Westville Village – Resource Team Final Report

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Westville Village – Resource Team Final Report
WESTVILLE VILLAGE
An Action Plan for the Revitalization of Westville Village
Connecticut Main Street Center
Resource Team
June 16-18, 2009
June 2009
WESTVILLE VILLAGE An Action Plan for the Revitalization of Westville Village
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Westville Village Renaissance Alliance
873 Whalley Avenue
New Haven, CT 06515
203-285-8539
[email protected]
Provided by:
Connecticut Main Street Center
PO Box 261595
Hartford, CT 06126
860-280-2337
www.ctmainstreet.org
The Action Plan for the Revitalization of Westville Village was generously supported by:
June 2009
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WESTVILLE VILLAGE An Action Plan for the Revitalization of Westville Village
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
Table of Contents.................................................................................................................................... 3
Purpose................................................................................................................................................... 4
Acknowledgements ................................................................................................................................. 4
Next Steps............................................................................................................................................... 4
List of Participants .................................................................................................................................. 8
Westville Village Renaissance Alliance (WVRA) Mission, Vision and Goals.......................................... 8
Placemaking & Design........................................................................................................................... .9
Economic Development ........................................................................................................................ 36
Marketing & Promotions....................................................................................................................... 54
Organization ......................................................................................................................................... 64
Appendix A: Proposed WVRA Action Plan Summary........................................................................... 75
Appendix B: Placemaking & Design ................................................................................................... 103
Appendix C: Economic Development.................................................................................................. 110
Appendix D: Marketing & Promotions ................................................................................................ 120
Appendix E: Organization................................................................................................................... 138
Appendix F: CT Main Street Center & The Main Street Approach ...................................................... 155
Appendix G: Resource Team Consultant Profiles ................................................................................ 159
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PURPOSE
The Connecticut Main Street Center (CMSC), as one of its ongoing support services to Westville Village
Renaissance Alliance (WVRA), sponsored a Resource Team for Westville Village in June 2009. The
purpose of the Resource Team Visit was to:
 Allow the community to hear outside perspectives on local issues;
 Make recommendations for WVRA based on the opportunities that exist and the community’
s
capacity to respond; and
 Help develop strategies to improve Westville Village and WVRA.
An effective and efficient organization, with a well thought out plan of work, will move a commercial
district closer to the vision defined by the residents and stakeholders.
Skilled professionals with experience working in complex commercial environments staffed the Connecticut
Main Street Resource Team (see team profiles in appendix). The Resource Team toured the district, met with
stakeholders and interested parties, and interviewed individuals from local businesses, institutions,
government and WVRA.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
The team’
s visit, June 16-18, 2009, was coordinated by the staff and volunteers of Westville Village
Renaissance Alliance. Special thanks are due to Chris Heitmann, WVRA executive director.
NEXT STEPS
The Resource Team recommends the following steps be taken by WVRA:
1. Create an ad hoc committee that includes the executive director, committee chairs and board
leadership to review this report and begin to prioritize the recommendations and start incorporating
them into the WVRA work plan. This committee should meet with CMSC staff to discuss any
questions as well as resources available to support the implementation of these recommendations.
2. Dedicate a significant portion of a board meeting to the review and discussion of this report. Each
board member should be given a copy of the full report which the board should formally adopt as a
guiding tool for future planning.
3. Offer all the people who participated in the Resource Team Visit (see List of Participants) the
opportunity to review this report.
4. The ad hoc committee can also develop a strategy to share this report with potential partners,
municipal representatives and the media.
5. Insure that appropriate WVRA staff, volunteers, and partners attend any upcoming CMSC
Downtown Revitalization Institute workshops.
6. As this report is intended to be a public document, post this report on WVRA’
s website.
