2020 Urban Renewal Plan

Urban Renewal Plan

The 2000 Urban Renewal Plan is set to expire in 2020.  The FRA is working to update the plan to capture and build on the rising interest in Fitchburg’s downtown corridor.


From the 2000 Urban Renewal Plan:

As the largest downtown revitalization and redevelopment effort in the City’s history, Fitchburg’s Downtown Urban Renewal Plan has facilitated an economic rebirth. The ambitious, 20-year redevelopment plan has created jobs, attracted new development, and reclaimed the Nashua River as a major economic and recreational asset.

The revitalization program covers 588 assessed parcels on 224 acres. Main Street, Boulder Drive, Broad Street, North Street, and the Route 12 Corridor are the focus for major development and revitalization initiatives.

Bolstered by $14 million in state funding to implement critical improvements in the area, the plan permits the Redevelopment Authority to:

  • Acquire a total of 68 individual parcels totaling 54 acres.
  • Demolish 37 properties for redevelopment.
  • Designate 15.6 acres for rehabilitation of existing structures.
  • Acquire 6.7 acres for public improvements (parks and roadways) .
  • Invest in infrastructure improvements to help attract development.
  • Change zoning to mixed-use commercial, residential and light industrial.
  • Create an institutional zone along the North Street corridor to guide future institutional expansion – particularly Fitchburg State University – and to protect and stabilize the residential character of the adjacent neighborhood.

The key elements of the plan are:

  • Create a new entranceway to Main Street from Route 12 to emphasize the natural attractions of the river and highlight some of the City’s unique architectural history.
  • Increase housing and employment opportunities by providing new sites for residential and commercial development along North Street and commercial/industrial development at the new Putnam Place Business and Industrial Center.
  • Construct 96 new apartment units in the downtown area.
  • Build parks and create recreational facilities along the Nashua River waterfront.
  • Link Fitchburg State University to the downtown area – primarily through the development of the North Street Corridor.
  • Improve traffic patterns in the City and the downtown area to decrease traffic hazards and vehicle congestion.
  • Remove obsolete, substandard and deteriorated buildings and clear empty lots within the downtown and adjacent areas.
  • Enable business property owners to convert vacant commercial space to housing units along Main Street.
  • Enable developers and property owners to convert small, vacant lots into single family housing units.
  • Provide economic incentives for private commercial investment.

A full version (hard copy) of Fitchburg’s Urban Renewal Plan can be viewed at the Fitchburg Public Library or by clicking below:

Only want to read a portion of the plan? Select a section to view the PDF.