The Come Home to Downtown program has been a really big deal for us. We’ve spent the last year focusing on choosing buildings and owners that stand a good chance of being redeveloped into first floor retail, office or other space with housing on the upper floors. Even with strong buildings, willing owners and a dedicated team of CMSC staff, consultants and town officials, it’s still difficult to bring the whole thing together – especially figuring out how to finance this type of mixed-use development.
But that’s what we’ve been trying to do in our Final Reports. We’re working on them now, and have been for the last few months. Taking a pilot program(which is all about learning what you don’t know as much as what you do) and filtering a year’s worth work of work into a maganageable, readable report has not been easy. It’s taken the efforts of a slew of people and many, many, many hours to bring it all together. But finally, we are. Soon, we’ll be able to share with you all that we’ve learned from our first year of Come Home to Downtown and how we think we can help bring more people back to our downtowns by making a few targeted changes. We’re excited at the prospect of moving this type of development forward, and easing the path to more walkable, livable downtowns and Main Streets.