D2020 Updates

Check out our Downtown 2020 Brochure and learn about our vision, our goals and our achievements!  

At the end of each calendar year, we like to look back and assess whether our work is impacting the downtown in ways that help us realize our Downtown 2020 goals. Well, we were pretty busy in 2013. We feel confident in saying "Yes, we made a difference again this year!" and here's why: 

Goal #1: Downtown Beverly will be recognized as a regional center for the arts, culture, creative industry and innovation

  • We worked with Montserrat College of Art and the City to design the Arts District which we'll launch downtown in 2014 and to select Anna Schuleit Haber to design and build "The Beverly Oracle" public art installation
  • We helped fund the first of the new downtown murals, the street scene on the side of Casa de Moda, and incorporated it into Arts Fest as this year's "Art on the Spot" project
  • We worked with an Endicott College masters-level design class to envision 3 possible new community-based uses for the historic GAR Hall
  • We hosted a Historic Garden Restoration cleanup day at the Cabot House as phase 1 of bringing the gardens back to their 18th-century glory
  • We hosted our 30+Main mayoral debate and City Council candidates' night to help candidates understand and respond to the issues that are of special importance to residents under the age of 40
  • We launched the first full year of our "Blank Canvas" street banner design contest, selecting 2 local artists to showcase their work on 50+ banners throughout the downtown

Goal #2: Downtown Beverly will be the location of choice for retail and creative businesses that appeal to residents, students and visitors

  • We launched a pilot to allow downtown restaurants to offer outdoor dining, enabling them to attract new customers
  • We brought thousands of potential new customers to the doorways of our downtown businesses with successful events such as Arts Fest, Beverly's New Year, Merry Main Streets and the downtown Trick or Treat event
  • We hosted 2 block parties on Cabot Street that each attracted 2000+ people, put the spotlight on local musical talent and offered the city's first-ever public beer garden
  • We were featured on Chronicle with our own co-President, Alan Temkin, talking about BMS and highlighting several of our unique downtown businesses
  • We helped 9 downtown businesses with Façade and Sign Improvement grants totaling $25,000, with additional private investment of over $100,000; this program was also a featured article in the Boston Globe
  • We supported businesses with more than $1,500 in grants to help them improve their storefronts with window boxes and we launched the Storefront STAR program to recognize businesses that consistently take care of their properties and sidewalks
  • We hosted our first-ever College Night to introduce students leaders at local colleges to the businesses and activities that are available downtown
  • We saw the installation of the way finding signs we designed, directing people to the downtown and to the public parking lots

Goal #3: Development will follow a clear direction that leverages the unique assets of each corridor

  • We worked with the City Council to create a Tax Increment Financing District on Rantoul Street to attract high quality housing development near the train station
  • We worked with the City, abutters and interested citizens to create a design to upgrade Ellis Square, which you'll hear more about in 2014
  • We collaborated with Harvard's Advanced Management Development Program in Real Estate to design 4 possible development scenarios along the Bass River
  • We recommended design changes to the state on both the MBTA garage design and the Rantoul Street - 1A reconstruction project to insure that the designs fit into the neighborhood
  • We proposed a plan to the City to upgrade and enhance Broadway with new sidewalks, trees, streetscape elements and markers that would recognize the history of the street and individual properties, as well as making it a pedestrian-friendly connector between Cabot and Rantoul Streets

We plan our work in 6-month increments so we can always be making progress yet still be flexible enough to respond to new opportunities that may arise. We report our status to our stakeholders every 6 months. Here are some details on what we’ve done already and what we’re working on now.

2013 Projects

 Established a residential TIF District on Rantoul Street 

 Worked with Harvard University to design options for the development of the area around the Bass River

 Launched the city’s first Outdoor Dining pilot with 3 restaurants

 Hosted the city’s first downtown block parties

 Participating in the waterfront zoning project with the City

 Conducted a community survey with 500+ people responding

• Raising funds for the private sector portion of the costs to redesign Ellis Square

• Researching financial incentives to help attract the types of businesses we’re looking to open in downtown Beverly 

• Managed the 2013 Façade and Sign Improvement Program, helping 9 businesses improve their properties

• Created a new design for Broadway to make it a positive experience walking and driving between Rantoul and Cabot Streets 

Key Accomplishments in 2012     

• Was awarded an NEA grant with Montserrat College of Art and the City to design the Beverly Arts District

• Completed the Planning Phase for the creation of a Business Improvement District downtown 

• Started Beverly’s first Restaurant Week with the Greater Beverly Chamber of Commerce

• Purchased the lights and provided the City with the lighting design for the trees on Cabot Street

• Launched the Business Recruitment task force with the goal of increasing retail presence downtown 

• Worked with Endicott College students to envision new uses for the GAR Hall 

• Managed the 2012 Façade Improvement Program 

• Created a new design for Ellis Square, transforming it into a landscaped park and performance venue

• Redesigned the BMS website to focus on economic development resources; recommended similar changes to City website

Key Accomplishments in 2011 

• Recommended zoning ordinance changes to (1) reduce parking requirements for residential developments in a new Depot Overlay District near the Depot train station and (2) ease the requirements for getting signage approvals from variance to special permit; adopted by City Council in July 2011 

• Researched master developer and tax incentive opportunities; laid the foundation for offering Tax Increment Financing for residential properties 

• Completed a feasibility study on a Business Improvement District 

• Created the “Guide to Starting a Business in Beverly” 

• Worked with the City to complete the renovations of the downtown parking lots 

• Managed the 2011 Façade Improvement Program

• Designed new way finding signage 

• Created “Banking on Beverly,” a $1.5 million low-interest loan pool for exterior building improvements 

• Surveyed 500+ college students; incorporating their ideas on downtown into our programming 

• Beautified downtown with window boxes, lights, flags, banners and creative window displays 

• Launched 30 & Main to develop potential community leaders under age 40; two members elected to City Council

 Held a mayoral debate to address the needs of young voters

• Expanded signature promotional events (Arts Fest, Beverly’s New Year) and launched new programs with focus on art and creativity 

The New Look of Downtown Beverly
We commissioned Joe Zelloe and Linda Mullen of Zelloe + Weaver Architects to create some renderings of what we envision downtown looking like when we achieve the 3 main goals of Downtown 2020. We are very excited to be working towards this physical transformation, bringing in new stores and restaurants, building new housing and staging more community events. Tell us what you think! 

Click here for a PDF of the renderings.