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Old 01-28-2016, 06:35 PM
 
Location: Northeast states
10,333 posts, read 7,234,812 times
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How can New London/Norwich attract developments


Norwich — If Norwich is going to get out of its “worn 1980s suit,” the city must improve its own image of itself and invest in itself to attract new outside development to raise the tax base, an urban planner who has studied both Norwich and West Hartford told a room full of city government and business leaders Thursday.
Donald Poland, an urban planner and consultant, was the keynote speaker at the annual meeting of the Norwich Community Development Corp. Thursday.
Poland wrote a development plan for Norwich in 1996-97 and has revisited the city over the years since then, he told more than 50 people in attendance at the Wauregan Ballroom.
Poland also did his doctoral thesis on the economic development progress in West Hartford from 1980 to 2012.


In dozens of interviews in West Hartford with big developers, residents, business owners and city officials on what changed in town, he was surprised that the constant theme was “flowers.”
In the 1980s, the town started spending $10,000 to $20,000 per year to hire a florist to stock downtown with flowers, water and care for them. The town Public Works Department did the same in local parks.
In 2004, Poland said, a developer came to West Hartford and proposed a $110 million retail development. When Poland interviewed the developer, he said he decided to come to town when he saw that downtown streets were clean, and “all the pots had flowers in them.”
While Norwich is not as wealthy as West Hartford, Poland said, the estimated 0.0036 percent of the city budget on economic development likely is not enough.
After the meeting, Poland said he calculated that figure using economic development allocations in the budget as well as the salaries or estimated portions of certain salaries dedicated to economic development.


“You have to be willing to invest in yourself,” Poland said. “If you're not willing to invest in yourself, how can you expect someone else to invest in you?”
He said locally, downtown Mystic should be considered Norwich's direct competition for economic development, with its compact, historic downtown and waterfront. Mystic, he said, is “dressed for success.”


He posed a question to the audience: “Is Norwich more vibrant today than yesterday? Is it cleaner? Safer? More aesthetically pleasing?”
As an example of such progress, Poland pointed to the building that housed Thursday's meeting, the


renovated historic Wauregan Hotel — a $20 million housing development that included city and state grant funding as well as tax credit programs.
Poland served on the Board of Trustees of the Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation when the project came forth in the early 2000s.
“You should be proud of this,” he said. “This needs to be done every year. … I don't mean a building every year, but notable improvement every year.”
Poland said he couldn't put a dollar figure on how much Norwich should be spending on economic development, but said well under 1 percent of the annual budget is not enough.
He said he is confident Norwich can compete with surrounding towns for development. He said Norwich's compact, historic, walkable downtown provides the solid “bone structure” of the body.
“Norwich, under that worn 1980s suit it's still wearing, has an incredible physique,” Poland said.


http://www.insearchofs.com/2016/01/t...g-company.html


The Day - Planner: Norwich should invest in itself to attract economic development - News from southeastern Connecticut
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Old 01-28-2016, 06:37 PM
 
Location: Northeast states
10,333 posts, read 7,234,812 times
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Downtown Norwich



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Old 01-28-2016, 07:30 PM
 
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the buildings have potential, I think. Just need to find out a way to attract more businesses there.

New London also has potential, especially with the waterfront and beaches - just need to completely re-do the areas right around the downtown.
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Old 01-28-2016, 09:51 PM
 
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Just drove through norwich today, love the buildings there and made a mental note to take a drive with the good camera soon. New London really messed up with that eminent domain issue not long ago.
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Old 01-28-2016, 10:08 PM
 
Location: Northeast states
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Originally Posted by WouldLoveTo View Post
Just drove through norwich today, love the buildings there and made a mental note to take a drive with the good camera soon. New London really messed up with that eminent domain issue not long ago.
How to improve Norwich and New London they both close to casinos, New London has Amtrak line to Providence/Boston or NYC-Wash area, Ferry to Block Island, Shoreline East local train, 40 mins from New Haven on I-95, beaches etc.
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Old 01-28-2016, 10:10 PM
 
Location: Northeast states
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Gold star bridge New London




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Old 01-28-2016, 10:32 PM
 
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In Norwich mostly there for some small local shop's, driving to the casinos, or in the area to go camping. Do want to check out a minor league game in the town.

Mostly when thinking of New London thinking of my favorite stretch of CT: Groton/Mystic/Stonington/Waterford/Niantic/Lyme area.
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Old 01-29-2016, 04:02 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WouldLoveTo View Post
Just drove through norwich today, love the buildings there and made a mental note to take a drive with the good camera soon. New London really messed up with that eminent domain issue not long ago.
was that New London, or John Rowland?
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Old 01-29-2016, 05:17 AM
 
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Originally Posted by NewJeffCT View Post
was that New London, or John Rowland?
New London started it. Rowland was involved because they contacted him for financial aid.
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Old 01-29-2016, 06:03 AM
 
Location: CT
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The problem with Norwich or New London, or any number of other old towns and cities of the past is that their identity was build on manufacturing and commerce, and now it is largely lost. Eastern Connecticut was a major textile region because of our natural resources and rivers that were used to power and process goods, then used to get the goods down to sea faring ports on the shoreline. Over the past 60- 70 years more and more industries are moving offshore, people move away, old cities are left with fewer substantial employers and the city declines. So what's propping up the local economy as manufacturing and jobs fade away? There's still some ship building left in New London, Pfizer has always been a sizable presence, the Naval base has been a business driver, but they're all slowly and continuously contracting. Yeah, the advent of the casinos have filled some of the gap, but even they are in decline as more states turn to gaming as another source of revenue, and that pie is only so big.

So what's the answer to revitalizing our deteriorating cities and towns, I guess that's a $64M question, whoever figures it out will get a statue in their name on the green of every town they save. In my opinion, you can't tackle this town by town, you have to look at the region for it's economic potential, it can't be based solely on industry or tourism, it has to be a diverse solution to weather the occasional economic changes that will no doubt happen. By strengthening the economy of the region, towns would naturally become centers for businesses to support the industry and residents that create the demand. So, who's supposed to do it? The most obvious answer would be government, local and state co-ordination would be vital to planning and implementation af any plan. But few representatives have the will or the patience to tackle a problem of that scale. We've come to expect everything to happen quickly, but the problem didn't happen overnight and the solution won't either.

Last edited by snowtired14; 01-29-2016 at 07:08 AM..
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