Needham celebrates downtown improvements

October 12, 2017

NEEDHAM, MA – On October 10th, the Town of Needham celebrated a ribbon cutting ceremony on Town Common. In attendance were State Representative Denise Garlick; the Board of Selectmen; staff from the Town Managers’ Office, the Department of Public Works, and the Needham Police Department; members of the Downtown Streetscape Committee; and representatives and owners of local businesses. The event was held in honor of the completion of Phase 1 design and construction projects, designed by BETA Group, Inc. and VHB and constructed by MDR Construction.

The Town of Needham’s downtown area is not only the Town’s geographic center, it is also its symbolic center. In recent years, the Town has hosted many community-based events that have revitalized the area. The recent streetscape improvements have enhanced the backdrop for these events, while also improving transportation functions and providing a climate for local businesses to thrive.

This ceremony marked the completion of Phase 1 initiatives, and the remaining four phases will address similar improvements in the areas of Town Hall, the Town Common, and surrounding streets.

BETA’s role in the project included the development of detailed designs, and preparation of construction plans and documents including special surface and wall treatments; historical period lighting; and inviting community common areas. The Town Common improvements feature a new memorial, flag pole, architectural details, archways to the common, paver sidewalks, ADA-compliant and accessible parking spaces, and lighted bollards. The two major intersections leading to the Common showcase new paver crosswalks for pedestrian continuity, accessibility and visibility. Other improvements equip the Town Common with electrical services and an audio system for community festivals. Locations for future art installations are sited.

Significantly improved traffic flow and pedestrian safety, along with distinctive amenities, combine to create an atmosphere that will reinforce the Downtown as a community focal point that supports local businesses, bringing the Town’s vision of “a gathering place” to life.