The Economic Pulse – A Community Spotlight on Peabody, Massachusetts

August 25, 2021 12:34 pm Published by

The North Shore Alliance, or the “Alliance,” prides itself on supporting economic development initiatives across the 30 communities and four Gateway Cities of the North Shore of Massachusetts. Each month we will be conducting a community spotlight. We will be taking a look at some of these communities, where they stand economically, and highlight commercial development sites that may be of interest to our readers. This month we will be taking a closer look at the city of Peabody, Massachusetts.

In order to take the pulse of this beloved Essex County community, we will delve into the local economic tools available, where Peabody stands currently, and future commercial and economic development programs. 

Peabody Town Hall

A Word About Peabody, Massachusetts 

The city of Peabody, located along the North Shore of Massachusetts, is rich in cultural and industrial history. Founded by the Massachusetts Bay Colony as a part of Salem in the 1700s, it would later become separately incorporated apart from Salem and Danvers around 1868. 

During this long history, the area that would become known as Peabody, Massachusetts would become a bustling area for industrial growth. Today, it continues that economic growth as the home to the North Shore Mall and Centennial Park, a premier business park that is home to global headquarters to Analogic, Weston & Sampson, and Boston Children’s at Peabody.

Not only does Peabody have a strong business sector located in the Mall and business parks along the two major highways that are adjacent to the city, but also a bustling Main Street business program as well. The downtown area has been through a series of revitalizations that make the area a vital economic hub. 

What’s New in Peabody? 

In an October 2020 “North Shore Conversation” on 104.9 Mayor Ted Bettencourt outlined some of the challenges that the city has been facing over the last year as well as a few of the exciting projects that Peabody will be seeing over the coming years. 

Mayor Bettencourt, like his counterparts in neighboring cities, has been primarily focused on the covid-19 response for businesses and protecting the health and safety of the citizens of Peabody. By working with the Board of Health and other city departments, he has been able to stay in constant contact regarding testing, positivity rate, and the spread of the virus. 

A major challenge that restaurants and eateries in the city faced was the inability to maintain social distancing while serving customers indoors. He was happy to see that 18 establishments took advantage of the loosening of outdoor seating restrictions to allow for outdoor dining. 

Besides the challenges of the downtown dining issues, Mayor Bettencourt is happy to announce the positive changes happening at the North Shore Mall, including the $100 million renovation that will impact over 3,500 employees. He is most excited about the Lifetime Fitness Center that will be a big draw for families to spend time on the sports fields and in the multiple pools being offered as fitness opportunities. 

Looking Ahead in Peabody 

Mayor Bettencourt also discussed some projects that are either underway or just on the horizon for residents to look forward to. 

While it may not sound like the most exciting project for many, the Clean and Sustainable Water Infrastructure work being done in Peabody is a vital project that will provide clean and safe water for the next 50 years. Bettencourt explained that two water treatment plants in the city were nearing completion, one was completely rebuilt after a fire destroyed it and one was refurbished after years of wear-and-tear. The project will not only supply clean water to the people of Peabody, but will also improve water pressure. Doing this project, and not having to tap into the Massachusetts Water Resource will keep water bills lower than most on the North Shore. 

Independence Greenway

Looking ahead to 2024/2025, the Peabody Independence Greenway bike and walking path will see some major improvements as well. The trail currently goes from West Peabody to near the Peabody High School but is stopped by the highways that intersect the area. Plans are in the works to build a bridge over the highways to connect the different parts of the trail and allow for better outdoor experiences. 

Economic Resources 

Always important to us at the North Shore Alliance is the economic development and the resources that are available in each municipality. Check out the business resources specific to Peabody as well as the current projects that Peabody is investing in for the future.. 

 

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This post was written by Mike Sperling