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LIST OF PARTICIPANTS
Total Participants: 82
Westville Village Renaissance Alliance
Chris Heitmann, Executive Director
Gabriel DaSilva, President, Westville Gallery & Frame Shop
Helen Rosenberg, Vice President, WVRA Economic Development Committee,
Economic Development Officer, City of New Haven
Anne Weaver Lozon, Secretary, WVRA Marketing & Promotion Committee
Linda Colman, Treasurer, Colman Bookkeeping & Yarn LLC
Lisa Brandes, WVRA Membership Committee Chair, Yale Office of Graduate Studies
Eric Epstein, WVRA Placemaking & Design Committee Chair, Epstein Design
Dr. Ron Herron, WVRA Governance Committee Chair, VP of Student Affairs, SCSU
Natalie Judd, WVRA Marketing & Promotion Committee Chair, Big Voice Communications
Kathleen Krolak, WVRA Economic Development Committee Chair, EDC New Haven
Bjorn Akselsen, Marketing & Promotion Committee
Kati Bradley, Marketing & Promotion Committee, 2009 ArtWalk Coordinator, Block Watch 303
Gene Burger, Fundraising Committee
Thea Buxbaum, Fundraising Committee Chair, ArLoW owner
Tim Holahan, Fundraising Committee
Bennett Lovett-Graf, Marketing & Promotion Committee
Claire Newman, Fundraising Committee
Frank Pannenborg, Placemaking & Design Committee
Susan Papa, Marketing & Promotion Committee
Peter Stockmal, Placemaking & Design Committee
State Elected Official
State Representative Patricia Dillon
City of New Haven Staff
Susmitha Attota, City Plan
Karyn Gilvarg, City Plan
Donna Hall, City Plan
Barbara Lamb, Cultural Affairs
Kelly Murphy, Economic Development
Mike Piscitelli, Traffic & Parking
Lt. Marty Tchakarides, New Haven Police Department
Westville Village Businesses
Gail Campagna, Lena’
s Café & Confections
John Cavaliere, Lyric Hall Antiques & Conservation
Inger DaSilva, Village Gifts
Rose Foote, Bella’
s Café
Sharon Lovett-Graff, Village Gifts, Mitchell Library
Steve Goodman, Sally Goodman Antiques
Jennifer Jane, Jennifer Jane Gallery
Marjorie Lloyd, Neville’
s Fashion Design Studio
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Elvin Melendez, Bella’
s Cafe
Robert Pellegrino, Pellegrino & Pellegrino
Diana Perez-Autore, Webster Bank
Julia Saeles, Yarn, LLC
Ana De Los Angeles & Miguel Trelles, Manjares Fine Pastries
Don Wunderlee, Wunderlee Arts
Gerald Whittaker, Whitt Accounts, LLC
Linda Zucker, Kehler Liddell Gallery
Property Owners / Commercial Realtors
Steve Miller, Levey Miller Maretz Realty
Ed Schwartz, Levey Miller Maretz Realty
Manny Serge, Revive Wellness Center
Community Representatives
Tim Applebee, Resident
Rachel Berg, CitySeed
Elaine Braffman, Livable City Initiative
Paul Chambers, Westville/West Hills Community Management Team, Resident
Jessica Cuni, Resident
Greg Dildine, Candidate, Board of Alderman, Ward 25, Resident
Tagan Engel, CitySeed, Resident
Lauri Robbins Ericson, Resident
Mary Faulkner, Westville/West Hills Community Management Team, Resident
Rebecca Holcombe, Common Ground, Resident
Caren Lang, Community Action Agency of New Haven
Tom Lehtonen, City of New Haven, Board of Alderman, Resident
Michael Pinto, Friends of Edgewood Park, City of New Haven, Economic Development, Resident
Katey Ross, Residential Coordinator, Park Ridge Apartments
and numerous wonderful and enthusiastic residents of the Park Ridge Apartments
Joel Tolman, Common Ground
Performing Arts
Rachel Shapiro, Broken Umbrella Theater, Resident
Margaret Andriosi, Elm Shakespeare Theater
Jim Andriosi, Elm Shakespeare Theater
Dexter Singleton, Collective Consciousness Theater
Rafáel Massie, Collective Consciousness Theater
Larry Tomascak, SCSU Lyman Center
David Starkey, SCSU Lyman Center
Patrick Dilger, SCSU Director of Public Affairs
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Southern CT State University
Dr. Selase Williams, Provost and VP for Academic Affairs
Dr. Peter Troiano, Asst. VP and Dean of Students
Dr. Angela Todaro, Director of Residence Life
Joseph Dooley, SCSU Chief of Police
Robert Sheeley, Associate VP for Facilities Planning
Media
Thomas MacMillan, New Haven Independent
Partners and Funders
Michael Morand, Yale Office of New Haven & State Affairs
Maryanne Ott, NewAlliance Foundation
Althea Richardson, Empower New Haven
Shelly Saczynski, The United Illuminating Company
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WESTVILLE VILLAGE RENAISSANCE ALLIANCE (WVRA)
MISSION, VISION AND GOALS
MISSION STATEMENT
The Westville Village Renaissance Alliance’
s mission is to partner with local businesses,
property owners, residents, and public and private institutions to foster and sustain
economic development, cultural vitality, and community engagement in Westville Village
and the surrounding neighborhoods, while emphasizing historic preservation and
placemaking.
