Thursday, May 26, 2016

Downtown Streetscape Project Update #30

From the Town Administrator's office:
May 26, 2016
Downtown Project Update #30 

Sidewalks throughout the downtown triangle will be complete by Memorial Day weekend. 

Milling of the streets will begin this week and starting at Ruggles St moving north toward Emmons St. Authorities will be in town the week after Memorial Day to begin programming the new traffic signals.

Paving of the new asphalt on the streets will begin the week of June 13th. This is a tentative date, weather permitting.

If anyone has a question, please feel free to reach out to the DPW Director, Brutus Cantoreggi or Town Engineer, Michael Maglio at 508-553-5500 or Jeffrey Nutting, Town Administrator at 508-520-4949. 

Monday, May 16, 2016

2016 Strawberry Stroll Flyer

Our 2016 Strawberry Stroll happens Thursday, June 9! 
We have a lot of fun planned and hope you'll join us at our 
kick-off to summer celebration.

All Roads Lead to Downtown Franklin Restaurants at Sunday Night's Progressive Dinner

Sunday evening's Progressive Dinner in Downtown Franklin had diners enjoying soups at either Maguro House or Hang Tai, then appetizers at either Bamboo House or Acapulco's, and then ending with dinner, entertainment and a raffle at The Rome Restaurant. 

Thank you to the restaurants for the delicious food, and thanks to Franklin Matters for sponsoring our Restaurant Stroll!

Thanks, too, to all the businesses that donated raffle items for the night:  Bernon Family Branch YMCA, Emma's Quilt Cupboard, Jane's Frames, Printsmart Office Products and Sally's Alley!

Last -- but certainly not least -- thanks Jane Curran for your tireless organization of this event! 

The next Progressive Dinner is coming up in September - watch our website and Facebook page for ticket information!

Friday, May 13, 2016

Dean College's 150th Commencement Happens Saturday

Congratulations and Good Luck, Dean College Graduates! 

Dean College's 150th Commencement Exercises

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Preparations will begin at 9:30 a.m., with the ceremony taking place at 11 a.m. 

Please be courteous and careful driving Saturday morning as many guests may be unfamiliar with downtown Franklin's streets. 

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Beautification Day Press Release

Downtown Beautification Day is May 21

The Franklin Downtown Partnership and the Franklin Garden Club will decorate the downtown center and the Town Common for spring and summer on Saturday, May 21, starting at 8 a.m. Many volunteers and sponsors are needed to help with planting, mulch spreading, and costs associated with beautifying Franklin’s public spaces.
Event Chairperson Eileen Mason and the 2015 display on downtown bridge. 

Helpers will bring their gardening gloves and meet at 8 a.m. Saturday, rain or shine, in the West Central Street parking lot next to the bridge. Community service hours are available for students; members of the Franklin High School hockey teams will again donate time to the beautification project this year.

According to event organizer Eileen Mason, gardeners and helpers will plant the barrels downtown in front of businesses and on the Common that day. Volunteers with trucks are needed to help pick up materials at 7 a.m. at Fairmount Fruit Farm, 887 Lincoln St., Franklin.  

This is a fun and satisfying way people can give back to their community,” Mason says. “By making Franklin more attractive to those of us who live here and to visitors, we show we care about our town.”

Email Mason at to volunteer time or a vehicle.

Barrel outside The Rome Restaurant, 2014.
Student volunteers help out in 2014.
Mason adds that beautification efforts happen year round, not only two days per year. Planning, growing, maintaining and improving the summer and winter displays take and money.

“We count on the sponsors who support Beautification and help when we need to upgrade planters or replace displays. You don’t have to get your hands dirty, literally, to help us,” says Mason.

