METRO WEST DAILY NEWS – The city’s upward economic momentum continued in 2018.
Marlborough welcomed 20 new companies and more than 350 new jobs in 2018, reducing the city’s overall commercial vacancy rate to its lowest level in more than a decade and the unemployment to its lowest rate in 18 years, according to the Marlborough Economic Development Corporation’s (MEDC) 2018 annual report.
“Commercial space is running out in Marlborough and that’s a good thing,” said Meredith Harris, executive director of the Marlborough Economic Development Corporation. “We’ve been sowing the seeds of economic development and now repeating the benefits of a strong commercial base, increasing demand from developers, enhanced amenities and the area’s lowest residential tax rate.”
The overall commercial vacancy rate has dropped steadily from 14 percent to 9 percent the past five years due to an influx of companies moving to the city. The rate dipped to 9 percent, down from 10 percent last year.
The city’s office vacancy rate is down to 14 percent, 4 percent lower than in 2014. About 34 percent of Marlborough’s office space was dormant seven years ago.
“Employers and employees want to come to Marlborough,” Harris wrote in the report. “Our job now is to keep them here. We’ve been doing that by focusing our efforts on attracting more modern amenities to the city and promoting its existing assets.”
Marlborough’s unemployment rate dropped to an 18-year low in November with only 2.2 percent of city residents out of work. The city’s unemployment rate was 5.7 percent in 2012. The national unemployment rate was 3.7 percent, while the state rate was 3.4 percent in November.
“Marlborough’s economy continues to grow and our unemployment rate has dropped to some of the lowest levels in years,” Mayor Arthur Vigeant wrote in the report. “We were excited to welcome a number of new companies this year, including the headquarters of Allegro Microsystems, ExaGrid, Persivia and SignalFire Telemetry.”
Other companies calling Marlborough home for the first time in 2018 include Brew Coffee Bean, ExaGrid, Flying Dreams, IGP Photonics and IC Federal Credit Union.
Harris highlighted the city’s marketing campaign to attract brewers. Flying Dreams opened the first downtown brewpub. Lost Shoe Brewing and Coffee Roasting Company is expected to open later this month.
The MEDC partnered with the city’s schools to create a citywide branding strategy that will synchronize communication efforts and streamline marketing materials that will help the city convey a strong message.
Looking ahead to 2019, Harris stressed the continued revitalization of the French Hill neighborhood, including the development of a parcel at the intersection of Lincoln and Mechanic streets. The MEDC purchased the property in hopes of attracting a mixed-use property in 2018.
To view the full report visit http://marlboroughedc.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/MEDC-2018-Annual-Report.pdf.
This article by Jeff Malachowski originally appeared here.