Mashpee Commons, located in the Town of Mashpee on Cape Cod, was the nation’s first retrofit of a strip shopping center into a mixed-use, pedestrian-friendly town center. Built in the 1960s, Mashpee Commons was originally a strip commercial center with a large asphalt parking lot in front. Then, in 1986, the shopping center began to be transformed into a development reminiscent of a traditional New England downtown. The original strip center had a few stores, a restaurant, and a theater. Today, Mashpee Commons not only has more than one hundred shops and restaurants, as well as a cinema, but also a library, church, post office, senior center, offices, and variety of housing units. The architecture reflects vernacular architecture of Cape Cod.
Mashpee Commons, which includes deed-restricted affordable housing and smaller units such as studio apartments above retail space, has helped remedy Cape Cod’s shortage of workforce housing.
View home improvement TV show host Bob Vila’s tour of Mashpee Commons: