About Greater Grove Hall Main Streets
Greater Grove Hall Main Streets partners with the City of Boston, private businesses and community stakeholders to improve the economic vitality of the Greater Grove Hall area such that residents can enjoy the benefits of development without displacement. We take an active role in advocating, planning and supporting economic development in the Greater Grove Hall area.
Given the rich and diverse assets of the Greater Grove Hall area we are working to increase the number of people who view Grove Hall as a destination to, “Visit” “Shop” and “Enjoy” and as a result create more permanent jobs, an optimal mix of businesses and recreational experiences that meets the needs of the residents and visitors to the Boston area.
We follow the National Main Streets model of having a full-time executive director, volunteer board and four standing committees; economic development, promotions, design and organization. We partner with the City of Boston’s Main Streets program and the National Main Streets program.
We have five goals:
- Improve the economic success of existing businesses, recruit new businesses to the area and help foster entrepreneurship and innovation.
- Make sure businesses are aware of resources, take advantage of technical assistance, provide professional development and networking opportunity, through Main Streets or other service providers.
- Proactively recruit businesses that would complement and contribute to the existing business mix and improve the Grove Hall experience for residents and visitors alike. Seek business that are destinations in and of themselves. Think in terms of “patterns of use.”
- Help businesses take advantage of the opportunities created by the traffic that comes through the area.
- Use “Placemaking” activities as a tool.
- Bridge the digital divide between the consumers of technology and the producers of technology.
- Improve the opportunities for residents, particularly the youth to participate in the innovation economy.
- Foster innovation and entrepreneurship in the community, e.g. pop-up opportunities, maker spaces, etc.
- Make Grove Hall “Cleaner and Greener” which will improve the economic success of the area, and make it more sustainable and resilient.
- Increase awareness of energy savings programs, green technologies.
- Increase participation in green practices such as commercial recycling, urban farming and gardening,
- Increase business owner’s commitment to maintaining clean and green space in front of their place of business.
- Implement “Complete Streets” recommendations.
- Peruse creating “Green Innovation Zone.”
- Enhance the quality of life by increasing public art, placemaking, festivals and public safety.
- Actively work to expand opportunities that enhance the unique aspects of Grove Hall such as its history, diversity, environment and improve the Grove Hall experience such that people want to come to the area more frequently and stay longer when they do. Leverage the arts and culture to attract visitors from near and far.
- Increase collaboration with area attractions such as Franklin Park, Zoo New England, and William Devine Golf Course.
- Work with a broad range of stakeholders to continually improve the appearance, safety and healthiness of the community. The inverse of these impedes economic development.
- Ensure the long-term viability of Greater Grove Hall Main Streets as an organization and its mission by fostering partnerships, collaborating with community organizations, cultivating donors and sponsors, recruiting volunteers and new businesses.
Check out how to volunteer here
History of Greater Grove Hall Main Streets
The organization started off as the Grove Hall Board of Trade and when the City of Boston developed its “Main Streets” program, the Grove Hall Board of Trade became the Greater Grove Hall Main Streets organization.
Greater Grove Hall Main Streets (GGHMS) is committed to providing a diverse business district while maintaining our neighborhood’s historical character. We encourage innovative and creative techniques for fostering economic development that enriches the lives of the business owners, employees and residents in our community.
Board of Directors
Greater Grove Hall Main Streets is a 501 (c ) 3 organization led by a Board of Directors who volunteer their time to provide strategic direction and program support by serving on one or more of the organization’s committees, economic development, design, promotions and organization.
The day-to-day operations are led by the Executive Director Ed Gaskin.
Describing Grove Hall
Greater Grove Hall is an emerging neighborhood. Those with savvy insight see opportunities ranging from real estate to retail in this community’s pre-renaissance state. From a retail perspective, many features of the Grove Hall area not only serve the local neighborhood but act as destinations for those outside of the community. People come into the area to go to the Mecca Mall, where they can get a cup of coffee, shop for groceries, and clothes, get prescriptions filled, and bank. They attend functions at Prince Hall Masonic Lodge, the various houses of worship, play golf, visit the park, zoo, and the museum, or come to the area to watch a parade or enjoy a festival. Franklin Park receives over a million visits per year. The business potential is amazing as the traffic count within a mile of the heart of the business district rangers from a low of 10,000 car on some roads to a high of over 43,000 cars per day on other thoroughfares.
Greater Grove Hall has everything one needs such as its own full-service grocery store, (Stop n Shop), drug store, (CVS), bank, Bank of America and One United. It has a park (Franklin Park), which is part of the Emerald Necklace, designed by the famous landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted who also designed central park in New York. The Franklin Park Coalition provides a wide range of programing for the largest and most spectacular open space in Boston. Visitors and residents can enjoy an eighteen hole golf course. Families near and far have access to the largest Zoo in the region that also has one of the largest playgrounds in the area. In addition to the Franklin Park and the zoo, Grove Hall has excellent amenities for children including a modern library, community center, YMCA, and many local youth serving organizations.
Statistically, Grove Hall is one of the most ethnically diverse communities in the city. Those who enjoy diversity will appreciate the various cultural parades and festivals that go through Grove Hall or take place in the park. Blue Hill Avenue provides an opportunity for people to sample a range of foods from around the world, with Dominican and Jamaican being the most common. The Greater Grove Hall neighborhood also has a wide range of houses of worship that provides opportunities for a range of religious expression, and a place for various ethnic groups to fellowship.
On the Fairmount Line, residents can get to downtown Boston and be only steps away from the financial district in just 15 minutes. Public transportation along Blue Hill Avenue makes it easy to get to North South hubs in Dudley and Mattapan Square. Those with a car have easy access to nearby arteries such as the expressway. The location of Grove Hall is not only near the geographic center of Boston, it is also Boston’s highest natural elevation, providing some with great views of the city.
Grove Hall has roots in American history with landmarks from Paul Revere, Prince Hall and Malcolm X in the community. Grove Hall has its own art museum, the National Center of Afro-American Artists and historical artifacts can be found in the Price Hall Masonic Lodge.