VISION STATEMENT
At the base of majestic West Rock, Westville Village is an inviting historic neighborhood center
within the City of New Haven. Nestled between active parks and greenways, this walkable,
sustainable community blends the best of small town living with a dynamic urban setting. Westville
Village is a vibrant social, cultural and economic hub, where residents and visitors of all ages live,
learn, work, create, dine, shop and play.
GOALS
1. Foster and activate an urban village environment that is attractive, vibrant and pedestrian-
friendly.
2. Engage existing businesses and assist them to better serve their customers; identifying
opportunities for them to expand, and identify an appropriate mix of new and compatible
uses in Westville Village properties.
3. Enhance and promote the image of Westville Village to attract and engage residents,
visitors and new businesses.
4. Position WVRA as the advocate, partner, master planner, coordinator and manager of
Westville Village.
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PLACEMAKING & DESIGN
INTRODUCTION
Westville Village’
s downtown is situated at the junction of three regional arterials - Whalley
Avenue (Route 63), Fitch Street (Route 10), and Fountain Street (Route 243). These arterials link
downtown New Haven with the suburban towns of Orange, Ansonia, Woodbridge and Hamden as
well as provide direct connections to the Wilbur Cross/ Merritt Parkway to the west. Westville
Village, therefore functions, physically and visually, as the northwestern gateway to the City of
New Haven.
For practical reasons, the CMSC Resource Team generally limited the area of study to the
boundaries of Westville’
s“
Main Streets District”(see map below). These boundaries coincide with
the limits of commercial or industrial properties in Westville Village.
Most buildings within Westville Village are brick, two or three story commercial buildings that
were built in the late 19th century or early 20th century. They have strong architectural character
and vertical presence that reinforces the street-wall. They often have retail uses on their ground
levels, attractive entrances, articulated facades and other architectural details that are based on
human proportions. These historic buildings reinforce the pedestrian scale or character of the
Village and contribute to a cohesive, understandable townscape.
In real estate parlance, it can be said that Westville Village has “
good bones”because of the beauty
and historic quality of its architecture, the intimacy and structure of its street network, the richness
of its cultural institutions, and the diversity and density of its land uses. More specifically,
Yellow-highlighted area is the Westville
Main Street District and the general limit
of study of the Connecticut Main Street
Resource Team.
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Westville Village can count a great number of assets associated with sustainable and “
bankable”
town centers or Main Streets, including:
 A traditional Main Street with a well-defined street wall, comprised of many fine, humanscale, historic buildings with articulated and interesting facades.
 An interesting and diverse mix of land uses including unique retail stores, boutique shops,
art galleries, artists’work-live studios, and a variety of services and office uses (refer to
“
Land Use Map”in Appendix B).
 A geographically distinctive location on the outskirts of a vibrant, world-class, university
city, framed by the geologically unique and visually impressive West Rock.
 A thriving and well-respected Southern Connecticut State University (SCSU) with 12,000
students located within 1/3 mile of the Village core. Over 8,000 of these students commute
to the university and a large percentage of these commuters travel through Westville Village
to and from the campus.
 The Village is surrounded on three sides by dense, stable, attractive residential
neighborhoods with a wonderful diversity of housing stock (the neighborhood to the north
of Westville Village is less inviting as a walkable neighborhood because of the more autooriented design of many of the
buildings.
