Studies and Working Plans
La Placita de Holyoke
Motivation for this project began when the City of Holyoke, Massachusetts, recognized the popularity of a half-acre municipal parking lot along Main Street in the neighborhood of South Holyoke. During the day, the public parking lot receives an influx of cars as visitors patronize the community organizations and businesses along Main Street. During the weekend the parking lot becomes crowded with people visiting the area for entertainment, food, and cultural festivities, and to socialize in the lot. Representatives of the City and prominent members of the community with strong ties to social organizations and businesses in the project area form the core client team of this project and are interested in the potential to enhance the parking lot for its many users.
Assessing the Field of Capital for Businesses in the Paper City
The City’s Office of Planning and Economic Development (OPED) has a mission to “promote and maintain the economic health of commercial and industrial entities that contribute to the entire community’s quality of life and that fit within Holyoke’s social and physical environment” (https://www.holyoke.org/). Aaron Vega, Director of OPED, invited representatives of Third Eye Network (TEN) to conduct a landscape analysis of financial resources available to Holyoke-based businesses. His staff also organized a two-day site visit for representatives from the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, with the support of local community partners, in effort to garner financial assistance. These decisions were primarily driven by a desire to increase awareness and connection to the available capital products small businesses need to grow, recover, and thrive.
A Plan to Revitalize Holyoke’s South High Street
Streets serve many roles in a community, acting as a means for transportation and connection, as well as for individual, community, and cultural expression. Main streets serve as a representation of the city and have the potential to act as a spatial marker of the values and lives of the residents. The opportunity to revitalize High Street in Holyoke, Massachusetts, is an opportunity to think critically about the community’s identity, and to serve the interests of all those who live, work, and visit in Holyoke.The class Revitalizing Urban Main Streets, from the
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) led by Jeff Levine, has partnered with the City of Holyoke for a study of South High Street. The project has been in close communication with the Office of Planning and Economic Development, One Holyoke, and the Transformative Development Initiative (TDI) representative for the City of Holyoke.
High Street Holyoke Assessment – Final Report
Wayfinders is a nonprofit housing/community development organization with over 40 years of successful work at improving communities in Western Massachusetts with several successful developments in Holyoke. Most recently, they developed the Library Commons housing community along Chestnut and Elm Streets. As an extension of its mission, Wayfinders expressed a desire to be a catalyst in revitalization of the High Street-Appleton Street area. The City of Holyoke was receptive to the energy that Wayfinders brings to transformative projects and how that transformation could generate additional revitalization in contiguous areas of the Downtown and Churchill neighborhoods. However, there was expressed a need for an assessment of the area to determine opportunities and needs for the area.
Main Street Corridor Study
The Springdale Corridor-Main Street Project (formerly announced as the CT River Pathway) will provide a safe and innovative shared-used path for residents and visitors by connecting Route 5 to Springdale Park. Alongside this proposed project location, there are destinations such as a boathouse, a unique municipal facility operated by Holyoke Rows, a non-profit serving the community access to physical activities in the CT river, an urban farm, two public schools; Holyoke High South/Dean Campus and Holyoke STEM Academy which both use playing fields located next to the proposed project location. This project compliments the ongoing plan for Rehabilitation of Route 5 from MassDOT, project number 604209, by expanding on the shared-used pathway planned on the eastern side of Main Street. This project will be fundamental foundation for a network of trails that will enhance the experiences and destinations for all, including access to recreational spaces and ongoing place-making efforts on Main Street.
Holyoke Funding Assistance Report
The RRP Funding Assistance Program gives RRP communities the opportunity to prioritize funding opportunities for key projects identified in the RRP Final Plan. This document acts as a framework and guide that outlines funding needs relative to the priority project(s), funding best practices, targeted funding programs, and grant pursuit strategies. Through working with communities to address particular needs and opportunities, the RRP Funding Assistance Team aims to develop tailored guidance that will position each community to have a successful outcome when pursuing RRP project funding opportunities with the State, non-profits and Federal resources. Ultimately, this report includes a Community Funding Alternative Matrix based on the community’s identified needs. The report outlines funding options and a recommended sequence for pursuing funding. Grant timing, capital available, competitiveness, application and compliance requirements, and other key attributes have been included in this final report. Full report here: Holyoke RRP FundingAssistanceReport 12 02 2021 (002)
Holyoke Historic and Cultural Tourism Plan
On Wednesday, June 22nd, the City of Holyoke Office of Planning and Economic Development (OPED) and the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission (PVPC) hosted a public meeting at the Senior Center. OPED and PVPC presented information about the Holyoke Historic and Cultural Tourism Plan, the new Explore Holyoke website and Community Calendar, and the Holyoke library History Room’s City of Stories Project. This event was a fantastic successful opportunity that gained insight into how residents value Holyoke’s historic and cultural resources. Please watch the presentation here and fill out the Holyoke Historic and Cultural Tourism Outreach Questionnaire below to provide feedback and submit it to email@example.com
Holyoke’s Food System Study- Conway project
Holyoke, Massachusetts, sits in the middle of the Pioneer Valley, an agriculturally rich region of the Commonwealth. Despite the regional context, farms are few in the City, and the social and economic impacts of deindustrialization have created barriers for residents attempting to access local, healthy food. In light of these challenges, community members have organized for decades to create a living legacy of community gardens. The work of community organizations has been catalogued and reported extensively, with great attention given to the social infrastructure. To complement that work, the City has requested information and analysis about the physical infrastructure needed to improve the local food system. A Spatial Analysis Supporting Holyoke’s Food System is a resource to support the City and its newly formed Holyoke Food and Equity Coalition in their efforts to increase the Holyoke food system’s resilience, improve healthy food access for residents, and increase opportunities for food-related jobs in the community. Based on analyses of environmental and social conditions in the city, this planning document presents possible locations for increasing food production within the city, shows the overlapping physical barriers to food for the most vulnerable residents, identifies the potential for composting in the food waste sector, and recommends steps the City can take to create a more resilient and equitable food system.
Learn All about it in: 2022 Conway FinalSet (1)
Holyoke Tourism Plan
Creating the Holyoke Tourism Strategic Plan is the first attempt of its kind in modern times. The work involved several months of research, site visits, data collection, analysis, interviews, and workshops with the city’s leading stakeholders in tourism and economic development. The Holyoke Office of Planning and Economic Development led this project, created the scope of work, directed the consultant, collected information, and organized the stakeholders. Holyoke-Tourism-Plan
The Urban Renewal Plan
The Holyoke Redevelopment Authority has prepared an urban renewal plan titled “Connect. Construct. Create. – A plan to revitalize Center City Holyoke”. The action steps laid out in the plan will maximize opportunities for private development within the Center City over the next several years. Its primary purpose is to promote economic development and growth in Holyoke by capitalizing on the City’s unique characteristics, ‘connecting’ people and places; ‘constructing’ public infrastructure and a diverse stock of commercial, residential and industrial buildings; and ‘creating’ a more vibrant and prosperous Center City.
Full documentation on Holyoke Redevelopment Page
URP documents 2020: