Page 1

VI B RANT MAIN STREETS 2020 CONNECTICUT MAIN STREET AWARDS OF EXCELLENCE

Photo: Bridgeport Downtown Special Services District

Connecticut Main Street Center is the expert resource for developing and sustaining vibrant downtowns that fuel Connecticut's prosperity.


cmsc board of directors Michael Andreana

Ryan Bingham

Board

Vice

Chair

Pullman

&

Comley

LLC

Chair

Sullivan

&

LeShane

Diana Deng

Laura Pirie

Secretary

Stewardship Chair

CIL

Pirie

Ryan Friedman

Shelly Saczynski

Treasurer May,

&

Finance

Bonee

&

Chair

Associates

Governance

Clark

Retired,

UIL

Chair Holdings

Toni Berlandy

Ken Livingston

Eversource

Fitzgerald

Energy

&

Halliday,

Glenn Davis

Kathy Nanowski

Liberty

Fuss

Bank

&

Architects

O’Neill

Randal P. Davis

Katie S. Pelczar

City

UBS

of

Hartford

Realty

Investors

Christine Grant

Jeffrey P. Taylor

University

Webster

of

Hartford

Southeastern

CT

Council

Bank,

N.A.

David Woods

Amanda E. Kennedy of

Gov’t

City

of

2020 main street america accredited programs: Main Street Waterbury Simsbury Main Street Partnership Upper Albany Main Street Westville Village Renaissance Alliance

Inc.

Stamford

LLC


2020 award winners THE CITIES PROJECT

5

SARA C. BRONIN

6

DOWNTOWN 2020 INITIATIVE

8

The CT Main Street Founder's Award - Presented by Eversource

The Jack Shannahan Award for Public Service

The Town of Manchester

GLOBAL CITY NORWICH

10

Global City Norwich; Chelsea Groton Foundation; Norwich Community Development Corp. With partner: The City of Norwich

HOCKANUM MILL

12

Ken Kaplan, Owner

With partners: State of Connecticut (DECD, SHPO); The Town of Vernon; Rockville Volunteer Services

COLORFUL BRIDGEPORT

16

THE ENSIGN HOUSE

18

Bridgeport Downtown Special Services District

Mark & Ieke Scully, Owners; Crosskey Architects; Prescott Construction Management With partners: The Town of Simsbury; Simsbury Main Street Partnership; State of Connecticut (SHPO); Eversource Energy; Webster Bank

POST UNIVERSITY DOWNTOWN Post University

20

With partners: Main Street Waterbury; The City of Waterbury

THE BEEHIVE BRIDGE

22

The City of New Britain; Fuss & O'Neill

With partners: Svigals & Partners; Pirie Associates Architects; Richter & Cegan; Martin Laviero Contractor Inc.; Sign Pro; Atelier Ten

MONTGOMERY MILL

The Town of Windsor Locks; Beacon Communities; Crosskey Architects

24

With partners: Fuss & O'Neill; State of Connecticut (DECD, DOL, SHPO); Connecticut Housing Finance Authority; National Park Service

02


what makes a great downtown? AT THE CT MAIN STREET CENTER WE BELIEVE THAT TOGETHER, THESE 6 ELEMENTS CREATE VIBRANT, SUSTAINABLE DOWNTOWNS.

PLACE

Authentic Main Streets take advantage of unique historic buildings, and facilitate fun for residents & visitors through events, public art, and creating dynamic uses for spaces like alleyways, sidewalks and even parking spaces.

CONNECTIVITY Healthy downtowns offer many ways for people of all ages & abilities to get around. Vibrant Main Streets are walkable, bikeable & connected to buses & other forms of transit, all surrounded by interesting development.

ECONOMIC VITALITY Studies show that money spent downtown, stays downtown. Supporting local businesses, offering a diversity of housing choices & cultivating innovation enable our downtowns to be leaders in creating jobs and economic vitality.

Great downtowns don’t just happen. They’re carefully crafted by volunteers, local stakeholders, downtown professionals and municipal officials who who care passionately about their community. CMSC helps these dedicated stewards recognize and address these 6 key areas through our educational programs, local assistance, and championing downtown-friendly regulations and policies.


INCLUSIVENESS Downtowns that embrace a variety of cultures and ethnicities, as well as a diversity of housing and transit choices, lead to places that are prosperous, innovative and authentic.

STEWARDSHIP Curating the many facets of a healthy downtown is critical. Having downtownfriendly regulations, public/private partnerships & community engagement are just some of the elements that need to be cultivated and well-managed.

SUSTAINABILITY A ready supply of buildings and walkable streets and parks means downtown is inherently green and healthy. And that makes investing in Main Streets a better choice for environmental sustainability, public health and smart design.

Managing a downtown is complex work, requiring consistent effort and tireless commitment. To recognize the people, communities and organizations whose exceptional efforts are contributing to thriving

downtowns all across the state, we bestow our annual Awards of Excellence. We hope you’ll join us in congratulating our award winners and enjoy learning about how they are inspiring great downtowns, Main Street by Main Street.

04


the cities project The Cities Project is a collaboration between seven leading Connecticut journalism organizations who publish periodic articles exploring challenges and solutions related to revitalizing Connecticut’s cities. Members of the collaboration are the CT Mirror, Connecticut Public Radio, Hearst Connecticut Media, the Hartford Courant, the Waterbury RepublicanAmerican, the Hartford Business Journal, and Purple States. Together these seven media companies describe the key challenges our cities face, identify solutions that other cities around the country have implemented to address similar challenges, and explore the feasibility of implementing those solutions in Connecticut. Upon the debut of The Cities Project in March 2019, reporter Tom Condon wrote: “We will look at renewal efforts of the past and present, examining what worked and what didn’t. We will travel to cities in other states that are dealing with the same issues Connecticut cities face, to compare notes and see if there are ideas that might be useful here.” Condon continued: “And we will pay particular attention to the challenge of inclusive recovery — how a city can share downtown prosperity with struggling neighborhoods and build a local economy that provides opportunity for all residents.” In an era when we are flooded with information, The Cities Project provides us with information necessary to influence policies and practices that positively affect the economic and social vibrancy of our main streets. From identifying obstacles to sharing nationwide best practices, The Cities Project has brought a statewide spotlight to the impact – good and bad – that investment and planning have on our downtowns. In doing so, they’ve highlighted why it’s important for CMSC to keep doing our work, so that all of our downtowns – rural, suburban and city – can enable prosperous economies and citizens.

