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Commonwealth Places Campaign Launched to Support Winthrop's Center Business District

May 2, 2019

$20,000 goal to win matching grant through MassDevelopmentā€™s Commonwealth Places


Kelsey Schiller, MassDevelopment, 617-330-2011 & 617-694-9695 (cell)

Jonathan Berk, Patronicity, 617-750-6008

Peter Christopher, Town of Winthrop, 617-846-1742 x1034


MassDevelopment and the civic crowdfunding platform Patronicity have launched a new Commonwealth Places campaign with the Town of Winthrop, whose Center Business District will undergo a major infrastructure project over the next two years. To support local businesses and ensure the district remains welcoming to residents and visitors during and after construction, the town will use campaign funds to support various placemaking and wayfinding improvements throughout the neighborhood. Specifically, the town will add green space by constructing temporary landscape improvements; install a community bulletin board to keep residents and visitors apprised of construction-related road closures and meetings; increase multimodal access to the Center Business District by installing bus shelters and bicycle parking stations; develop the neighborhood’s identity through branded wayfinding materials and an expanded online presence; and purchase outdoor seating, umbrellas, and other items to support the development of a public space suitable for events, performances, and other programming.

“The Town of Winthrop is taking forward-thinking steps to make its Center Business District more inviting and accessible,” said MassDevelopment President and CEO Lauren Liss. “Both during and after construction, local businesses in the Center Business District will benefit from these streetscape and wayfinding improvements and the increased foot traffic they inspire.”

If the campaign reaches its crowdfunding goal of $20,000 by May 27 at midnight, the project will win a matching grant with funds from MassDevelopment’s Commonwealth Places program. Learn more and donate to Winthrop’s Central Business District Placemaking Initiative at

“This project is going to support our small businesses through a major infrastructure improvement project,” said Winthrop Town Councilor Peter Christopher. “We’re aiming to make sure that people know that the Center is still a great place to shop even during construction.”

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 November 2018, MassDevelopment announced $500,000 in funding for the third 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 FY2018, MassDevelopment financed or managed 384 projects generating investment of more than $4.1 billion in the Massachusetts economy. These projects are estimated to create or support 10,994 jobs and build or rehabilitate 830 housing units.