Discover firsthand why our clients consider Vancord the best Managed Security Services Providers (MSSPs) in New England and experience the peace of mind that comes with protecting your organization against digital threats. We offer comprehensive end-to-end solutions that align with the unique security challenges businesses face in this region.
For more than 35 years, Sullivan & LeShane, Inc. has earned the reputation as Connecticut’s most respected and recognized government relations firm. We have earned our stature by constantly cultivating and strengthening relationships, committing to strategic thinking, creative problem solving and by making our clients’ success our top priority. We succeed because we understand the people, the process, the politics and the perceptions surrounding each challenge and project.
Services include: government affairs services for Community & Economic Development, Mixed-use Development, Strategic Planning, Advocacy & Public Policy
Constructing Downtown: Storrs Center 20 Year Update
Twenty-four years ago, the Town of Mansfield and UCONN had a vision to create a vibrant, walkable, mixed-use downtown. Today, Storrs Center is home to 60 businesses, 1300 residents, and boasts civic space and multi-use buildings. So what’s next?
In this webinar, Cynthia van Zelm, Mansfield Downtown Partnership Executive Director, shares share her firsthand experiences and lessons learned in downtown management.
The Three Stages of Development
Mansfield Downtown Partnership, Inc. has been involved in the construction of Storrs Center from the very beginning. Its role has changed to meet the needs of the project: planning, construction, and management
1999 – Mansfield Town Council forms “Town Green Committee”
2001 – Mansfield Downtown Partnership, Inc. to oversee redevelopment efforts
2003 – Partnership selects master developer
2003-2006 – Partnership guides Town, UConn, and master developer through approval process
2007 – Design guidelines approved
2011 – Construction Begins
2012 – First building of Phase 1A Storrs Center opens
2017 – Construction of “Storrs Center” complete
2018 – DOWNTOWN STORRS introduced for whole district
2018- Today – Key management activities include: providing business support, operations (e.g. enhancing public spaces, etc.) , working with property owners, promotion and marketing of the district, and hosting community events
Mansfield Downtown Partnership, Inc. Organization & Budget
The Board of Directors is made up of:
3 Town of Mansfield positions (appointed)
3 UConn positions (appointed)
2 Student representatives (selected)
6 Elected positions (voted on by “membership” base)
2 ex officio positions:
UConn President or designee
Senior Communications Manager
Administrative Assistant (part-time)
Their annual budget is $405,000.
Town of Mansfield – $175,000
UConn Contribution – $175,000
Economic Development Service Fee – $40,000
“Membership” Dues – $15,000
Clear direction/everyone on same page as the mission
Dedicated and funded staff is key
Be ready to pivot
Bring on and mentor a staff team that meets evolving needs
Several of the photos of Storrs Center were taken by CMSC Professional Affiliate Levin Aerial Works.
About Cynthia van Zelm
Cynthia van Zelm, is Executive Director of Mansfield Downtown Partnership. She was involved in Downtown Storrs from its inception and now concentrates on managing and promoting the downtown and Mansfield’s economic development.
Hiring a Main Street Executive – whether for the first time or as you bring on a new leader – is an exciting time. It’s a great opportunity for the organization to reposition itself and infuse it with new life. However, without strong leadership, hiring a new Main Street Executive can be delayed or worse, the wrong person might be hired.
To assist in achieving the best outcome, Connecticut Main Street Center developed an action kit to support downtown organizations in hiring a new leader. This action kit includes a workbook and editable templates and checklists. It will guide you step-by-step through the hiring process and provide you with estimated timeframes you can use throughout the entire process.
Included in the Hiring Your Main Street Executive Action Kit:
Step-by-Step guide available as an online course or PDF
Action Kit Overview Checklist
Outgoing Executive Director Exit Survey Template
Community Survey Template
Community Focus Group Presentation Template
Job Description Template
Connecticut Job Marketing Resources
First Round Interview Scorecard Template
Second Round Interview Scorecard Template
Reference Check Template
“A Day in the Life of a Main Street Executive” Video
Purchase the Hiring a Main Street Executive Action Kit
DECD’s competitive CT Communities Challenge Grant Program funds multiple projects in an effort to improve communities’ livability, vibrancy, convenience, and equity, while creating new jobs in the process. DECD’s goal is to allocate up to 50% of the funds to eligible and competitive projects in distressed municipalities and create approximately 3,000 new jobs.
This is Round 3 (the final round) of CT Communities Challenge. DECD has approximately $20 million to award in this round with a deadline of May 3, 2023 at 3:00pm.
Connecticut Main Street Center (CMSC) can provide its members with the following assistance:
Recipients of these awards have projects that are “shovel ready”, so the community engagement component should be well on its way prior to application. CMSC can help with engagement strategies and tactics to make sure your downtown stakeholders have informed your application – and that the community is a true partner in the development of the project and the application.
Public Space Strategies
CT Communities Challenge focuses on mixed-use, mixed-income development and the State of CT is particularly committed to investing in residential development. CMSC can help a community think through how the vertical development projects are complemented by vibrant, lively, and equitable public spaces. This is a great opportunity to bring CMSC field services staff in to help think through public space strategies.