Manchester, New Britain, Waterbury, Seymour and the Northwestern CT Regional Planning Collaborative are being highlighted by the Connecticut Main Street Center (CMSC) for their strategic downtown revitalization initiatives.
As recipients of the organization’s 2014 Awards of Excellence, the efforts include a community college partnering with the downtown and others to create a co-working space; connecting the Naugatuck River with the downtown through extended trails and a linear park; and regionalizing marketing for a collection of small village centers.
The annual Connecticut Main Street Awards of Excellence were created in 2003 to recognize outstanding projects, individuals and partnerships in community efforts to bring traditional downtowns and neighborhood commercial districts back to life, socially and economically. All of the award recipients continue the tradition of stimulating economic development and reinvigorating Connecticut's social centers, officials said.
"Our members continually inspire us with how creatively they respond to the needs of their community," said CMSC President & CEO John Simone. "They're deeply committed to every aspect of their downtown - the businesses, public spaces, local institutions, and above all, creating a place that people really enjoy living in and visiting. We couldn't be happier with how this year's winners represent all we stand for in downtown revitalization."
Submissions were judged on criteria which included innovation, replication, representation, partnerships utilized, and outcomes. The awards will be presented at the 2014 Connecticut Main Street Awards Gala on June 9th at Roia Restaurant in downtown New Haven. Award recipients, by category, are:
Events & Programming
Award of Excellence for Wine on Main St. to Main Street Waterbury, Terry Boyd, Braza Churrascaria, Courtyard by Marriott, Diorio's Restaurant, Shamrock Pub & Grill, Tryst Lounge, Signature's Restaurant, City Hall Café, Howland Hughes Center, and Nutmeg Fine Wine & Spirits.
Marketing & Communications
Award of Excellence for Discover NW CT to Northwestern CT Regional Planning Collaborative (representing the Towns of Sharon, Falls Village, Goshen, Cornwall, Canaan, Salisbury, Kent, and Norfolk), Studio Two, local business owners in the eight towns in the "Secret Corner", and local historical societies.
Award of Excellence for Complete Streets Master Plan for Downtown New Britain to Downtown Streetscape Working Group, the City of New Britain (including the Mayor's Office, Public Works, Planning and Parks Departments), New Britain Downtown District, Polonia Business District, Central Connecticut State University/ITBE, Capitol Region Council of Governments, and Project Consultant Team.
Renewed Commitment to Main Street
Award of Excellence for Seymour Downtown Action Strategy to the Town of Seymour, Seymour Economic Development Commission, Seymour Downtown Committee, Greater Valley Chamber of Commerce, Naugatuck River Greenway Steering Committee, Naugatuck Valley Council of Governments, Downtown Merchants Association, Planimetrics, Milone and MacBroom; CT Department of Energy and Environmental Protection,and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Main Street Partnership
Award of Excellence for Axis901 and MCC on Main (Manchester) to First Niagara Bank, Manchester Community College (MCC) Foundation, and the Town of Manchester (Board of Directors and Staff).
Economic & Business Development
Award of Excellence to The Business Women of Grand Street (Waterbury) to The Dutch Flower Lady, Technology Forensics, John Bale Book Company, Fine Craft Jewelers, Dottie's 2, Princess Lingerie, Brass City Market on Field, and Fashion Addict.