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Graduate Degree: Harvard Graduate School of Design
Undergraduate Degree: Swarthmore College
Area of Interest: Planning and Economic Development
Mentors: Carol Burns, Taylor Burns Architects and Jennifer Haugh, Iconic Energy Consulting
Agency: Massachusetts Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development
Supervisor: Anne Haynes, Director of Transformative Development, MassDevelopment and Paul McMorrow, Policy Director, MA Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development
Project Description: During his time at the Massachusetts Development Finance Agency (MassDevelopment), Marcus worked to support the Transformative Development Initiative (TDI) in a variety of ways. TDI is a place-based and systems-based approach to redevelopment in Massachusetts' Gateway Cities. As part of this initiative, Marcus helped advance the goals of the TDI program in Downtown Peabody, one of the program's ten districts. Marcus analyzed a market study conducted of the downtown, met with city officials and core partnership members, and created a market implementation strategy to push forward recommendations for the district. Marcus consulted past reports, interviewed various community members, and researched best practices for the major challenges facing Downtown Peabody. His report and framework can be used by MassDevelopment to advance the goals of TDI in Peabody and other cities participating in the program. In addition, he assisted with the TDI Places Placemaking Grant process, which awards grants to Gateway Cities that support small-scale, highly visible projects that help build community identity and improve public spaces.