05

the Connecticut Main street founder's award Presented by eversource Connecticut Main Street Center annually presents the Founder’s Award in recognition of individuals and organizations who dedicate themselves to promoting an awareness of the necessity of a comprehensive management approach to the revitalization of Connecticut’s historic downtowns and neighborhood commercial districts. This year, CMSC has selected The Cities Project, journalism that explores the challenges and solutions related to revitalizing Connecticut’s cities.


Sara C. Bronin Established in honor of Jack Shannahan, the former director of the Connecticut Historical Commission and State Historic Preservation Officer; and a founder and first Board Chair of CMSC, the Jack Shannahan Award for Public Service recognizes public and private sector individuals and organizations that exemplify a high standard of leadership with a deep commitment to the success of Connecticut’s Main Streets.

the Jack shannahan award for public service

Sara C. Bronin is a Mexican-American author, attorney, and architect who has worked at the local, state, and national levels on policy reforms to improve and enhance our main streets and revitalize communities. As Chair of the City of Hartford’s Planning & Zoning Commission, Sara has led collaborative efforts to draft and adopt the capital city’s FormBased Zoning Code, its first Climate Action Plan, and its 2035 City Plan, which has a compelling vision to create connections, attract people, improve opportunity, and make the city fun! As the Board Chair of Preservation CT (formerly the CT Trust for Historic Preservation), Sara has advocated for the historic preservation tax credit and worked to align preservationists and environmentalists. Sara also sits on the Board of Latinos in Heritage Conservation and serves as an Advisor to the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the Sustainable Development Code. In her day job, Sara holds the Thomas F. Gallivan Endowed Chair in Real Property Law at UCONN, and she teaches and writes about property, land use, historic preservation, and renewable energy law. She consults for cities, state agencies, and private firms all over the country. As an architect, she has won several awards for the design and rehabilitation of her downtown Hartford brownstone. She and her husband, Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin, are the parents of three young children. “Sara Bronin is a brilliant, articulate and passionate advocate for Main Streets. She understands and promotes the critical connections between historic preservation and economic development, between environmental sustainability and food security, and between public parks, affordable housing, and transit. Ms. Bronin is one of Connecticut’s leading voices in weaving together our physical assets to ensure thriving communities. We are proud to present the Jack Shannahan Award for Public Service to Sara Bronin,” said Michael Andreana, Chair of the Board of Directors of CMSC.

06


downtown 2020 The Town of Manchester Manches t er ’ s hi s t or i c downt own has been a cent er of commer ci al and communi t y l i f e t hr oughout i t s 1 35- year hi s t or y. The nat ur e of t hat commer ce and Downt own’ s r ol e as a gat her i ng pl ace has changed over t he year s t o meet cons umer needs and des i r es . I n r ecent year s , Downt own Manches t er has benef i t ed f r om cons umer s ' des i r e f or “ aut hent i c” exper i ences and l ocal l y- f ocus ed f ood and r et ai l of f er i ngs i n a wal kabl e envi r onment t hat exudes a s ens e of pl ace. Downt own i s poi s ed f or f ur t her gr owt h, however t hi s demand has cas t a br i ght l i ght on bot h oppor t uni t i es and obs t acl es : I nves t or s and bus i nes s owner s capt i vat ed by t he char m of downt own’ s hi s t or i c bui l di ngs , ar e of t en unabl e t o br i dge t he f i nanci al gaps bet ween des i r ed cont empor ar y us es and t he cos t of code compl i ance neces s ar y t o ens ur e pr oper t i es ar e s af e and acces s i bl e;

As mor e peopl e l ook t o s hop, di ne and vi s i t , t he oppor t uni t y t o enhance t he Downt own’ s br and and s ens e of pl ace wi t h capi t al i mpr ovement s mus t not be over l ooked; and Res t r uct ur i ng t he human capi t al and f ocus of downt own management i s neces s ar y t o achi eve economi c devel opment goal s and r educe anci l l ar y t axes . The Downt own 2020 I ni t i at i ve was cr eat ed t o addr es s t hes e oppor t uni t i es and over come t hes e obs t acl es . Hel pi ng downt own r each i t s pot ent i al and j ump s t ar t economi c devel opment , t he muni ci pal i t y has s et t he s t age f or f ut ur e s ucces s i n downt own, i ncl udi ng us i ng publ i c dol l ar s t o s t i mul at e pr i vat e i nves t ment . Downt own 2020 has t hr ee component s : 1 . A zer o- i nt er es t l oan pr ogr am t hat us es publ i c f unds t o bol s t er t r ans f or mat i ve pr i vat e i nves t ment i n hi s t or i c mul t i s t or y downt own bui l di ngs . Qual i f i ed i nves t ment s i ncl ude.

code updat es and bui l di ng i mpr ovement s t o accommodat e new us es . 2. Publ i c capi t al i nves t ment s , i ncl udi ng i ns t al l at i on of mar ket l i ght s t hat cr eat e a f es t i ve gat eway t o Pur nel l Pl ace; and cr eat i on of t he f i r s t i n a s er i es of publ i c mur al s al ong a pedes t r i an wal kway connect i ng Mai n St r eet wi t h a maj or downt own par ki ng ar ea, whi ch r ei nf or ces t he ar t s i dent i t y of downt own; and 3. Res t r uct ur i ng t he Downt own Manches t er Speci al Ser vi ces Di s t r i ct ( DMSSD) and i t s r el at i ons hi p wi t h t he muni ci pal i t y, wi t h a goal of maxi mi zi ng s t af f f or economi c devel opment act i vi t y and bus i nes s at t r act i on. Al t hough f unded by publ i c dol l ar s , t he Town of Manches t er i s conf i dent t hat t hes e i mpr ovement s and f ut ur e capi t al i mpr ovement pr oj ect s wi l l s t i mul at e pr i vat e i nves t ment by s t r engt heni ng Downt own' s br and, r ei nf or ci ng a s ens e of pl ace and i ncent i vi zi ng devel opment .

