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Village LIFE: The Magic of Mashpee

Central Square in Mashpee Commons

Central Square in Mashpee Commons

“Our vision is just now coming to fruition,” says Mary Derr, marketing director for Mashpee Commons. “When Buff Chace (founder and managing partner of Cornish Associates) took the reigns in the 1980s, it looked like any other strip mall around the country. The goal was to make it more walkable, less car dependent, and have more hustle and bustle 24 hours a day.” In the last 13 years, the Commons has turned that goal into a reality by concentrating more on how people live and incorporating that into a true mixed-use community. Mashpee Commons went beyond just appealing to those looking to spend money to obtain a piece of the Cape Cod experience. They noticed a need for alternative residential options. Perched high above the storefronts, 67 units are sprinkled throughout the property, and there’s rarely a single unit sitting open. “We have a running waiting list for units,” says Derr, “and there’s a high demand for these apartments,” so much so that there are plans to add more units in early 2019.

Perhaps the aroma of the neighboring restaurants is what lures some people here to stay longer. Siena, a popular Italian restaurant in the Commons, has become a go-to for moviegoers looking for a bite before catching a show next door at the Regal Cinema. Generous portions of pizza and other Italian favorites make this an ideal spot for those that don’t want to break the bank for lunch or dinner. Another affordable, and family-friendly, option that’s serving up classic fare is Bobby Byrne’s, a Mashpee Commons staple, as it first opened here in 1973.

At the corner of Franklin and Market, you see why business has soared for the local boutiques. At Verde Floral Design, it’s about much more than just organizing a beautiful arrangement. The shop’s reputation has evolved so much so that it now includes summer classes for people to learn how to arrange flowers at home, just like the professionals. It’s wildly popular and has expanded to include more workshops beyond just the summer months.

The Nantucket-esque storefronts throughout the Commons are some of the most picturesque you’ll ever see. Cape Kids is jam-packed with distinct clothes and gifts for kids, much of it made locally by hand. Among the shops and restaurants, visitors will find the town’s post office and library—another sign that the Commons is truly the heart of the village.

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