 Beautiful natural assets wend a
‘
Green Infrastructure’around and
through the Village to provide
natural cooling, aesthetic appeal,
excellent opportunities for recreation
and safe corridors for biking and
walking. This green infrastructure
includes:
o The seven-mile long West Rock
State Park located directly
northwest of the Village offering
hiking, bicycling, fishing,
canoeing, kayaking, horseback
riding, picnicking, cross-country
skiing, and rock climbing. There
is direct hiking and mountain
Westville Village is surrounded by parks –including West Rock
bike access via Amrhyn Field at
State Park to the north, Edgewood Park to the south and Beaver
the base of West Rock, a few
Pond Park to the east.
hundred yards from the heart of
the village. Bicycle and vehicular access to the park is via Wintergreen Avenue through
the campus of SCSU. The park also includes the West Rock Nature Center which is
operated by the City of New Haven.
o Amrhyn Field near Blake Street, which hosts local little league and softball games in the
spring and summer, and serves as an access point to West Rock Ridge State Park for dog
walkers, hikers and mountain bikers.
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o Edgewood Park, a jewel of the City of New Haven’
s park system. Edgewood Park
includes Coogan Pavilion and a gazebo used for summer camp and Ranger
programs. Recreational offerings include a dog run, a skate park, a water park,
playgrounds, canoeing, fishing, wetlands viewing platform (for nature and birdwatching), lighted tennis and basketball courts, softball, baseball and soccer fields,
and trails for walking, jogging, bicycling and cross-country skiing. Edgewood Park
also provides a green corridor linking Westville to Yale Bowl, the CT Tennis
Center and numerous other sports and recreational assets of Yale University.
o Beecher Park and Mitchell Library enhance the western gateway to the Village.
o The West River, which runs from West Rock Park through the core of the Village
into Edgewood Park, and includes a pedestrian walk atop the southerly bank of the
river, adjacent to the Village center.
o The planned, yet unfinished, West River Greenway and trails that extend along the
West River from Long Island Sound linking the City Point section of New Haven
to Beaver Pond Park to the northeast. The West River
Greenway will eventually connect to the Farmington
Canal Greenway at Beaver Pond Park providing a direct
connection to the East Coast Greenway.
 An excellent network of urban streets and arterials (including
state-designated highways) converge in Westville Village
and provide direct connections to Downtown New Haven,
the Town of Hamden to the north and suburban bedroom
towns to the west. The street network is a lifeline to Village
merchants that rely on the heavy
drive-by commuter traffic for
shop patrons.
 Proximity to several colleges and
While the West River
passes through the
universities that lie within a three
center of Westville
mile radius of the Village
Village and has a
pedestrian walk along
including: Southern Connecticut
its south bank, its
State University, Albertus
channelized banks and
harsh fencing do not
Magnus College, Gateway
make the path inviting.
Community College, Paier
College of Art, the University of New Haven, the Yale School of Medicine, the Yale School
of Nursing, and Yale University. In addition, Quinnipiac University is located off Route 10
in Hamden, approximately seven miles north of Westville Village.
 A relatively good bus network with 10 to 15 minute rush hour headways (i.e. time interval
between two buses traveling in the same direction on the same route) between Westville
Village and Downtown New Haven.
 An adequate supply of on-street and off-street parking.
The Resource Team was impressed by the quality and complexity of these assets and buoyed by
the energy and enthusiasm of Westville residents that wish to make the Village a better place.
Consequently, we are optimistic that the limited obstacles to the economic revitalization of the
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Village can be overcome if residents, Village leaders, and City officials undertake a coordinated,
thoughtful, and concerted planning process and make incremental, but meaningful improvements
that will create walkability, attract renewed investment, and spur a revival of this historic mill
town that will provide long-term economic viability and ensure that Westville will be a desirable,
livable place and a model community for the 21st century.
DESIGN GOALS AND OBJECTIVES
Westville Village is an historic, mixed-use village within a city that is surrounded by parks.
WVRA’
s Vision Statement includes the phrase “
Nestled between active parks and greenways, this
walkable, sustainable community blends the best of small town living with a dynamic urban
setting.”
- the CMSC Resource Team could not agree more. To echo WVRA’
s Vision Statement
further, the Village “
is a vibrant social, cultural and economic hub where residents and visitors of
all ages live, learn, work, create, dine, shop and play.”
