Increasing Economic Development
We have an amazing arts and culture community that not only enriches our lives, but draws in people and foot traffic to our stores and restaurants. By more aggressively branding Melrose as an arts and culture community, we can draw many more customers to our city. As mayor, I will create a local cultural district within Melrose, in cooperation with local stakeholders in the visual and performing arts community.
A designation awarded by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a local cultural district fosters economic growth by enhancing and capitalizing on a community’s unique assets. This designation will help us build on the great work of the Melrose Cultural Council and the efforts of our resident created and maintained, “Look What’s Happening” events calendar.
A public, private partnership between the city and the Chamber of Commerce, the Summer Stroll is the event of the summer. We can help our local economy and create another great event for our residents by having two strolls in the summer, with one more family-focused and one more traditional “adults-only” affair. At the grown-up event, the city should allow for a beer garden similar to the successful beer gardens on the Greenway in Boston or at Wakefield’s Festival Italia.
Given the very successful introduction of beer and wine sales at Buckalew’s and Beacon Hill Wine and Gourmet, it is time for Melrose to allow sales of spirits at retail locations. It hurts our merchants when residents seeking to make these purchases go to competitors in neighboring towns who offer one-stop shopping. The introduction of beer and wine sales has helped our downtown without negative impacts. As mayor, I will work to allow this reasonable expansion of the market to include spirits.
Restaurants are important anchors of local business districts. Melrose needs to provide innovative opportunities for our local restaurants to offer outdoor dining. We have seen how popular it is during the summer stroll and at Bobby C’s. With many restaurants in surrounding communities providing an outdoor dining experience, Melrose residents are at a competitive disadvantage during the summer months.
Public art is an important part of the economic development strategy in many communities, and Melrose has not kept pace. As mayor, I will form a Public Art Committee of local artists and other stakeholders to coordinate the effort to expand public art offerings in Melrose. This will enhance our public spaces, create opportunities for our local artists, and further enhance our reputation as an arts and culture community.