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What We Do
Arlington’s Department of Planning & Community Development provides permitting and licensing assistance for business owners, one-on-one entrepreneur support, and promotes Arlington’s business districts, recreational assets, and cultural institutions.
Arlington is located eight miles from downtown Boston and is bordered by Cambridge, Somerville, Medford, Winchester, Lexington, and Belmont. At just under 5.5 square miles, Arlington is a dense community with three “main street” business districts. With quick access to neighboring communities via public transit, Arlington is an attractive community for people who work in nearby Boston and Cambridge’s elite universities, hospitals, and tech-related start-ups. As the starting point of the Minuteman Bikeway, Arlington has tremendous infrastructure for people who wish to commute by bike or cycle for leisure.
Neighborhood Business Districts
Located along Massachusetts Avenue and the Battle Road Byway, Arlington’s three neighborhood business districts provide opportunities for year-round shopping, dining, and recreation.
Arlington Center is the town’s central business district and the western portion of the Arlington Cultural District. With dozens of restaurants, local retailers, two museums, the Regent Theatre and numerous other cultural institutions, there is always something to do in the Center. The neighborhood is at the heart of the Minuteman Bikeway and is well served by public transit including the 80 (Lechmere/Davis Square), 87 (Lechmere), 350 (Burlington), 77 (Harvard Square), and the 79 (Alewife Station) bus routes.
Arlington Heights is at the western end of town. Skirted by the Minuteman Bikeway, the Heights has restaurants, cafes, specialty retailers, and many thriving family-owned businesses. The neighborhood is accessible by the MBTA and is served by routes 77 (Harvard Square), 78 (Harvard Square via Blanchard), and 79 (Alewife Station).
The Arlington Heights Action Plan outlines the year-long planning process to analyze the Arlington Heights business district through the lens of zoning and other policies and practices to make recommendations for municipal actions to spur the revitalization of the Heights. The plan details six key recommendations focused on zoning, creating design standards, working with the MBTA to activate the bus depot, and to explore creative placemaking projects and community events.
Two community forums were held on May 23, 2018 and October 4, 2018, in support of the preparation of the Action Plan. The presentations for both of the Arlington Heights community forums are available to review: May 23, 2018 Presentation and October 4, 2018 Presentation. Additional details and summaries from the forums are documented in the Action Plan.
East Arlington is the town’s arts and culture hub and the eastern portion of the Arlington Cultural District. Home to the Capitol Theatre, several arts-focused retailers, excellent restaurants and galleries, East Arlington is a lively, bustling neighborhood boasting fantastic public art installations. With the Minuteman Bikeway running parallel to Mass Ave and surrounded by a dense residential neighborhood, it is accessible by car, bike, public transit, and on foot. Bus service routes include the 80 (Lechmere/Davis Square), 87 (Lechmere), 350 (Burlington), 77 (Harvard Square), and the 79 (Alewife Station) bus routes.
Please contact Ali Carter at 781-316-3095 or ACarter@town.arlington.ma.us.