WVRA’
s Mission for the Village is to “
foster and sustain economic development, cultural vitality,
and community engagement in Westville Village and the surrounding neighborhoods, while
emphasizing historic preservation and place-making.”Design-related goals and objectives that
would help achieve WVRA’
s vision for Westville Village, as derived by the Resource Team’
s
various interviews with residents and stakeholders and a review of WVRA’
s own strengths,
weaknesses, opportunities and threats
(SWOT) analysis include:
 Mitigate future traffic growth by
expanding the existing compact
and traditional pattern of
mixed-use development.
 Promote responsible growth,
improve housing choice, and
increase employment
opportunities in the corridor
through infill development and
conversion of single-use
buildings to mixed-use
buildings.
 Facilitate mode shift from
The West River Greenway (blue line) links Westville Village to Long
dependence on the singleIsland Sound at City Point.
occupant auto to increased use
of mass transit and non-motorized forms of travel.
 Improve safety for vehicular, pedestrian, and bicycle traffic throughout the Village by
providing better pedestrian and bicycle facilities and utilizing appropriate traffic-calming
techniques to reduce vehicular travel speeds.
 Improve personal security and the safety of the streets by providing adequate lighting,
increased police presence, and other physical improvements and community building
principles that deter criminal behavior.
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WESTVILLE VILLAGE An Action Plan for the Revitalization of Westville Village
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To help WVRA attain these goals, the Resource Team assessed existing conditions and identified
specific ways that the Village can achieve long-term viability; reinforce its position as the center
of social and cultural life for the west side of New Haven; and, revive its distinct visual identity
within the context and vernacular of a small New England mill town.
O BSERV AT IO NS
SPECIAL CHALLENGES TO REVITALIZATION
Physical Impediments
During the numerous focus group meetings where the Resource Team met with small groups of
Westville residents, City officials, business leaders, and stakeholders, common threads emerged
relative to specific challenges that Westville faces in its desire to revitalize the Village; including:
 High traffic speeds resulting in high rates of
traffic accidents in the Village and creating a
threatening atmosphere that is not conducive
to walking or bicycle riding.
 Pedestrian Safety is a major concern of
residents. Pedestrians complain of inadequate
pedestrian signals, poor lighting, poorly
marked crosswalks, long distances from curb
to curb, long distances between crosswalks,
and speeding vehicles as factors that
Crosswalks and pedestrian crossing signals in
contribute to a lack of safety, especially for
Westville Village are poorly maintained.
children, and elderly and disabled persons. In
particular, there are at least three intersections that are not pedestrian friendly because of
high traffic volumes, high vehicle speeds, and minimal pedestrian counter measures. These
problem intersections, which were identified by residents or stakeholders and not through a
traffic study or other engineering analysis of pedestrian safety, include: 1) Whalley Avenue
and Blake Street; Whalley Avenue and Fountain Street; and, 3) Whalley Avenue and Fitch
Street (refer to map titled “Traffic Issues”in Appendix B).
 The parking supply in the Village is adequate, however, the location of off-street parking
lots are not apparent (better signage is needed); pedestrian access between store entrances
and parking lots is not direct or visually attractive; and parking spaces are infrequently
shared among multiple property owners or uses.
 Underutilized and blighted buildings or vacant storefronts are scattered throughout the
Village. The former restaurant and catering facility known as 500 Blake Street represents
the largest vacancy.
 There is limited foot traffic along the major retail streets of the Village. Pedestrian
improvements need to be constructed to improve sidewalks and to provide a pleasant
walking environment. Also, safe, well-lit linkages to the Village from the surrounding
neighborhoods should be created to improve walkability. A special challenge is to improve
pedestrian linkages to neighborhoods to the east because Edgewood Park and the Mishkan
Israel Cemetery/Westville Cemetery occupy over 1,400 feet of frontage along the north and
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south sides of Whalley Avenue. This greenspace provides an attractive gateway but is not
supportive of the walking experience.
 Signage in the Village is inadequate or
poorly-designed. Retailers and service
establishments should do more to improve
the readability and attractiveness of their
signs. There is also a lack of directory
signs and way-finding signs in the Village.
 Areas of the Village have poorly
maintained public spaces, including bus
stops, which have broken and heaved
sidewalks, graffiti, and litter.
