Case Study: The Corner Spot
The Corner Spot was quickly embraced by the community of Ashland as a new hub of activity in the community.
After the recent closure of a local diner, the community of Ashland had been looking for a place downtown to cultivate community connections and serve as the “hub” of the Main Street. They were looking for something that would help draw people into the downtown area to patronize small businesses, stay, enjoy time with neighbors, and build a sense of community.
The Corner Spot was planned by a group of engaged residents, business owners, and town staff to be an enjoyable gathering place for folks from across Metrowest. The space was designed with tables, chairs, bench swings, and landscaping to serve as a “town square,” drawing visitors into the downtown and giving them a space to gather for local events. In addition, the small shed converted into a retail space serves as a low cost, affordable way of providing commercial activation to the space while allowing area businesses to test the Ashland market to see if they might be able to open a full time establishment in the downtown.
“It is wonderful to see The Corner Spot come alive due to the support and encouragement from the residents in town, this project has already strengthened our community in ways I never imagined.” - Beth Reynolds, Director of Economic Development and Community Outreach
The Corner Spot was quickly embraced by the community of Ashland as a new hub of activity in the community. Local breweries and small businesses filled the retail shed. Area yoga studios offered community classes, musicians hosted concerts, and area moms used the space during the day for kids classes. The space is also used as a local work spot, taking advantage of a nice active spot to sit. Local realtors report increased interest in living in Ashland from folks who see the community energy in the Corner Spot and are interested in calling the town home. The space has also provided a great point for new businesses opening in town to connect with the community.
- Project: The Corner Spot
- Project Type: Public Plazas and Markets, Public Art, Events, Alleys and Streetscapes, Small Business
- Project Location: Ashland, Massachusetts
- Crowdfunding Raise: $37,255
- Crowdgranting Match: $25,000
- Patrons: 292
- In-Kind Amount: $25,000
- Total Project Estimate: $87,255
About Commonwealth Places
Commonwealth Places, a collaborative initiative from MassDevelopment and Patronicity, was a crowdgranting challenge program to activate new or distressed public places and community spaces. The program was open to municipalities and nonprofits to improve low- and moderate-income communities in Massachusetts.