Connecticut Main Street Center (CMSC) has selected Middletown, Torrington and Waterbury for its new pilot program, Come Home to Downtown. CMSC developed the mixed-use real estate planning pilot program to provide selected communities with new tools to strengthen economic health and restore vitality to their downtowns, facilitating the development of viable, interesting housing opportunities while improving downtown neighborhoods. The goal of the Come Home to Downtown program is to set the stage to attract developers and “mom and pop” building owners to redevelop vacant or underutilized buildings with a mix of uses and housing choices. CMSC will also provide local public and private champions and partners with strategic tools to allow them to create or enhance a strong downtown management program. The Come Home to Downtown pilot was created in partnership with the Connecticut Housing Finance Authority (CHFA), through a $250,000 investment using Community Investment Act (CIA) Program funding.
“Our Come Home to Downtown pilot communities were selected based on criteria we feel is vital for success, including local public and private sector leadership, a strong record of community engagement, success of previous downtown revitalization initiatives and multi-story buildings and property owners who are motivated to redevelop them,” said CMSC’s John Simone.
CMSC will work in concert with Middletown, Torrington and Waterbury, beginning with the collection of data, building analysis and the coordination of community engagement activities, exploring their downtown redevelopment issues in-depth and creating new strategies that respond to changing demographics and market dynamics. Work will continue throughout the summer on consensus building, a downtown development audit for each of the towns, model building analysis, assistance to small-property owners who demonstrate a desire to redevelop their properties to include housing, and downtown management organizational development.
Connecticut Main Street Center is a statewide nonprofit that inspires great Connecticut downtowns, Main Street by Main Street. Its mission is to be the champion and leading resource for vibrant and sustainable Main Streets as foundations for healthy communities.