Dowtown 2020 is an excellent example of the municipality understanding and acting on its role in bringing downtown back to life. -- KIMBERLY PARSONS-WHITAKER

photo: Jack linkon

CT MAIN STREET CENTER

manchester


ECONOMIC VITALITY

By the end of the first year of the Downtown 2020 Initiative: The f i r s t Downt own I nves t ment Fund Loan/ Gr ant Pr ogr am appl i cant , t he Fi r es t one Ar t St udi o + Caf é, was appr oved. Feat ur i ng t he t r ans f or mat i on of a 29, 000 s q. f t . hi s t or i c commer ci al bui l di ng i nt o a mi xed- us e pr oper t y wi t h a f i r s t f l oor DI Y Ar t s Cent er & Caf é, and upper l evel maker s pace and r es i dent i al uni t s . Loan- f unded i mpr ovement s t o ADA acces s i bi l i t y, f i r e s pr i nkl er s and el evat or i mpr ovement s t ot al i ng $200, 000 wi l l add l as t i ng val ue t o t he pr oper t y and enabl e over $500, 000 i n addi t i onal i mpr ovement s t o t he pr oper t y by The Fi r es t one, whi ch has been embr aced as an ar t s , act i vi t y and r et ai l des t i nat i on.

Two Publ i c Capi t al I nves t ment pr oj ect s have been compl et ed. The i ns t al l at i on of mar ket l i ght s ( s hown above) over a s hor t s t r et ch of r oadway l eadi ng f r om Mai n St r eet t o Pur nel l Pl ace cr eat es a t wi nkl i ng gat eway t o publ i c par ki ng and a gr owi ng encl ave of downt own bus i nes s es . And a new publ i c mur al ( f aci ng page) cr eat ed by t he ar t i s t s of Bl ack I nk Cr eat i ve Par t ner s LLC and ent i t l ed “ For war d and Onwar d” cel ebr at es Manches t er ’ s commi t ment t o di ver s i t y, equi t y and i ncl us i on, and under s cor es downt own’ s ar t s i dent i t y. Addi t i onal mur al s ar e pl anned f or 2020.

08


global city norwich Global City Norwich; Chelsea Groton Foundation; Norwich Community Development Corp. With partner: The City of Norwich

Follow the leader at the Christmas Castle

Haitian Norwich Soccer Team

Gl obal Ci t y Nor wi ch ( GCN) i s a uni que, mul t i - year i ni t i at i ve f ocus ed on enl i veni ng t he vi abi l i t y of hi s t or i c downt own Nor wi ch. The pr ogr am’ s obj ect i ves ar e t o:

Juneteenth mural painting

Engage t he s t r engt h of a di ver s e popul at i on uni quel y avai l abl e i n Nor wi ch wi t h mul t i pl e f ami l yf r i endl y cul t ur al f es t i val s t hat cr eat e downt own f oot t r af f i c year - r ound; Cul t i vat e ent r epr eneur s wi t hi n t he communi t y and r emove bar r i er s i nt o t he bus i nes s communi t y t hr ough educat i on, i ncubat i on, and ment or s hi p; and

Faci l i t at e t he occupancy of empt y r et ai l s paces i n downt own t hr ough educat i ng owner s about phys i cal s pace r eadi nes s . f i nanci al pr of or mas f or us i ng r et ai l s paces , and as s i s t i ng wi t h phys i cal changes . Cr eat ed on t he pr emi s e t hat di ver s i t y i s an as s et , GCN cel ebr at es her i t age, cul t ur e, and i ncl us i venes s . I t s pr ogr ams pr ovi de an oppor t uni t y f or ci t i zens t o di s pl ay t hei r l ove of who t hey ar e, whi l e at t r act i ng peopl e f r om out s i de Nor wi ch f or vi br ant event s and oppor t uni t i es t o i nves t i n downt own. I t ’ s not j us t about s t r eet f es t i val s : Gl obal Ci t y Nor wi ch i s s et t i ng t he s t age f or economi c vi t al i t y. Hi ghl y t act i cal wor k, r equi r i ng l ot s of peopl e and s t akehol der i nvol vement , t he pr ogr am has been a cat al ys t f or t he cr eat i on of par t ner s hi ps .

Ecuadorian Dancers

Dancing at Cape Verdean Fest

norwich

John Shishmanian - www.norwichbulletin.com Polanie Dancers


Celebrating Brazil GCN i s cur r ent l y wor ki ng on Phas e 3 of t he pr ogr am: i dent i f yi ng, r ef ur bi s hi ng, and f i l l i ng empt y r et ai l s paces i n downt own wi t h l ocal ent r epr eneur s . Known as t he “ Vani l l a Box Pr ogr am” , t he ef f or t i ncr eas es pr oper t y owner awar enes s of t he emer gi ng mar ket oppor t uni t i es and t he need t o r e- pos i t i on t hei r l eas abl e s paces t o at t r act i nves t ment .

Dominican Fest dancers

As t he pr i mar y f under of t he Gl obal Ci t y Nor wi ch i ni t i at i ve, Chel s ea Gr ot on Bank Foundat i on want ed t o cr eat e a vi br ant and s us t ai nabl e downt own t o r evi t al i ze t he ar ea wi t h cul t ur e, cui s i ne and ent r epr eneur s hi p. Chel s ea Gr ot on’ s mul t i - year commi t ment i s as s i s t i ng mul t i cul t ur al ent r epr eneur s and s mal l bus i nes s owner s i nt er es t ed i n occupyi ng s t or ef r ont s paces i n downt own. The f oundat i on’ s gener ous f i nanci al commi t ment has l ever aged addi t i onal s uppor t and i nt er es t f r om s ur r oundi ng communi t i es . Chel s ea Gr ot on Foundat i on’ s s t or y i s t hat of an anchor i ns t i t ut i on s uppor t i ng t he communi t y, bei ng a champi on f or t he pr ogr am and r ecogni zi ng t hat di ver s i t y of communi t y i s an as s et .

