Devens’s Diverse 24-Hour Economy

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Devens is a growing commercial hub that is home to over 100 businesses employing more than 6,000 workers. In 2020, Devens Forward was adopted with the aim of creating a more sustainable future for Devens while preserving its unique history. As this growth continues, Devens aims to maintain and increase its attractiveness as a place to live, work, learn, and play, by supporting more diverse economic ventures and a 24-hour economy that can attract, train, and retain a resilient workforce across emerging industries. Devens aims to become a model of sustainable development by providing opportunities for businesses to become more sustainable and to attract innovation to the area. Learn more about how Devens is working towards this goal!

Building a 24-hour Community in Devens

The Devens population spikes on weekdays (with employees) and weekends (when thousands attend sports and recreational activities). There is an opportunity to support more recreational and experiential retail, restaurants, and other services to encourage people to remain in the area. Expanding the local economy by providing additional resources to attract and retain businesses can help ensure Devens’ economy is more resilient to threats like climate change impacts or pandemics. Local businesses bring in revenue that stays in Devens. 

What Progress has Devens Made to Build a 24-hour Economy?

The actions in the DevensForward Plan support these economic ventures. See how Devens’s efforts line up!

Economic Development Action 2.1: Develop and promote services, recreation, and amenities to attract/keep people on Devens after work and on weekends.

Though Devens has a relatively small retail component currently, opportunities to support small businesses in the area are a component of supporting a 24-hour economy. Devens is home to restaurants, recreational businesses, and other services such as: Marty’s Corner Café, Pizza Bella, Devens Day Spa, Cannon Theater, Devens Dry Cleaning, and Bandoleros. Devens supports local food vendors by offering a space for local farmers to sell their goods at The Devens Farmers Market

Recreational opportunities expand beyond the weekend: residents, businesses and visitors can take advantage of yoga classes, massages, and many other health and wellness programs through the Dragonfly Wellness Center. Check out the Devens Community Map for more ways to support local businesses and have fun. 

Economic Development Action 2.2: Facilitate the sharing of building space and resources for businesses, schools, and organizations.

Devens has created multi-use spaces for residents and businesses. In 2007, Apex Properties acquired the former Military Intelligence building and renovated the space while preserving a piece of Devens history. The building is now home to Mount Wachusett Community College, Applewild Pre-school and Kindergarten, and a few other small businesses. Devens also host incubator business space at 88, 94 and 100 Jackson (Sherman Square) where businesses like Sequens, a biotech manufacturing company have been able to develop and grow.  Sequens recently expanded their operations and is adaptively reusing another existing building in Devens at 67 Buena Vista Street.

Economic Development Action 2.3: Facilitate the sharing of information and services to promote a collaborative regional economy.

Devens collaborates with neighboring communities to support a regional economy. Small businesses in the region like the Harvard General Store, The Bull Run in Shirley, Shop and Save in Ayer, and the Little Bee Bookshop in Ayer serve the needs of Devens residents and employees.

Read more about what Devens is doing to reduce climate change while promoting economic development in our Devens Forward Action Plan.

How Can I Support Small Businesses and Take Advantage of Devens’s Resources?

  1. Consider shopping locally for holiday gifts this season! Books from the Little Bee Bookshop in Ayer, a gift certificate for Dick’s Market Garden for produce at the Devens Farmers Market, or gift cards to Dragonfly Wellness Center and any of our local restaurants make great presents for your loved ones, friends, or co-workers. 
  2. Check out our dining and recreation map to support local businesses in Devens!
  3. Sign up for our Community Supported Agriculture program (CSA) to receive fresh, local produce and support local vendors. Email bethsuedmeyer@devensec.com to sign up.
  4. Look into MassDevelopment and Nashoba Valley Chamber of Commerce resources to support your business. 
  5. Explore other activities to extend your visit and appreciation for Devens.

Check out our dashboard for more ways to get involved and to stay tuned for future blog posts!