Downtown Façade Program Continues to Move Forward with Businesses

Throughout the summer, contractor to Chelsea Prospers Nathalia Hermida has been meeting with downtown business owners to create new designs for their facades and signage.

Some proposals show dramatic changes with a real “wow factor.”

While some of her concepts have higher price tags, she’s also identified how, with more modest investments, residents can begin to see a more beautiful Broadway and area businesses can present their best face to customers.

Hermida used the proposed Broadway Façade Design Guidelines to test the document’s recommendations on the Gold Mine store.

The draft document was released in August and a community meeting garnered input for revisions. A consultant is now working with the City’s Planning Department to draft ordinance revisions for presentation to the Planning Board and City Council this fall.

Feedback so far has been very positive for the proposal to allow projecting signs, also known as blade signs. This sign type is currently not allowed with the pre-existing projecting signs “grandfathered” in. Projecting signs are desirable because they allow for greater visibility for businesses by pedestrians. They’re also typically more playful than traditional banner signs that would be across the front entrance of the business. They’re a relatively inexpensive and very attractive way to enliven the streetscape and boost customer attention, Hermida said.

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