520 Providence Highway, Suite 4, Norwood, MA 02062 Tel. 781.769.1126

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Plimpton Press Development Good for Norwood Center

The Mission Statement of the Neponset Valley Chamber of Commerce is “To enhance quality of life and economic development in the Neponset Valley by supporting and connecting its businesses, municipalities and educational facilities.”

On May 12th Norwood Town Meeting members will be asked to support an article that would create a zoning overlay district for the Plimpton Press property located near the Norwood Central commuter rail station. This would allow for a 40R mixed-use development to include 210 rental and 30 condominium units, as well some retail and office use. Please read more about the specifics of the project here.

The Chamber Board of Directors has chosen to unanimously support this initiative because it ties in directly with the mission of the Chamber. We believe it will enhance economic development and quality of life in the region by repurposing a blighted and underutilized industrial site, creating jobs and generating net revenue in excess of $200,000 to the Town of Norwood.

Perhaps more importantly it will benefit the businesses in Norwood Center. Much has been written recently about the growing number of empty storefronts in Norwood Center. While certainly a disturbing trend, Norwood is not alone in this reality. For a variety of reasons our shopping habits have changed in ways that are not supportive to thriving downtown business districts. However, adding hundreds of new residents to the downtown area will certainly have a positive impact on the local business community, because it will allow people to walk to the shops, restaurants and entertainment venues.

Several Massachusetts communities are finding success in keeping their downtowns vibrant. The common denominator in most of these cases is high-density housing built around town centers with access to transit, commonly known as Smart Growth. This is precisely the type of opportunity Norwood faces.

The Neponset Valley Chamber of Commerce is deeply concerned about the future of Norwood Center. In our opinion, the redevelopment of the currently blighted Plimpton Press into a thriving community, with a mix of generations who can walk to the Center, will provide a much needed jolt to the businesses trying to make it in today’s increasingly competitive environment. Additionally, numerous studies of like developments throughout the state show that these developments do not burden the schools with an abundance of school-age children.

Finally, we do recognize the concerns of the abutting neighborhood regarding traffic, but feel that the re-opening of Lenox Street and orientation of the traffic flow will encourage drivers to use Lenox Street to Nahatan and Broadway rather than through the neighborhood.

The Chamber is encouraging Norwood residents and Town Meeting members to support the Plimpton Press development because it will help improve the health of our downtown business district, create needed housing options for young and old alike and revitalize an old industrial facility in the heart of our community – which benefits us all.

I recognize that many of our members are not located in Norwood, but for those that are we encourage you to lend your support to the project as well. To find out how, give me a call at 781.769.1126, or email me at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). For those that are not, we hope that you appreciate the Chamber’s stance in support of local economic development and a thriving business community.

Thomas O’Rourke, CCE
President and CEO