Chinese artist

John Shishmanian - www.norwichbulletin.com

Peruvian dancers

Cape Verdean elders

INCLUSIVENESS International Family Youth Group

10


hockanum mill Ken Kaplan, Owner With partners: State of Connecticut (DECD, SHPO); The Town of Vernon; Rockville Volunteer Services

The once- bus t l i ng 1 855 Hockanum Mi l l , a t ext i l e mi l l t hat empl oyed hundr eds of wor ker s i ncl udi ng i mmi gr ant s f r om many nat i ons , had det er i or at ed i nt o an abandoned eyes or e and f i r e t r ap. Local r es i dent Ken Kapl an was i ns pi r ed t o pur chas e t he pr oper t y and di ve i nt o t he year s - l ong j ob of t r ans f or mi ng t he mi l l i nt o an i nnovat i ve, s us t ai nabl e mi xed- us e f aci l i t y t eemi ng wi t h new l i f e. A hi ghener gy, har d- dr i vi ng vi s i onar y and man of act i on, Kapl an cons i der s Hockanum Mi l l hi s “ l egacy pr oj ect ” t hat def i nes hi s l i f e’ s wor k and wi l l make a di f f er ence i n Rockvi l l e l ong af t er he i s gone. Each phas e of t hi s compl ex and dynami c mi xed- us e r edevel opment pr oj ect r equi r es equal l y compl ex pr es er vat i on and adapt i ve r eus e t ool s and s ol ut i ons , as wel l as t he vi s i on,

dr i ve, and s i ngl e- mi nded pur pos e of i t s l eader . Phas e One ( compl et ed) cent er ed ar ound t he r enovat i on of a s mal l t wos t or y concr et e bui l di ng t o become t he home of Kapl an Cycl es , a f or - pr of i t ent er pr i s e t hat r es t or es cl as s i c mot or cycl es . Kapl an Cycl es cur r ent l y gener at es over $1 mi l l i on i n r evenue per year and empl oys 20 peopl e. Ken Kapl an’ s s hor t - t er m vi s i on i s t o gr ow t he bus i nes s i nt o a $1 0 mi l l i on/ year oper at i on. Phas e Two ( compl et ed) was t he r es t or at i on of t he 2nd and 3r d f l oor s of t he adj acent mi l l bui l di ng, cr eat i ng t he New Engl and Mot or cycl e Mus eum - home t o hundr eds of cl as s i c mot or cycl es . Kapl an’ s vi s i on i s t o make i t t he l ar ges t mot or cycl e mus eum i n t he

Nor t heas t er n Uni t ed St at es . One l ook at t he gues t r egi s t r y r eveal s t he Mus eum i s al r eady at t r act i ng vi s i t or s f r om t hr oughout t he U. S. and ar ound t he wor l d. Phas e Thr ee ( i n pr ogr es s ) i s t he r enovat i on of t he f i r s t f l oor of t he mi l l bui l di ng t o become a mot or cycl e- t hemed r es t aur ant and br ew- pub. No s ur pr i s e: Ken Kapl an has al r eady des i gned cus t om l abel s f or a di s t i nct l y Rockvi l l e- cent r i c br ew! Phas es Four , Fi ve, and Si x ( t o come) wi l l t ur n an out door cour t yar d i nt o a s pect acul ar event s pace compl et e wi t h wat er f al l ; t he r enovat i on of a l ar ge mul t i - s t or y bui l di ng i nt o apar t ment s ; and t he r edevel opment of ot her bui l di ngs i n t he compl ex i nt o commer ci al s pace and an out door ent er t ai nment venue.

rockville


RD AWA THIS ER WINN ED UTILIZ RIC ISTO N CT H ATIO IT IL B REHA REDITS C X A T

STEWARDSHIP

Mills were critical components in Rockville’s history and economic success, as well as to the urban design of downtown. The preservation and adaptive reuse of these mills is challenging and expensive, requiring creative and visionary owners and strong partnerships with numerous public and private sector partners. During the renovations, Kaplan organized Rockville Volunteer Services and mobilized a team of community volunteers to conduct weekly sweeps of targeted Rockville streets, buildings and grounds to remove trash and graffiti. Several new events have been held at the Museum, bringing as many as 10,000 visitors to Rockville. Each phase of this large and complex redevelopment project is resulting in a win for the community – and we look forward to seeing Ken Kaplan’s vision fully realized.

“God is the architect, we are the builders.” -- KEN KAPLAN

12


preserving connecticut

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT WITHIN THE CONTEXT OF HISTORIC PRESERVATION IS A KEY PRINCIPLE OF THE MAIN STREET APPROACH TO DOWNTOWN REVITALIZATION. AT CMSC WE BELIEVE PRESERVING AND PROTECTING OUR NATURAL ENVIRONMENT AND OUR HISTORIC BUILDINGS SERVES BOTH AS A LINK TO OUR PAST AND HELPS ENSURE OUR FUTURE, AS SAVING THESE STRUCTURES IS OFTEN GREENER THAN BUILDING NEW.

Rehabilitating and at times adaptively reusing historic buildings such as former mills, factories and churches can be a challenge. They often have unique needs and require mediation to reconfigure interiors and clean up contaminated exteriors to meet modern-day standards. While the end results have many benefits, including returning beautiful, historically significant buildings back to productive uses that contribute to local economies, the initial cost for rehab and repair can be daunting. That’s why the State’s Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit (HTC) program is so critical for preserving our historic fabric. Administered through the State’s Historic Preservation Office (SHPO),


the HTC program is often the linchpin that

largest purchaser of state historic tax credits,

makes funding for historic preservation

and in this way is a major supporter of historic

development viable. The program is

preservation. To demonstrate how much we

designed to encourage the ownership of

value historic preservation and the state’s

historic structures, and to assist property

historic tax credit program, 2020 Awards of

owners in the rehabilitation and

Excellence winners that utilized state historic

maintenance of historic properties. The tax

tax credits are designated with the acorn

credit is issued to the property owners as a

symbol shown below. Look for this symbol

state tax voucher at the end of the

throughout this book, and for more information

rehabilitation work, which in turn is sold to a qualified entity. CMSC’s Founding Sponsor, Eversource, is the state's

THIS AW ARD WINNER UTILIZED CT HIST ORIC REHABILI TATION TAX CRE DITS

on the program, visit the SHPO website at: https://portal.ct.gov/DECD/ services/Historic-Preservation.

14


colorful Bridgeport

Bridgeport Downtown Special Services District

The Colorful Bridgeport branding & marketing program is changing people’s hearts and minds about Bridgeport, by tapping into the authentic reality of the community as welcoming, friendly, eclectic, and radiating with diversity of every type. The Bridgeport Downtown Special Services District (DSSD) and its stakeholders were motivated to recalibrate the external perception of Downtown Bridgeport as an unsafe and largely vacant commercial area of no particular distinction – in short, just another declining post-industrial Downtown.

Downtown business owners and residents know that the reality is quite different. They began with a strategic planning process that first focused on a vision for the district, defining their downtown as a welcoming, friendly, eclectic business and residential community flourishing at the intersection of commerce, community, and cultures. The next step was to establish and communicate a recognizable, distinct identity and clear value proposition for Downtown Bridgeport. At the outset it was important to focus on local talent when developing the campaign. The Bridgeport DSSD wanted local business and creative talent to benefit from rebranding

bridgeport

efforts. In all stages, they hired locally to execute the different aspects of development and production. The best branding programs are founded on storytelling, and Colorful Bridgeport does this expertly - spreading color and joy through public art, highlighting downtown entrepreneurs, residential spaces, events, and business offerings – all while elevating local talent. CMSC Awards of Excellence judging criteria includes replicability. Colorful Bridgeport is easily replicable: start with a vision and develop the strategic plan to achieve that vision. Develop a recognizable, distinct identity and clear value proposition for downtown – while creating a framework for collaboration between community partners that did not previously exist.


Fr om a des i gn per s pect i ve, t hi s pr ogr am i s vi s ual l y beaut i f ul and emot i onal l y evocat i ve, boas t i ng hi gh- qual i t y wor k. The br and i s s pot - on: aut hent i c, f un, engagi ng, cel ebr at or y, and i ncl us i ve of communi t y. Us i ng ar t s as an economi c and s oci al dr i ver , t hi s br andi ng pr ogr am r ai s es al l boat s : economi c devel opment , peopl e, and ar t i s t s . Br i dgepor t r adi at es wi t h di ver s i t y – and Col or f ul Br i dgepor t t el l s t he s t or y!

The Br i dgepor t DSSD, who s pear headed t he Col or f ul Br i dgepor t campai gn, pr omot es t he pr es er vat i on and devel opment of t he downt own bus i nes s di s t r i ct ; makes t he ar ea mor e at t r act i ve and acces s i bl e; and enhances t he publ i c per cept i on of downt own Br i dgepor t t hr ough over s eei ng and managi ng i t s appear ance, s ecur i t y, and cl eanl i nes s . The DSSD i s oper at ed under t he di r ect i on of a ni ne- member Boar d of Commi s s i oner s

r epr es ent i ng pr oper t y owner s i n downt own Br i dgepor t . The Br i dgepor t DSSD bol s t er s t he s ens e of cul t ur e and communi t y i n t he hear t of Downt own t hr ough open s pace beaut i f i cat i on, a f r i endl y t eam of Ambas s ador s who keep t he di s t r i ct cl ean and s af e, and a di ver s e ar r ay of act i vi t i es , i ncl udi ng t he Col or I t I n pr ogr am and t he Downt own Far mer s Mar ket .

INCLUSIVENESS 16


the ensign house

Mark & Ieke Scully, owners; Crosskey Architects; Prescott Construction Management With partners: The Town of Simsbury; Simsbury Main Street Partnership; State of Connecticut (SHPO); Eversource Energy; Webster Bank

The f i r s t f l oor car pet i ng was r emoved t o r eveal t he or i gi nal wood f l oor s whi ch wer e r ef i ni s hed.

Si ms bur y’ s 201 7 updat e t o t he Pl an of Cons er vat i on & Devel opment l i s t s The Ens i gn Hous e as t he #1 Char act er Res our ce t o Pr ot ect . A hi ghl y vi s i bl e gat eway t o t he Town Cent er – whi ch had been vacant or s ever el y under - ut i l i zed f or decades – t he pr oper t y was pur chas ed and r es t or ed by Si ms bur y r es i dent s Mar k and I eke Scul l y, who br ought t hei r pas s i on and exper t i s e i n hi s t or i c pr es er vat i on and ener gy ef f i ci ency t o t hi s pr oj ect . The ar chi t ect ur al s cope of wor k r equi r ed mi ni mal al t er at i ons t o t he hi s t or i c mans i on, wi t h t he f ocus bei ng on pr es er vat i on. Pr i or t o t he bui l di ng’ s vacancy i t had been us ed as a bank whi ch had r equi r ed f ew modi f i cat i ons . The f i r s t f l oor mai nt ai ns i t s or i gi nal f l oor pl an conf i gur at i on, whi ch i s i mpor t ant becaus e t hes e s paces cont ai n many hi s t or i c el ement s wi t h hi ghl yr egar ded cr af t s mans hi p and or nat e ar chi t ect ur al det ai l .

At t he s econd and t hi r d- f l oor s , par t i t i ons , s us pended cei l i ng gr i ds , and car pet i ng wer e i ns t al l ed; however , t he maj or i t y of hi s t or i c pl as t er wal l s , door s , wi ndow and door cas ement s , bas eboar ds , r adi at or s , bui l t - i ns , s i l l s , apr ons , f i r epl ace mant el s , and s ur r ounds r emai ned unt ouched. Sever al new wal l s wer e cons t r uct ed t o accommodat e t he new uni t l ayout s . Al l or i gi nal hi s t or i c f abr i c was ei t her r et ai ned i n pl ace or r eus ed. The Scul l y’ s wer e commi t t ed t o maki ng t he bui l di ng ener gy ef f i ci ent , l ow- car bon, and s us t ai nabl e. Thi s goal l ed t o s ever al f undament al deci s i ons , i ncl udi ng: Bui l di ng t he hi ghes t per f or mance bui l di ng envel ope pos s i bl e, avoi di ng f os s i l f uel s by conver t i ng t o al l el ect r i c gener at ed by r enewabl e ener gy, and gener at i ng el ect r i ci t y vi a a s ol ar ar r ay on s i t e; Pr omot i ng el ect r i c vehi cl es t o apar t ment r es i dent s and pr ovi di ng bi cycl e par ki ng.

simsbury

Re- gr adi ng t he acces s i bl e par ki ng and i ns t al l i ng per vi ous br i ck pavi ng, and i nt r oduci ng r ai n gar dens as anot her way t o capt ur e r unof f ; and Re- gr adi ng t he f r ont l awn and pl ant i ng l ow gr owi ng f es cue gr as s es t hat demand l es s i r r i gat i on and mowi ng, as wel l as i ns t al l i ng nat i ve pl ant i ngs , pol l i nat or gar dens , and cr eat i ng an her b gar den. The l ong- awai t ed r ehabi l i t at i on of t he f or mer l y vacant bui l di ng pr ot ect s a val uabl e hi s t or i c r es our ce by combi ni ng r es i dent i al and commer ci al us e t o encour age addi t i onal bus i nes s devel opment i n t he hear t of downt own. The s econd- and t hi r d- f l oor s f eat ur e f i ve apar t ment s , and t he bas ement of t he annex hous es Rheni um Sal on and Spa. The Scul l y’ s ens ur ed t hat


“It has been gratifying to play a part in restoring the Ensign House, which has been such an important part of Simsbury’s history. So many people in town have personal ties to the building, having gone to Sunday school there, worked or banked there. At every step along the way, we received the support, goodwill and advice that has made the final result better than we ever imagined.”

