In the Fall of 2019, the Town of Maynard was awarded a sponsorship for a “Technical Assistance Panel” from The Urban Land Institute (ULI), made possible by a grant from MassDevelopment. The ULI provides leadership in the responsible use of land, and in creating and sustaining thriving communities worldwide. The ULI agrees to undertake certain projects that have the potential to foster innovation in development practice while serving community needs.
The overall goal of this effort was to reimagine the municipal parking lot and surrounding area at Naylor Court, which is known locally as “the Basin” (Exhibit “A”). The area has been identified by the Town as an area with tremendous potential for a variety of improvements. The Town requested the Technical Assistance Panel (TAP) to assist in the development of potential revitalization strategies and conceptual plan for the town-owned parking lot, and surrounding area immediately south of Veterans’ Memorial Park. Currently, the area is a mixture of public and private parking, driveways, storefronts , offices, outdoor storage, and restaurants –including outdoor dining.
The area lacks cohesion, and is dangerous for pedestrians; yet it possesses an undeniable vibrancy, viability, and atmosphere. With strategically located nodes to Main, Nason, and Summer Streets, the area contains several key destinations and is located in the heart of Downtown Maynard.
The inefficiency of vehicle circulation is believed to be central to the problem. Over-wide travel lanes consume a disproportionate amount of the area. Aesthetic improvement is at least partially dependent upon solving the underlying problem of traffic circulation. Furthermore, a parking garage once located on site was removed several years ago and preservation of the remaining parking is paramount.
The ULI panel was comprised of a network of cross-disciplinary real estate and land use experts and they conducted a day-long session on Wednesday, Dec. 11, that included various site visits, and meetings with residents, businesses and town officials. The day concluded at the Maynard Public Library with a presentation at 6 p.m. to the Planning Board by the ULI panel where they reviewed their findings and made recommendations to improve the area.