A new committee seeking to develop better branding for Wellesley Square in large part by making it easier to find and get around will have its first meeting on Friday at Town Hall.
The Wellesley Square Wayfinding & Branding Project is a continuation of efforts by the town that started in 2011 to revitalize an area that at the time was suffering from lots of empty storefronts, says Wellesley Planning Director Michael Zehner.
The project is backed by $10,000 in funding by the Massachusetts Downtown Initiative, which has awarded Wellesley a technical assistance grant. The town had applied for the grant three times.
The goals, Zehner says, are “to establish a consistent brand identity for Wellesley Square to improve and solidify its position in the Town, but also in our region, and 2) establish consistent signage within the Square, and to the Square, that furthers the brand identity goals, but also improves wayfinding for both pedestrians and motorists.”
This includes making long- and short-term parking locations easily discoverable and exposing visitors to parts of the area such as Church Square that aren’t on the main drag.
Zehner says communication and cooperation among property owners, merchants and the town has improved over the past 5 years.
“In the years prior, I think this had waned, everyone had become too comfortable; but with the downturn in the economy (as well as the changing marketplace) it forced everyone to think about their businesses and the Square differently in order to continue to be competitive,” Zehner says. “These efforts have reinvigorated the Square. The merchants and property owners are more active than ever, continuously considering how to ensure that the Square remains a relevant commercial village and a key resource and character feature to the Town of Wellesley.”
The project committee will be getting together for its first meeting on Friday, June 3, at 9am at Town Hall to hear from consultant Mark Favermann, identify the committee’s strategies and goals, and plan next steps. The meeting is open to the public, and more opportunities for public input will be provided in the near future.
The project committee expects to meet regularly through December.