D.G. Ranieri Real Estate is a Gold sponsor, and Auerr, Zajac & Associates LLP is a Silver sponsor of beautification efforts. Interested sponsors can email or visit

The Franklin Downtown Partnership is celebrating its 15th year as a non-profit, 501©3 organization made up of businesses, residents and community leaders working to revitalize downtown Franklin. The Partnership runs events such as the Strawberry Stroll, the October Stroll and the Holiday Stroll, and is involved in streetscape and design efforts, greenspace and sculpture projects. Learn more at    

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Downtown Streetscape Project Update #28

From the Town Administrator's office:

May 10, 2016
Downtown Project Update #28
As many residents have probably noticed, the downtown revitalization project has hit its stride. For the upcoming two weeks, continue to expect frequent, short detours around downtown, while the contractors finalize installation of new sidewalks up East Central to the center and up Main Street. This section of work should conclude within the next two weeks, weather permitting. The contractors are also going to begin milling the street and getting the roadway network ready for paving.
This update will be the first in many to educate the public of when the downtown will become two-way traffic pattern. Please share with your friends and family that downtown will have two-way traffic. The Town will be placing electronic boards around the area to alert drivers of the new two-way traffic pattern. We expect this could occur as early as the end of June, weather permitting. Everything is weather permitting in New England, right?

Given the progress being made to date, the project looks to be on schedule for completion toward early August.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Want to Participate in June 9 Strawberry Stroll? Sign Up Now!

The 2016 Strawberry Stroll is scheduled for Thursday, June 9, 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., in Downtown Franklin.

Do you want to participate? Click here to download a registration form. Booth space is limited so please sign up early! 

Do you have questions? Please contact Event Chairperson Nicole Fortier at, or Co-Chair Beth Weirling at

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

FDP Celebrates 15 Years of Collaborations

We are celebrating 15 years of collaborations and partnerships, projects and progress! Check out our Revitalization slide show (right-hand column) to see more before and after photos.

15 Years Strong: The Franklin Downtown Partnership Works Toward Vision of Revitalized Downtown Center

It began with a few business owners, some community leaders, a town employee, and several Franklin residents who wanted to revitalize downtown Franklin’s development, help recreate the town center as a destination, and help stimulate economic growth.

Fifteen years, three new mixed-use buildings, 25 beautification days, three greenspace areas, new benches, new trash barrels, one bronze statue, nearly 40 events and downtown strolls, one Streetscape and Roadway Improvement plan, and 200 members later, the Franklin Downtown Partnership is planning even more collaborations and improvements in the heart of Franklin.

“It’s truly all about the word ‘Partnership.’ Our goal has always been to stimulate economic growth by bringing community groups, the town, businesses and residents together and putting ideas to work that improve our downtown,” says Lisa Piana, FDP Executive Director.

“We’ve worked on impactful projects behind the scenes; things that have cultural, beautification and historical importance and improve the quality of life in town.”

East Central Street furniture building, 2005.

Over time, many people have forgotten the 
dilapidated furniture store building on East Central Street, which is now the home of The Cake Bar, Maguro House and Dean College student housing. Others have forgotten the abandoned rental car lot on West Central Street across from THE BLACK BOX and Mac City. That location is now commuter parking and greenspace.

Franklin Commons building, East Central Street, 2015.

Strawberry Stroll, 2007, West Central Street greenspace.

Projects like these illustrate the non-profit Partnership’s mission – to stimulate economic development; to bring residents, business owners, and community leaders together; to encourage cooperation; and to provide leadership for the purpose of revitalizing downtown Franklin.

“We started with the main belief that a strong, thriving downtown is the heart and soul of Franklin. Interestingly, we have a lot of members who are not downtown businesses who understand that. The connections we create make the difference. It has taken all of these people coming together over the past 15 years that make the Partnership work,” says Jane Curran, a founding FDP board member.

In 2001, the group started with only eight members. By 2015 the organization had grown to nearly 200 member businesses, groups and residents. Many of those have been members for more than 10 years. In the past 15 years the FDP has had a hand in at least 25 projects (see related article).

“In that time I’ve seen the organization grow to 200 members, and I’m very proud of the way we work cohesively together on to these important projects,” says Nicole Fortier, FDP President for the past 12 1/2 years.  “Positive changes require great ideas, countless volunteer hours, and, often times, funding and support from our town council and state representatives, and we’ve been very successful in leading these collaborations.”