-- MARK & IEKE SCULLY

Photo Credit: Scully-Lisa Brisson-Valley Press

ECONOMIC VITALITY t he gr ound f l oor i s open t o t he publ i c by l eas i ng s pace t o one of Connect i cut ’ s s i gnat ur e r es t aur ant s , Met r o Bi s . Pai r i ng wor l d cl as s chef Chr i s Pr os per i wi t h t hi s l andmar k bui l di ng t o cr eat e a one- of - a- ki nd di ni ng exper i ence has at t r act ed di ner s f r om t hr oughout Connect i cut . Upon ar r i val , vi s i t or s know t hey ar e s omewher e s peci al , and t hi s uni que exper i ence wi l l dr aw peopl e f r om near and f ar .

RD AWA THIS ER WINN ED UTILIZ RIC ISTO N CT H ATIO IT BIL A H E R ITS CRED TAX

The publ i c and pr i vat e s ect or s wor ked cl os el y t oget her t o ens ur e t he s ucces s of t hi s cr i t i cal pr oj ect . Pur chas e pr i ce: $1 . 6 m. Tot al r enovat i ons : over $3. 6m Town of Si ms bur y t ax abat ement : $540k pl us ½ of al l per mi t f ees St at e and Feder al hi s t or i c t ax cr edi t s t ot al over $886k Gap f i nanci ng pr ovi ded vi a hi s t or i c pr es er vat i on t ax cr edi t s , pur chas ed by Ever s our ce Ener gy

Si ms bur y Mai n St r eet Par t ner s hi p gui ded and advi s ed t he owner s ever y s t ep of t he way, t hr ough muni ci pal and s t at e pr oces s es , and encour agi ng t he r el ocat i on of Met r o Bi s ( whi ch was cons i der i ng movi ng out of Si ms bur y) . The pr es er vat i on and adapt i ve r eus e of The Ens i gn Hous e i s evi dence of how Si ms bur y Mai n St r eet Par t ner s hi p pr i or i t i es al i gn wi t h Town pr i or i t i es . The exper t l y r es t or ed j ewel i n t he cr own of Si ms bur y’ s Town Cent er al s o compl i ment s Si ms bur y Mai n St r eet Par t ner s hi p’ s t r ans f or mat i on s t r at egy of cr eat i ng a Weddi ng Des t i nat i on ni che i n Downt own.

SUSTAINABILITY

18


post university downtown Post University With partners: Main Street Waterbury; The City of Waterbury

“We are committed to Waterbury because we care about the City, our legacy, and our history with the downtown area. We hope this move will further a transformation of the area, bring in new business for a host of downtown establishments, and spur exciting partnerships with our new neighbors. This is an extraordinary example of how a public/private partnership should work to benefit all." - JOHN L. HOPKINS, CEO & PRESIDENT, POST UNIVERSITY.

Wat er bur y’ s Howl and- Hughes bui l di ng was mor e t han j us t a depar t ment s t or e: i t was t he phys i cal r epr es ent at i on of a bygone er a. I t was r ecogni t i on of t hi s hi s t or i cal val ue, as wel l as an i ni t i at i ve t o cat al yze economi c act i vi t y i n downt own t hat pr ompt ed Pos t Uni ver s i t y’ s l eas i ng of t he bui l di ng i n 201 8. The i coni c bui l di ng i s now home t o Pos t Uni ver s i t y Downt own, a di s t ance l ear ni ng hub empl oyi ng al mos t 500 peopl e i n t he hear t of downt own Wat er bur y.

waterbury

Pos t Uni ver s i t y’ s s t ewar ds hi p of t he downt own communi t y i s r emi ni s cent of l at e 1 9t h/ ear l y 20t h cent ur y i ndus t r i al gi ant s t hat i nves t ed i n and s t ewar ded t hei r communi t i es . Pos t ’ s l eader s hi p chos e t o l ocat e downt own r at her t han expand at a s ubur ban campus , i nves t i ng i n t he l i f e of downt own Wat er bur y. The Howl and- Hughes r enovat i on and t he s ucces s of t he Uni ver s i t y’ s move pr ovi ded a l aunch pad f or downt own Wat er bur y’ s economi c devel opment , cat al yzi ng bus i nes s and i nves t ment act i vi t y i n t he ar ea. Pos t as s oci at es now f r equent downt own s hops and r es t aur ant s on a dai l y bas i s . Les s t han a mont h af t er t he Uni ver s i t y ar r i ved i n downt own, Congr es s woman J ahana Hayes r el ocat ed t he 5t h Congr es s i onal Di s t r i ct Of f i ce t o t he bui l di ng next door . Pos t Uni ver s i t y hel d i t s 201 9 Spr i ng Commencement i n downt own’ s hi s t or i c Pal ace Theat er ( s ee bel ow) f or t he f i r s t t i me i n hi s t or y, br i ngi ng hundr eds of s t udent s and t hei r f ami l i es t o downt own Wat er bur y. Pos t Downt own now s t ands as a s hi ni ng exampl e of downt own r evi t al i zat i on and t he phys i cal embodi ment of t he Uni ver s i t y’ s unwaver i ng s uppor t f or i t s Wat er bur y home. However , i t s r eal val ue i s i n s et t i ng an exampl e t hat encour ages ot her bus i nes s es t o make downt own Wat er bur y mor e of a l i vi ng, t hr i vi ng des t i nat i on.

STEWARDSHIP


Welcome!

What

do

you

do

when

nearly

500

new

workers

arrive

in

your

downtown

district? Main Street Waterbury (MSW) rolled out the red carpet for Post University.

