Christina DiLisio admits it sounds like a cliché, but she said the biggest challenge at her new job as executive director of Roslindale Village Main Street (RVMS) is moderating her enthusiasm and energy. RVMS is a business promotion organization
“There is so much going on. There are so many initiatives,” said DiLisio, who became executive director in March.
Before becoming executive director of RVMS, DiLisio worked as the mobile food truck coordinator at City Hall. Although only recently moving to Roslindale, she said it always has been on her radar, as she has friends and family who live in the area. She said she wanted to step into the role of executive director for a lot of reasons, including because of the community and economic development work that RVMS does.
“It is impressive,” said DiLisio.
She added, “Roslindale as a community is incredibly dynamic place and it has a vibrant downtown district.”
Renovation of substation
One project DiLisio is working on is the renovation of a former MBTA power substation at 4228 Washington St. Built in 1911, the building has been sitting vacant for more than 40 years.
“It is an incredible project,” said DiLisio. “It takes a lot of attention, rightfully so.”
She said the substation is the “icon of the area” and that the community cares and values the building. DiLisio said that RVMS is working with the Peregrine Group on design plans. She said that there is no construction date scheduled, as the plans still need to go before the City for approval.
RVMS, who is working with the preservation group Historic Boston Incorporated on the project, hopes to turn the substation into retail space, including a restaurant and coffee bar and a market for fresh produce.
Another project is planned improvements to Adams Park, which is located inside the triangle formed by Poplar, Washington and South Streets. DiLisio said that the park is unusual, as few other green spaces in the city have central access like it does. She said many families go to the park for tranquility from “the hustle and bustle of city life.”
DiLisio said RVMS is working with the Boston Parks & Recreation Department on a capital improvement plan. She said she is hoping for a comprehensive master plan for the park, covering such things as where people are accessing the park and uses of the park 10 or 15 years in the future.
One RVMS initiative has its roots in Jamaica Plain. DiLisio said the idea for RVMS’s Third Thursday came from Centre/South Main Streets First Thursday events. The Third Thursday is a business promotion event with late hours, arts and activities. DiLisio is no stranger to JP, having lived in the area from 2001 to 2007. But, she said, RVMS wants to have its own unique version.
“I think Roslindale residents know and feel are own community is vibrant and unique and we want it make it work for us,” said DiLisio.
RVMS held its first Third Thursday event last month.
For more information about RVMS, visit roslindale.net or call 617-327-4065.