Economic Development

Wellesley is recognized for the unique commercial villages that make up the core of its business community.  The town continues to evolve with independent businesses, specialty stores, and restaurants, and recently, an influx of larger, recognizable brand name stores, real estate offices, and banks. Along with its traditional villages of Wellesley Square, Wellesley Hills, and the Fells area, Wellesley also has the Linden Square shopping district on Linden Street, which is home to the original Roche Bros. supermarket, as well as Whole Foods Market on Washington Street,  along with other small retail clusters.

The Select Board office is focused  on enhancing the commercial and industrial tax base of the town, supporting and maintaining existing businesses, promoting business expansion, attracting new business and exploring opportunities for new business development. 

For information on economic development in Wellesley,  contact Wellesley Assistant Executive Director for Government Services Corey Testa at 

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Planning Your Project

Considering a commercial project in Wellesley? There are three key areas for prospective businesses to keep in mind:

  1. Know your property. Learn the details of your property, what permits have been issued, what permits are still open, and other unresolved issues.
  2. Know the Zoning that applies to your property. Review the Zoning bylaw to determine if your project is allowed in an area that accommodates the use and amount of space.
  3. Know the nature of your business. Retail, office, industrial, food service, medical, wholesale, manufacturing, professional and consumer services are some of the types of uses you might have in mind. Find out about the special requirements you might have to meet.  

Preliminary Contacts

After preliminary research, prospective businesses should contact the specific Wellesley Town Departments listed below to determine regulatory requirements, procedures, and processes that need to be followed to open a business, restaurant, or other commercial property in Wellesley. 

Building Department

The Building Department is an initial point of contact for all developers, and assists with site plan reviews, issues permits, conducts building inspections and enforces building code

Planning Department

The Planning Department is another initial point of contact and assists prospective businesses with zoning information, site plans, special permits and waivers, and more. The Department also supports the Design Review Board (DRB) which reviews permit applications for all new structures and outdoor uses, exterior additions, exterior alterations, and exterior changes for all areas in town. 

Health Department 

The Health Department is a critical component for all new businesses, ensuring all permits are filed and approved and conducting regular health inspections. 

Select Board Office 

The Select Board Office assists the Wellesley Select Board in issuing permits and licenses for a variety of prospective businesses, restaurants, retailers, and events, even those operating for just one day. See Permits and Licensing Information