Even

occupancy, prominent

before

MSW vertical

the

helped

Howland-Hughes

acquire

banners

now

a

zoning

erected

on

building

was

variance the

to

ready

for

allow

the

Next

up:

façade.

welcome bus tours of downtown destinations to show newcomers where to

find

a

welcome, downtown

delicious on

lunch

“opening

parking

and

day”

garage,

the

new

best

cup

workers

handing

of

were

out

coffee. met

by

downtown

To

top

MSW

off

right

their

in

directories

the and

discount coupons for downtown

businesses. Surely Post University employees will enjoy working in Downtown Waterbury!

20


the beehive bridge

The City of New Britain; Fuss & O'Neill With partners: Svigals & Partners; Pirie Associates Architects; Richter & Cegan; Martin Laviero Contractor Inc.; Sign Pro; Atelier Ten

Whi l e economi c devel opment was t he mai n dr i ver f or t hi s pr oj ect , t he Ci t y r ecogni zed a uni que oppor t uni t y t o do s omet hi ng di f f er ent . The s i x- year l ong des i gn and cr eat i on of The Beehi ve Br i dge f aci l i t at ed a s pi r i t ed communi t y i nput pr oces s r epr es ent i ng t he her i t age of t he ci t y and embr aci ng a br i ght f ut ur e. The vi s i on t hat emer ged was aut hent i c and advent ur ous – New Br i t ai n i s not af r ai d t o be i t s el f ! As envi s i oned i n Phas e 8 of New Br i t ai n’ s Compl et e St r eet s Pl an, t he f i ni s hed br i dge i s a uni que pr obl em s ol ver . Fi ve l anes wer e r educed t o t hr ee, t o bot h r educe t r af f i c s peeds and t o al l ow f or bi ke l anes and s i gni f i cant l y wi der s i dewal ks . Addi t i onal Compl et e St r eet s component s i ncl ude t r ees , pl ant i ngs , and a

New Br i t ai n’ s Beehi ve Br i dge connect s t he downt own and Li t t l e Pol and nei ghbor hoods wi t h a s i ngul ar s t r uct ur e t hat mer ges f unct i on and f or m, s ol vi ng t he connect i vi t y pr obl em and cr eat i ng a s pace t hat dr aws peopl e t o t he ar ea. The f or mer Mai n St r eet Br i dge, whi ch was nei t her wal kabl e nor bi keabl e, s epar at ed t he t wo ar eas .

The Ci t y r ecogni zed i t had a uni que oppor t uni t y t o r econnect t he t wo nei ghbor hoods wi t h an i coni c br i dge t hat woul d cr eat e t he condi t i ons f or f ut ur e i nves t ment i n downt own and t r uel y br i ng peopl e t oget her

New Britain


PLACE or i ent ed devel opment wi t h 1 60 new apar t ment uni t s wi t hi n wal ki ng di s t ance of CTFas t r ak and The Beehi ve Br i dge.

"Scientists who study the flight of the bumble bee concluded it defied the laws of physics and was impossible.

Do the Impossible."

-- PLAQUE ON THE BEEHIVE BRIDGE

pedes t r i an encl os ur e i n t he s hape of a 1 2 f oot - t al l beehi ve. Thi r t een- f oot - t al l al umi num bees anchor t he f our cor ner s of t he br i dge and t he ent i r et y of t he br i dge i s s ur r ounded by a “ honeycomb” , whi ch s er ves as a s un s cr een whi l e r educi ng bot h wi nd and noi s e. The cur ved wal l s cr eat e a dynami c s hape t hat changes over head as one wal ks t he l engt h of t he br i dge. New Br i t ai n’ s downt own i s on a r ol l . Under cons t r uct i on i s Col umbus Commons , a $58 mi l l i on mi xed- us e, t r ans i t -

Wor l d f amous as t he home of i nvent i on and manuf act ur i ng f or over 200 year s , New Br i t ai n' s downt own i s i t s el f bei ng r ei nvent ed. Capi t al i zi ng on t he 201 5 ar r i val of CTFas t r ak, t he ci t y of New Br i t ai n i s i mpl ement i ng an ener get i c St r eet s cape I mpr ovement Pl an and Wayf i ndi ng Pr oj ect s t o r evi t al i ze and ener gi ze t he downt own. Downt own New Br i t ai n cont i nues t o exper i ence an economi c r evi val . Tr ans f or mat i ve pr oj ect s ar e r es hapi ng t he downt own envi r onment and pavi ng t he way f or a dynami c, vi br ant ci t y wi t h emer gi ng r es t aur ant s , r et ai l s hops and ar t s or gani zat i ons .

CONNECTIVITY 22


montgomery mill

The Town of Windsor Locks; Beacon Communities; Crosskey Architects With partners: Fuss & O'Neill; State of Connecticut (DECD, DOL, SHPO); Connecticut Housing Finance Authority; National Park Service

The once bus t l i ng J . R. Mont gomer y Company I ndus t r i al Compl ex, a hul ki ng 225, 000 s quar e f oot s t r uct ur e, s t ood empt y and bl i ght ed cr eat i ng a def i ni ng eyes or e at t he t own’ s gat eway. I n t he ear l y 2000s , t he Wi nds or Locks communi t y r al l i ed ar ound r emovi ng bar r i er s and s eeki ng oppor t uni t i es f or t he r evi t al i zat i on of downt own. Mont gomer y Mi l l became a maj or cat al yt i c pr oj ect f or t he t own. Redevel opment of t hi s l ong vacant r i ver s i de mi l l i ncl uded: pr es er vi ng a hi s t or i c s i t e of s i gni f i cance and char act er ; pr ovi di ng new downt own hous i ng; and r econnect i ng t o and embr aci ng t he Connect i cut Ri ver , t he Wi nds or Locks Canal and t he adj acent 4. 5- mi l e Connect i cut Canal Tr ai l . The chal l enges wer e many, i ncl udi ng r emedi at i on of a mas s i ve br ownf i el d s i t e; a bl i ght ed s i t e t hr eat ened ever y pas s i ng day by expos ur e t o t he el ement s ; a pecul i ar l ocat i on wi t h l i mi t ed acces s t hat

