Commonwealth Places Campaign Launched for Public Plaza in Boston's Dorchester Neighborhood

$25,000 goal to win matching grant through MassDevelopment’s Commonwealth Places Initiative

November 7, 2017


​Meggie Quackenbush, MassDevelopment, 617-330-2011 & 857-208-2777 (cell)

Jonathan Berk, Patronicity, 617-750-6008

Jenn Carte, Greater Ashmont Main Street, 617-825-3846

Dorchester's Peabody SquareMassDevelopment and Greater Ashmont Main Street, a nonprofit focused on business development in Boston’s Dorchester neighborhood, today announced a new campaign through the civic crowdfunding platform Patronicity and the Commonwealth Places initiative. Greater Ashmont Main Street will use funds from the campaign to build a community plaza in Dorchester’s Peabody Square, which will feature table seating with umbrellas, bike racks and a bike repair station, bistro lighting, wayfinding and historic signage, and new plants and trees. The plaza will serve as a neighborhood hub where people can engage with their neighbors, experience public art and performances, and learn about Peabody Square’s history.

“Dorchester is a neighborhood rich in history and culture, and this public plaza will honor its past while building on the ongoing economic development and investment taking place there,” said MassDevelopment President and CEO Lauren Liss. “This Commonwealth Places campaign will help make Peabody Square a destination for residents and visitors alike, and MassDevelopment is pleased to lend its support.”

If the campaign reaches its crowdfunding goal of $25,000 by December 31, 2017, at midnight, the project will win a matching grant with funds from MassDevelopment’s Commonwealth Places program. Learn more and donate

“This is a tremendous opportunity to continue to expand the improvements that were made to Peabody Square over the last 10 years, from the redesign of the Peabody Square intersection to the renovation of the Ashmont MBTA station,” said Greater Ashmont Main Street Executive Director Jenn Cartee. “We’re immensely grateful to city partners, residents, and others who have come together for a community-led design process to create a space that is inviting to all our Dorchester neighbors.”

Commonwealth Places is a collaborative initiative from MassDevelopment and Patronicity that leverages public support for placemaking projects through crowdfunding and a matching grant from MassDevelopment. The program engages residents in the development of strategic projects in their towns and cities. In June 2017, MassDevelopment announced $1 million in funding for the second year of the program, which has supported successful campaigns across the Commonwealth, from Northampton to Hyannis. Communities, nonprofits, and other entities can learn more about these successful projects, donate to ongoing campaigns, and apply at

MassDevelopment, the state’s finance and development agency, works with businesses, nonprofits, financial institutions, and communities to stimulate economic growth across the Commonwealth. During FY2017, MassDevelopment financed or managed 377 projects generating investment of more than $4.3 billion in the Massachusetts economy. These projects are projected to create about 9,488 jobs and build or rehabilitate 1,863 residential units.