James Freas, who has accomplished much in two years as a planning and economic development official for Natick, is leaving for a new job as director of neighborhood development services for the city of Charlottesville, Va.
Freas’s efforts in Natick have included helping businesses during the pandemic, navigating the tricky waters of introducing cannabis businesses to town, and taking steps to revitalize the Golden Triangle. In our conversations, he seemed particularly proud that Natick Center was able to largely keep its storefronts filled over the past year plus.
Freas joined the town in 2019 as planning director after serving as a deputy planning director in Newton.
He most recently has served as director of community & economic development, and Natick has now posted an opening for that gig. The job entails management of town bylaws related to building and development, requires attending lots and lots of meetings, and boasts a salary starting in the $120K-$130K range.
Freas returns to Virginia, where he earned an undergraduate degree at the University of Virginia, and where earlier in his career he was a senior city planner for Hampton.
The outgoing Natick official starts his new job Sept. 13.
James has been helpful to us in our early days with Natick Report, and wish him the best in Virginia.
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