(Hartford, CT – September 21, 2010) – CT Main Street Center has reported that investment in Connecticut Main Street communities has increased by 17% in the period from June 30, 2009 to June 30, 2010. Since the start of the recession in 2007, the number of net new jobs in Main Street districts has increased by 18%. “Even in this challenging economic climate our Main Street programs are continuing to experience significant investment in their respective districts. It is encouraging to see major institutions invest in facilities and private developers creating more housing in these main street districts,” said John Simone, President & CEO of CT Main Street Center.
Particularly impressive numbers have emerged out of downtowns in New London and Waterbury, as well as the Upper Albany Main Street neighborhood in Hartford. In downtown New London over $16.6 million was invested in public and private funds in the past year, most of which were directly attributable to the new Harbour Towers high-rise condominiums. Additionally, building improvements by 19 property owners accounted for $327,000 in private funding for their projects in the Historic Waterfront District.
In that same period, downtown Waterbury exerienced more than $4.4 million in private investment, in large part to the rehabilitation of 70 Bank Street into 18 fully leased market rate apartments, and the construction of the new Meadow Street Commons, a 28,000 square foot, Class-A retail/storefront/office building at 228 Meadow Street.
Hartford’s Upper Albany neighborhood welcomed two major projects: the rehabilitation and adaptive reuse of the Chrysalis Center’s facilities at the site of the former Sealtest Building on Homestead Avenue, and construction of the new Wilson-Gray YMCA Youth & Family Center on Albany Avenue. Together, the two projects represent $44 million in investment in the district – and follow the opening of the $20 million University of Hartford Performing Arts Center in 2008.
CT Main Street Center collects statistical information on economic activity in designated Main Street communities throughout the state every six months. In addition to increases in public and private investment, jobs, new businesses and building improvements, approximately 20,000 hours of volunteer time has been donated in the past year by individuals in community efforts to bring CT Main Street districts back to life.
“The cumulative success of the Main Street Approach and Main Street programs on the local level has earned the revitalization strategy a reputation as one of the most powerful economic development tools in the nation,” said John Simone.