Franklin Town Administrator Jeff Nutting says in 2001 the Town Council made the revitalization of the town center a priority and began working with the FDP. According to Nutting, the Partnership has played an important role in the overall economic development of Franklin.

A flurry of new building on East Central and Summer streets, greenspace installations, downtown gateway signs, and creation of a statue in front of the Historical Museum in the early 2000s slowed when the U.S. economy struggled beginning in 2007. The Partnership continued to hold seasonal events downtown as a way for the community to socialize and to draw interest to the area. The group also solicited members’ ideas and opinions about the Roadway and Streetscape Improvement project.

Park and statue at Franklin Historical Museum

When road construction is completed in late summer, downtown Franklin will be safer for pedestrians and have a more welcoming appearance.

“During construction our main focus is on supporting the businesses that are downtown today. We currently meet with town officials every two weeks to keep members up to date. We are planning another progressive dinner and new ways to bring people into the center of town,” says Lisa Piana.

The group is also making a strategic plan for life after two-way traffic and working on aesthetic improvements, including banners for the light poles. Organizers are busy planning the annual events as well.

The Partnership’s Strawberry Stroll will happen June 9, the October Stroll will be October 6 and the Holiday Stroll is set for December 1. The group is lining up networking events and guest speaker presentations, and will also lend support to the Franklin Cultural District Committee’s Summer Arts Festival in July.
Volunteers, Senator Spilka at Summer Street ribbon cutting ceremony.

(L to R) Jim Vallee, Jeff Nutting, Jane Curran, Lisa Piana
with gateway signage downtown Franklin.
The Partnership and the Town of Franklin both agree that the finished downtown project will attract more private investment to the area.

“A vibrant downtown is a core value of a community. People identify with a nice downtown, one that’s an attractive place to socialize, dine out, and do business. An improved downtown improves rents, and improved rents improve the town’s bottom line,” says Town Administrator Nutting. 

“We’ll still have challenges,” he continues. “Parking is one we’re continually working on; it’s a problem faced by every downtown. The future of Franklin is about redevelopment of old warehouses and manufacturing space, and upgrading buildings downtown. We just have to keep going. People still need a social network, service needs, unique places to shop. The challenge is finding the right mix of businesses that will do well in downtown Franklin, and the Partnership can help us do that.”

 According to Fortier, when the streetscape project is completed this summer and traffic flow is improved, the downtown will be much closer to what the Partnership envisioned many years ago.

“We’ll be able to feel the change in downtown Franklin,” says Fortier. “As an organization, the Partnership will continue to drive foot traffic to the center of town and invite interesting and unique businesses and restaurants to move here. We’re not done.”

The Partnership invites residents and business owners to participate in discussions about what they would like to see in their downtown. The group relies on sponsorship, membership dues and donations to fund events and oversee projects. Resident memberships are $25, and business memberships start as low as $100.  


A Busy 15 Years for the FDP: Our List of Projects

Projects the Partnership Has Been Involved With Over Past 15 Years

1-The multi-year $7.25 million Streetscape Improvement Project
2-The Franklin Commons Development

3-The Cake Bar patio on East Central Street
4-The Summer Street patio area and green space
5-The green space sitting area on West Central Street
6-The design of the green space in front of the Historical Museum
7-The bronze statue of the straw hat boy in front of the Historical Museum
8-The park benches in downtown
9-The downtown changeable gateway signs

10-The new trash and recycling barrels
11-The downtown holiday decorations and lights
12-Beautification and flowers throughout the downtown

13-The launch and early management of the Farmers’ Market
14-The Food Elves “12 Days of Donating” campaign
15-The Franklin downtown map and brochure
16-Emmons Street development property
17-The 150 Emmons Street green space and Horace Mann Statue
18-Franklin High School scholarships
19-On-going Economic Development
20-The Annual Strawberry Stroll

21-The Annual October Stroll

22-The Annual Holiday Stroll and Tree Lighting
23-Progressive Dinner and Third Thursday Events
24-On-going community outreach and business support

25-Won’t you join us this year for our next exciting downtown project?

Download this list here. Check out more of our revitalization projects, including before and after photos, on the slideshow at the top right corner of this website.