Community Spotlight – Danvers, Massachusetts

April 25, 2023 8:50 am

The North Shore Alliance for Economic Development serves thirty communities, including four Gateway Cities, and brings their leaders together to explore and act on economic development issues that can help grow the region, including those that advance the Commonwealth as a whole.

Over the course of the next few months, we will explore and get to know these thirty communities that make up the North Shore region of Massachusetts. We hope our readers will learn more about the unique benefits each community brings to their residents and visitors and how collectively they strengthen our regional economy.

Danvers Town Hall

Danvers, Massachusetts – “Salem Village”

Settled first as part of Salem, Massachusetts, Danvers was incorporated in 1757. Danvers is located in the northeast corner of Massachusetts, just a short drive to Boston and New Hampshire. Originally known for its association with the Salem Witch Trials of 1692, now it is known as a family-friendly community that invests in schools and the businesses of the community.

According to the 2020 U.S. Census Bureau report, the population of Danvers stands at 28,087. The Town measures 13.5 square miles. It is a short seventeen miles from Boston, Massachusetts. It is bordered by six neighboring communities – Salem, Beverly, Peabody, Topsfield, Middleton, and Wenham.

Economic Strengths & Projects in Danvers

Danvers has several economic strengths including its centralized location on the North Shore, a strong business environment, diverse housing options, high quality of life, and exceptional schools.

Interstate 95, U.S, Route 1 and Route 128 provide easy access to innovation centers in Boston, Cambridge, and southern New Hampshire. The town has “sustained a robust, and growing, business base through intelligent zoning, a consistent and predictable technical review process, an efficient regulatory environment, and competitive tax and utility rates. Staff and officials are responsive to the needs of the business community, have experience with incentive programs, like DHCD’s Economic Development Incentive Program, and work hard to link local employers with talent pipelines, including Salem State University, North Shore Community College, and Essex North Shore Agricultural and Technical High School.

Danvers has housing options that are diverse including condominiums, apartments, single-family homes, duplexes, other smaller multi-family options, waterfront homes, and historic homes. The Town offers some of the lowest residential tax rates in the region and competitive utility rates. Electricity provided by Danvers Electric Department is 50% less expensive than the private utilities.

The zoning bylaws and regulations for downtown Danvers were updated in 2020 to promote redevelopment and a mix of uses. It encourages more housing and a variety of housing types in the downtown area.

A market analysis of the Endicott Street Corridor was undertaken in June 2021 with recommendations of new uses and zoning amendments to promote redevelopment of the Liberty Tree Mall and the surrounding commercial area.

A Local Rapid Recovery Plan (LRRP) developed in 2021 contains recommendations to help businesses in Danvers’s downtown and Tapleyville neighborhood stabilize and grow from the impacts of the Covid 19 pandemic.

Economic Forecast of Danvers

Danvers has a strong economic forecast. According to Best Places online, “Danvers has seen the job market increase by 4.0% over the last year. Future job growth over the next ten years is predicted to be 38.7%, which is higher than the US average of 33.5%.”

Endicott Park

Points of Interest and Events

Danvers has something for everyone from shopping, dining, entertainment, historical landmarks, open space, and parks to enjoy. Danvers sits along the Crane and Porter Rivers where views of the rivers and the marinas make for a beautiful location to picnic or enjoy a morning cup of coffee. The outdoor offerings don’t stop along the water, they continue inland at parks such as Endicott Park where individuals can enjoy farm animals, playgrounds, and miles of walking and hiking paths along with a barn and
community center.

The Danvers Rail Trail is a 4 1/3-mile walking path that passes through downtown Danvers, parks, and recreational areas that connect to the Peabody and Wenham rail trails. Recent rail trail additions now connect the east-west rail trail from downtown to Middleton. Historic landmarks and homes line many of the streets of Danvers, most notably the Page House where the Danvers Historical Society currently resides, the General Israel Putnam House (1649), the Rebecca Nurse Homestead (1678), Glen Magna Farm (1790), the Derby Summer House and the Witch Trial Memorial. Shopping and dining options abound in Danvers, either in the quaint downtown “Danvers Square” area, the Liberty Tree Mall, or the many stores and businesses that line the Route 114 and Route 1 shopping corridor.

Economic Resources

The Danvers Planning & Economic Development Division staff works to connect individuals, professionals, businesses, and community members with the goal of helping grow existing businesses or attracting new businesses to the town.

Danvers is also a part of the North Shore Chamber of Commerce which works closely with local businesses and helps to educate, support, and encourage growth. Member businesses are invited to take part in expos, workshops, and seminars to help strengthen the economy and businesses of the North Shore. Several businesses in town are also members of the Greater Beverly Chamber of Commerce.

Major Strengths of the Community

Danvers is a family-friendly, welcoming community with an eye toward the future. They encourage innovation with many companies in the biotech industry in the Cherry Hill Industrial Park and the surrounding area. Massachusetts Biotechnology Council (MassBio) has placed Danvers at the “Gold Level” BioReady Community Designation which is a rating system on the municipality’s readiness to host biotechnology facilities.

There is a broad mix of businesses and industries in the community. There is a strong existing anchor retail presence. A number of regional medical facilities (Mass General/North Shore and Lahey Danvers) and medical offices are located in the community. Employees in Danvers work in a diverse mix of industries. The industry sectors with the most employees are health care, retail trade, manufacturing, and professional, scientific, and technical services. There are 25,000+ employees in Danvers in a variety of industries. Compared with neighboring North Shore communities Danvers has the highest number of jobs.

Danvers can be considered the “Crossroads of the North Shore” – where several major roadways and public transit pass through the community making it easily accessible for residents, employees, customers, and patients to reach the numerous regional destinations in town.

Why Choose to Live or Do Business in Danvers

Danvers offers great schools both public and private, a strong business climate, diverse and affordable housing options, and overall excellent quality of life with town events and attractions. Danvers truly is a regional destination that attracts residents, visitors, patrons, and employees from communities all over the North Shore and beyond.

Public Transportation & Navigating Danvers

Danvers sits at the intersection of several major highway routes including Route 128, Route 95, and Routes 1 and 114. This allows for easy access to neighboring cities or commutes to Boston or Cambridge. The community has significant regional access.

Danvers is not located directly along the MBTA Commuter Rail route but has access to both neighboring communities of Salem and Beverly where you will find the Newburyport/Rockport Line of the MBTA Commuter Rail. The community is looking into improving transportation options to the nearby commuter rail stations.

There are two MBTA bus routes connecting Peabody, Salem, and Lynn. Route 435 serves the Liberty Tree Mall running from Central Square in Lynn and ending at Salem Depot (commuter rail station). Route 436 runs between the Liberty Tree Mall and Central Square in Lynn with stops in Peabody.

Contact Danvers

Planning Director Brian Szekely
1 Sylvan Street
Danvers, MA 01923
978-777-0001, ext. 3019