Retail Strategy

Central Square Mass Ave at Night


The goal of the Retail Strategic Plan is to develop a strategy of best practice policies and programs that will support and enhance the ground level active use and retail environment in Cambridge. The Consultant will craft this strategy by understanding the City’s current retail landscape and analyzing expected development potential and retail trends. This includes:

  1. Presenting an overall state of the City’s current retail while identifying unmet retail needs and how to meet them (e.g. new zoning, public-private partnerships, programming, transportation, and building infrastructure);
  2. Identifying short and long-term goals forming the basis for the City’s new retail retention and recruiting strategy;
  3. Highlighting the City’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats relating to retail retention/recruitment, based on regional current and expected conditions;
  4. Identifying appropriate retail mix for each of the commercial districts, as well as replicable methodology;
  5. Identifying key actions and best practices the City might consider to enhance its marketability and visibility to retailers and other ground floor businesses.

Additional Resources

Meeting Materials: February 14, 2017 University Relations and Economic Development Committee meeting

Presentation materials from the University Relations and Economic Development Committee meeting on February 14, 2017 are now available for viewing online:

Cambridge Business Owners Survey

The survey is open until March 3, 2017.

Community Development Department's Economic Development Division had an internal kick-off meeting with a consultant team from Larisa Ortiz Associates (LOA). LOA was one of two respondents to the Request for Proposals that was issued by the city in the fall of 2016.


For more information contact Lisa Hemmerle, Director of Economic Development at or 617-349-4616