Framingham News

City News

Posted on: July 2, 2019

Arthur Robert, Director of Community and Economic Development, to Depart Position

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 07/02/19

For further information, contact:

Kelly McFalls, Public Information Officer & Webmaster

Memorial Building

Tel: (508) 532-5437

Arthur Robert, Director of Community and Economic Development, to Depart Position

FRAMINGHAM, MA— The Director of Community and Economic Development Art Robert to depart after more than five years in Framingham. Joining Framingham when it was still a town, Robert led his team in land-use planning, zoning reform, plan development and implementation, placemaking, grants, investments and programs to make Framingham shine.

His accomplishments include but are not limited to:

 Led his team to win $4.8 million in grants during his tenure.

 Directed the team that was key in driving transit-oriented development in the City’s Downtown, resulting in a project pipeline on track to add up to 900 new housing units within a 10-minute walk to the rail station.

 Created a “hands-on” assistance program for growing companies, including connections to financing sources, workforce training programs and site-selection assistance.

 Worked with the Town of Natick to define a shared future development vision for the Golden Triangle area and make the case for improved access to exit 13 of the Mass Pike.

 Built and maintained an open line of communication with the business community. One example is the Tech Park Advisory Committee, an informal forum connecting area property owners and business leaders with city officials, to review and address concerns impacting growth.

 Set conditions for proposed Nobscot B-4 Zoning, now under review by our City Council, through planning research, community outreach, and long-term engagement with property owners.

 Worked to achieve opportunity Zone designation for two Framingham areas to help attract investment.

 Played a lead role in enabling Jack’s Abby Craft Lagers’ downtown Framingham expansion, bringing new manufacturing jobs and new amenities to long-vacant – and now fully occupied - 100-102 Clinton Street.

 Organized strategic, industry-facing events to highlight growth opportunities like “bus tours” for visiting developers and global life sciences executives, highlighting opportunities for investment and growth in Framingham.

 Helped usher in life science development in Framingham, including the creation of a life sciences hub in downtown. This included playing a leading role in founding the Metrowest Life Sciences Network, a new group focused on promoting sector growth in Framingham and the region.

“Art’s vision for Framingham was to make it a City of choice to live, work, shop, and play, and I’m happy that he got to see some of that come to fruition,” said Dr. Yvonne M. Spicer, Mayor of Framingham. “We will miss him and wish him the best on his next endeavor.”

While serving as the Community and Economic Development Director in Framingham, Robert drew from a deep experience with several Massachusetts agencies at the policy and program levels, as well as leadership skills he developed as a Lieutenant Colonel (retired) in the Army National Guard.

Robert’s last day with Framingham will be Friday, July 5; however, he will remain available to the City on an as needed basis.

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