Prospects of Norwich Phase 2 economic development plan could benefit from delay

September 6, 2018

Norwich Mayor Peter A. Nystrom’s proposed 3.4 million downtown revitalization program that began during his first term in office. The city carried it out in partnership with the Norwich Community Development Corporation.

Voters approving that bonding in 2010 came as a pleasant surprise. It provided various incentives in the form of grants, low-interest loans and rent subsidies to help developers bring older buildings downtown up to code, filling them with tenants on upper floors and with street-level shops.

Apartments have been added because of the incentive program taxpayers backed. And among the more impressive commercial developments that resulted was Foundry 66, at 66 Franklin St., the former Norwich Bulletin offices. Its shared workspace has provided a location for various startup businesses, retailers and service agencies.

In seeking to build on that success, Nystrom proposed an ambitious 3.4 million economic development program. NCDC laid claim that the first bond generated 2.7 million bond issue on the November ballot to upgrade the police communication system. This investment is critically important. Voters may have well put their money on that priority, to the detriment of the prospects of the development program.

Lick your wounds, Mayor Nystrom, and return to fight for your idea another day.

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