Framingham Hosts Tour of Transit-Oriented Development Opportunities

May 31, 2016

On May 3rd, the Town of Framingham held an exclusive tour of Downtown Framingham for local real estate developers to explore the transit-oriented development (TOD) opportunities in Framingham. 20 developers took part in the tour, which provided them with an opportunity to see local properties located in Downtown available for development, while also meeting local business and community leaders.

The tour began at Framingham’s Danforth Art Museum, where attendees heard from Robert Halpin, Town Manager; Arthur Robert, Director of Community and Economic Development; and local community and business leaders about the advantages of living and working in Framingham. Guest speakers highlighted Downtown Framingham’s background, recent zoning changes, downtown amenities and TOD opportunities.

Framingham - Real Estate Developer Tour
Framingham Town Manager Bob Halpin at Real Estate Developer Tour

“The new, enhanced Central Business District zoning is designed to encourage residential and mixed-use transit-oriented development around Framingham’s commuter rail station, which is among the rail system’s busiest,” said Robert Halpin, Framingham’s Town Manager. “This type of development will contribute to a dynamic, diverse, and walkable setting we know people are seeking in downtown area such as Framingham’s.”

Last October, Town Meeting members approved zoning changes to Framingham’s Central Business District, with a goal of making Downtown Framingham a walkable, vibrant, and diverse center for the MetroWest region. Changes that were made allow for greater density, lessen the need for special permits, reduce parking requirements, and allow for more flexible uses.

Framingham - After Rezoning and TOD
Downtown Framingham after rezoning and transit-oriented development

“For over ten years, the Board of Selectmen has been committed to creating a vibrant and pedestrian friendly 21st Century Downtown for our community,” said Laurie Lee, Clerk of Framingham’s Board of Selectmen. “It’s very exciting to see such enthusiastic interest in our downtown area and gratifying that the development community sees and supports the same wonderful potential for our future that we do.”

“We are focused on making Downtown Framingham a hub for the MetroWest region,” said Arthur Robert, Framingham’s Director of Community and Economic Development. “Recent zoning changes and enhancements to the downtown area have changed the landscape for developers and residents alike. This tour allows us to showcase all that Framingham has to offer.”

Jack's Abby expansion
Jack’s Abby expanded its beer hall, kitchen and brewery last year

Attendees visited several TOD development parcels, all within a 10-minute walk to one of the MBTA Commuter Rail system’s busiest stations. The tour began at the Danforth Art Museum and School and ended with a visit to Jack’s Abby in Framingham, a local brewery and restaurant established in 2011 that recently expanded its presence in Framingham last year.


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