Shirley Avenue Business District: Sustainable District Organizational Strategy – Revere, Massachusetts
Massachusetts Development Finance Agency
The Shirley Avenue commercial district is an important component of the city of Revere, MA. While encompassing only three blocks, the district under analysis is home to over 65 small businesses, many of which are family-owned and run by foreign-born entrepreneurs. Shirley Avenue possesses diverse restaurants and cafes, retail businesses, and service establishments. Previous planning analyses have investigated ways to promote long-term sustainability of this small business district in order to provide security to its tenants. Some stakeholders have expressed concerns about how new condominium development in Revere will change the demographics of the town. The attention paid to safeguarding the interests of long-term residents and business owners comes partly from this concern, as do considerations for how to create a thriving, resilient business district. A group of local stakeholders, known as the Shirley Avenue TDI partners, led this process. Karp Strategies, working with Karl F. Seidman Consulting, assisted the TDI partners of Shirley Avenue in developing an optimal organizational structure to involve the many diverse stakeholders involved in managing, improving and revitalizing the Shirley Avenue commercial district. The consulting team assessed different business district organizational models, and analyzed active case studies in districts of comparable scale and context to pinpoint the best option for Shirley Avenue. Following this, the consulting team developed an implementation plan, assessed available funding sources and tools, and developed a sustainable funding strategy for the district. Karp Strategies researched analogous examples of commercial revitalization, to help the TDI partners understand the best option for the Shirley Avenue Business District. This process provided the TDI partners with a complete assessment of available tools, and created an implementation plan supported by a sustainable funding strategy.