7 PM, LTC
Meeting called to order at: 7:00.
Approval of minutes
Approval of January minutes; Postpones until March meeting.
$755.25 balance. Everyone is invited to make a voluntary $10 membership contribution.
Capt Crowley – Sector ‘A’ Commander.
Discussion of cyclist accident on Dutton Street near Lord Overpass ramp.
- Discuss improvements to markings and general roadway design.
Big increase in vandalism, including 8 smashed windows.
3 of 6 aggravated assaults were domestic.
Disorderly incidents: most involve bar closings
Special Guest: Andrew Shapiro, City Economic Development Director
Experience: 4.5yrs in Salem, MA doing economic development.
5.5% official vacancy rate.
– Craig H. pointed out that the vacancy rate seems much higher than 5.5%.
New overlay zoning district in downtown requires special permit for class-A office use of storefronts. (To encourage retail.)
Walgreens coming to downtown; other vacant storefronts are under discussion with possible tenants.
Strategies for improvement:
-Retail incubator in vacant storefront to allow small new retailers to get established.
– Would also provide access to support services for new businesses.
– Submitted grant proposal to MassDevelopment for JAM area to support community & economic development dedicated to that area.
See facebook and twitter at @DoBizInLowell to keep up to date.
- Why do political offices seem to be exempt from class-a special use permit?
- Not sure; will ask.
- How does high school decision affect downtown planning.
- It doesn’t really affect the current activities.
- What to do with large store-front spaces?
- A real challenge except for restaurants; one option is to sub-divide into smaller spaces
- What would be good business to move in?
- 2nd hand shop
- Pet shop
- Arts week 4/27 – 4/28: A walking tour about monuments in downtown.
- Neighborhood sub-committee chair. First meeting will be at City Hall; future meetings will be in the neighborhoods.
- City is re-starting process of looking at parking rates.
- LDNA is interested in looking at the various restrictions and agreements between city and various condo associations.
DIY Lowell, LNHP and other groups will be holding an event on 6/16: Interactive (travelling) production of a Midsummer-night’s Dream. More info will be on DIY-Lowell site eventually.
June 7th book event at Eastern Bank from 3:30 – 6:00. See “Project Learn” website for more info.
Meeting Adjourns at 7:59.