r equi r ed cr eat i ve s i t e des i gn; and an under - per f or mi ng downt own l acki ng i n char act er . Town l eader s hi p began t o t ake i ncr ement al s t eps , put t i ng t hi ngs i n pl ace. The 2008 Downt own Mas t er Pl an woul d engage t he communi t y i n envi s i oni ng t he f ut ur e and l ai d out bot h s hor t - and l ong- t er m s t r at egi es . Thi s was f ol l owed by a 201 0 Pl an f or Rel ocat i on of t he Amt r ak St at i on; a 201 3 Tr ans i t - Or i ent ed Des i gn ( TOD) St udy and cr eat i on of a Mai n St r eet Over l ay Zone & Adapt i ve Reus e Regul at i ons ; and i n 201 6, cr eat i on of a Tax I ncr ement Fi nanci ng ( TI F) Di s t r i ct and Pl an. Wi nds or Locks became t he f i r s t muni ci pal i t y i n t he s t at e t o cr eat e a TI F Di s t r i ct and Pl an, under t he 201 5 enabl i ng l egi s l at i on, champi oned by Connect i cut Mai n St r eet Cent er . Beacon Communi t i es

THIS A WARD WINN ER UTILIZ ED CT HIS TORIC REHA BILITA TION TAX C REDIT S

Pr es i dent of Devel opment Dar a Kovel s t at ed t he pr omi s e of t he TI F Di s t r i ct pl ayed a bi g r ol e i n t he company’ s deci s i on t o i nves t i n r edevel opi ng t he Mont gomer y Mi l l i n Wi nds or Locks . The $62. 2 mi l l i on adapt i ve r eus e pr oj ect has r es ul t ed i n 1 60 new mi xed- i ncome apar t ment s , 51 % of whi ch ar e i ncome- r es t r i ct ed. Ther e ar e now over 200 s et s of f eet on t he s t r eet , enj oyi ng t hei r new apar t ment s and t he uni que l ocat i on, and s pendi ng money on l ocal goods and s er vi ces . What ’ s next ? Wi nds or Locks i s har d at wor k cr eat i ng a TI F Di s t r i ct - f unded Publ i c Mar ket , i nt egr at i ng t he mar ket , t r ai n s t at i on and s ur r oundi ng TOD. Addi t i onal next s t eps i ncl ude i mpl ement at i on of Compl et e St r eet s pr oj ect s , i ncl udi ng wayf i ndi ng, ameni t i es , a band s hel l , and Canal Par k & Tr ai l .

windsor locks


"I used to drive by this building all the time as a kid. I remember what it once looked like. The transformation is unbelievable. Never once did I imagine that this is what it could become, or that I would get the opportunity to live here. This is my first apartment and the first time I am living on my own. I chose Montgomery Mill not just for its location and amenities, but for its security and sense of community. I feel safe here. I live by myself, but with neighbors close by I never feel like I am alone. I enjoy meeting new people and seeing friendly faces when I walk out my door. And I love feeling like I am now a part of the long history of this beautiful building.�

-- ERICA RANKIN, MONTGOMERY MILL RESIDENT

ECONOMIC VITALITY 24


with grateful appreciation CT Main Street Founding Sponsors: Eversource

Energy,

CT

Department

of

Economic

&

Community

Development

 CT Main Street Growth Partners: UIL

Holdings

Corp.,

CT

State

Historic

Preservation

Office

2020 Corporate Investors M&T

Bank

Capital

for

Change

People's

United

Windsor

Federal

Bank Savings

Bank

Main Street Forums for the 21st Century Sponsors: Webster Fuss

&

Bank,

Farmington

Bank

Community

Foundation,

O'Neill

 Come Home to Downtown Partners: Connecticut Support

Housing

Corporation,

Community

Loan

Finance CIL,

Fund,

Authority,

Crosskey

MEDCO,

City

Local

Initiatives

Architects, of

Meriden

Hartford


25

years of excellence 1995 - 2020

our partner organizations: Advance CT

Hartford Foundation for Public Giving

Capitol Regional Council of Governments

Leadership Greater Hartford

CT AARP

Liberty Bank

CT Chapter, American Planning Association

Local Initiatives Support Corporation

CT Economic Development Association

Main Street America

CT Housing Finance Authority

Making Meriden

CT Preservation Action

Partnership for Strong Communities

CT State Historic Preservation Office

Preservation Connecticut

CT Urban Legal Initiative

Pro Bono Partnership

Fitzgerald & Halliday, Inc.

additional thanks: Gary Anderson, Town of Manchester

Barbara Karsky, BK&Co

W. Phillips Barlow, To Design, LLC

Erik Ben-KiKi, EBK Framing and Art Services

Kip Bergstrom, CTNext

Bridget Mariano, Naugatuck Historical Society

Ryan Bingham, Sullivan & LeShane

Gina McDonald, Fiscal Management Associates

Philip Birge-Liberman, UCONN Urban & Community Studies

Robert Mills, Norwich Community Development Corporation

Mayor Luke Bronin, City of Hartford

Harold Murphy, Murphy Realty

Laura Brown, UCONN Extension & Outreach

Peter Nystrom, Mayor of Norwich

Julie Carmelich, CT State Historic Preservation Office

Larisa Ortiz, Streetsense

Elizabeth Conroy, State of CT Office of Legislative Management

Laura Pirie, Pirie Associates Architects

Michael T. Doherty, Milone & MacBroom

John Pollard, Real Estate Advisors Ltd.

Lisa Drazen, Morgan Reed

Ron Pugliese, Naugatuck Economic Development Corporation

Robert Gibbs, Gibbs Planning Group

Kevin Scarpati, Mayor of Meriden

R. Michael Goman, Goman + York

Gary Sorge, Stantec

Pete Hess, Mayor of Naugatuck

David V. Sousa, CDM Smith

Incremental Development Alliance

Event Photography by

26


VIBRANT MAIN STREETS 2020 CONNECTICUT MAIN STREET AWARDS OF EXCELLENCE

Connecticut Main Street Center's mission is to be the catalyst that ignites Connecticut's Main Streets as the cornerstones of thriving communities. CMSC is dedicated to community and economic development within the context of historic preservation, and is committed to bringing Connecticut's commercial districts back to life socially and economically. Patrick McMahon, CEO Kimberley Parsons-Whitaker, Associate Director Christine Schilke, Marketing & Development Director Judith Stahl, Office Manager

CTÂ Main Street Center, c/o Eversource, PO Box 270 Hartford CT 06141 860.280.2337 www.ctmainstreet.org