Who is involved in Operation: Storefront?
City officials such as Mayor Nicholson.
City officials such as the Gardner City Council.
City departments such as the Building Department and Economic Development.
Organizations like Gardner Square Two or the Gardner Chamber of Commerce.
Private companies, industry, and businesses considering investments in Gardner.
Citizens like you.
How do you as a citizen get involved in Operation: Storefront?
- If you haven’t already done so, register to vote. Here’s the link. Then be sure to vote so you remain in charge of your future.
- Keep informed about upcoming meetings and events. Listed on home page of Gardner’s official city website. CLICK HERE
- Attend public meetings to be informed or watch them via Gardner’s Youtube channel. CLICK HERE
- Watch Mayor Nicholson’s weekly updates. Subscribe to Gardner’s Youtube channel. FREE SUBSCRIPTION, click here.
- Converse with others on social media such as the Gardner City Hall Facebook page. click here.
- Listen to Hotline Radio on local radio station WGAW AM 1340. Website link and of course, keep coming back to Gardner Magazine.
How do you as a business get involved in Operation: Storefront?
- Contact the Gardner Building Department before buying a property to help ascertain suitability for your project. (978) 630-4007. Fax: (978) 632-3313.
- Contact the Economic Development Coordinator at (978) 630-4074 ext. 1
- Call the Mayor’s office at (978) 630-1490.
- Join Facebook if you haven’t already for the specific purpose of learning more about goings on in the community.
- Join Gardner Square Two and support them in their pro-business efforts. Here’s a link to their website. Link to their Facebook page.
- Join the Greater Gardner Chamber of Commerce and urge them to actively engage with the community including the Media. Read our Editorial on this subject.
What will be the ongoing results of Operation: Storefront?
- Projects increasing the availability of housing in Gardner MA.
- Projects bringing in more industry to Gardner to increase the number of good local jobs.
- Projects addressing existing properties and involving new construction to bring in more retail businesses.
Operation Storefront Revealed
In some communities, the words Operation Storefront is a clandestine operation designed to assure retailer compliance with tobacco laws. In Gardner MA , what we are calling ‘Operation Storefront’ is a decades-long Government and Private Sector effort in conjunction with active citizens to improve “Chair City” storefronts by identifying under utilized properties and putting them to the best use.
While the challenges of the demise of most of Gardner’s furniture industry can’t be denied, a decades-long effort has resulted in positive developments in Gardner: (just some examples)
- New companies coming to Gardner with a record of success in the community.
- Identification of Downtown Gardner properties to be torn down or rehabbed to beautify the area and/or encourage new Downtown tenancies.
- Where deemed more feasible, the rehabbing of Downtown Gardner properties into housing units.
- Improvement of Downtown Gardner properties to increase parking availability.
- Huge projects such as what we see as the new 99 Restaurant, Starbucks, and retail on Timpany Boulevard and more!
- Identification of opportunities to provide new housing for residents of all income levels such as the 5 story apartment building to be built in Downtown.
- Identification of other uses for properties such as the upcoming events plaza and 165 new parking spots.
- The first new Elementary School set to open for fall 2022 just before Gardner celebrates its centennial as a City, (Prospect Street Elementary School opened in 1923 when Gardner first became a city)
- Future reclamation of former factory properties in the Mill Street area.
(Recently awarded grants in 2021 totaled over $5 million.)
Operation: Storefront will be an ongoing project and an ongoing partnership of City Government, Private Business, and Citizenry. What do citizens think about Gardner business right now? Data shows people really LOVE Gardner. For our page showcasing real comments from real people, CLICK HERE.