal group of local residents and businesses who knew it was time to develop our neighborhood’s rich potential. In 1999 SMAMS was designated as a member of the Boston Main Streets network, founded by Mayor Tom Menino and an internationally acclaimed model for urban economic development. With strong support from Boston Main Streets, SMAMS offers:

  • Assistance on zoning and licensing issues
  • Referrals to free/low-cost sources of business advice
  • Design and financial assistance for storefront renovations
  • Promotion of our businesses and district

For more information on the district and available commercial spaces, please contact us at 617-825-3846 or We’re not real estate brokers, and we don’t charge a fee. We look forward to working with you!

Please click here for a printable PDF