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V.2.3 Inventory of Vacant Storefronts


Develop a plan for programming and filling vacant storefronts.


Programming storefronts engages the community and drives foot traffic to the downtown and helps create a dynamic, positive environment, even when there are vacancies. Filling those vacant storefronts increases property values, increases foot traffic, builds local economic value, provides necessary and desired goods and services and ensures the vibrancy the community is looking for.


Developing an inventory of vacant storefronts, that includes notes about ownership, available space, and other pertinent information is a good first step. It may also be helpful to utilize real estate listings and do a walking tour to identify vacant properties. Working with the landlord and other nearby businesses, utilize the vacancy inventory to make a plan for programming and filling vacancies. Other natural partners are the local Arts Council, Economic Development Commission and Chamber of Commerce.

  1. Complete a Main Street Market Analysis
  2. Write down your “wish list” of businesses desired in vacant storefronts in line with the market analysis
  3. Create engaging window displays and/or are programmed with pop up events
  4. Encourage owners to prepare vacant space to “vanilla box” ready for future tenants
  5. Make incentives, such as local grants, available to property owners and businesses for facade and interior improvements or to cover other business start up costs

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P.O. Box 270, Hartford, CT 06141 | 860.280.2337