Sidewalks along Whalley Avenue in Westville Village are
narrow but have fairly mature shade trees.
 West River ‘
barrier’
: The large (240+
unit) residential apartment complex
recently constructed on Blake Street (known as Wintergreen of Westville) on the opposite
side of the West River from the Village turns its back on the river and does not capitalize on
it as a recreational or visual asset. Another lost opportunity related to that development is
the lack of a direct pedestrian connection to the Village over the river in the form of a
pedestrian bridge. Also, the existing riverwalk atop the south retaining wall that forms the
river channel is rarely used by the public; presumably because: a) the river is channelized
and lacks natural vegetation along its edge; b) the walls of the channel block views of river
from adjacent areas; c) the walkway is narrow and hemmed in by harsh metal fencing; and,
d) there are few access points between the riverwalk and Westville Village center –it goes
from “
nowhere”to “
nowhere”
.
 Lack of Connectivity between Westville Village and SCSU: The center of Southern
Connecticut State University’
s (SCSU) campus is situated only one-half of a mile north of
the center of Westville Village (see page 20 for map titled “
Walkability”
). The Village is
therefore a logical destination for students, faculty and staff to shop, dine, and gather for
social interaction. However, there is limited patronage of Village stores, restaurants and
services by students and staff. This is attributed to the following factors:
o Uninviting land uses between SCSU and the Village: In particular, the land uses along
Fitch Street (a north-south street that is the principal vehicular street linking the campus
to the Village) are either industrial or commercial uses that have an auto-oriented or
suburban density.
o The predominance of large parking lots between the sidewalk and campus buildings
along Farnham Avenue (a north-south street that provides the most direct physical link
between the campus and the Village) serves to intimidate pedestrians because they have
little in the way of places or activities that would provide “
natural surveillance”
; and
because parking lots, by nature, are dull and uninteresting land uses which do not
encourage people to stroll.
o There are no convenient and free/low-cost shuttles that would bring SCSU students to
Westville Village. Students either have to walk, bicycle, take a CT Transit bus or drive.
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Regulatory Barriers
Regulatory constraints often work against good design, raise roadblocks against innovation, or,
ironically, prevent projects that are otherwise consistent with the traditional character of the
community. Zoning, subdivision, and building codes can inadvertently discourage
redevelopment or infill development.
The following is a discussion of land-use permit or zoning related regulatory barriers that were
observed by the CMSC Resource Team, learned through discussion with City officials,
residents and business people, or gleaned through a casual review of zoning regulations.
Zoning Barriers
Most of Whalley Avenue in
Commercial
buildings along
Westville Village and side
Whalley Avenue are
streets within 400 feet of
multi-story,
traditional, and
Whalley Avenue is zoned
situated close to
‘
General Business’district
the street –all
factors that
(BA) (refer to map titled
reinforce the ‘
street
“Existing Zoning”in
wall.’
Appendix B). Sites in the
immediate vicinity of the
commercial core of the
Village are predominately zoned ‘
Residential Middle
Density’(RM) with public lands zoned ‘
Park’
. Sites along
the frontage of Fitch Street from Whalley north to the
SCSU campus encompass a mishmash of zones including
BA, ‘
Light Industrial’(IL), RM, and ‘
Planned
Development District’(PDD). It is our opinion that these
traditional (aka Euclidean) zoning regulations do not
provide enough flexibility in allowing mixed-uses nor the
ability to control the more subjective aspects of urban
place-making such as building form and design. A general discussion on the attributes and
shortcomings of traditional zoning can be found
in Appendix B including a brief discussion on alternative zoning designations of the City of
New Haven’
s zoning code such as Planned Development Districts, historic districts, and overlay
districts. Zoning district lines for Westville Village can be found on the “Walkability”map,
page 20.
Overlay districts (such as the Whalley Avenue Overlay District - established to support mixeduse development on Whalley Avenue between Ella T. Grasso Boulevard and Sherman Avenue)
are an improvement over traditional zoning and can be valuable zoning tools since they provide
more stringent design standards that encourage traditional development. For this reason, a
review should be undertaken to determine if the Whalley Avenue Overlay District (WAOD)
could be adapted or customized to better serve Westville Village and to replace the BA zoning
district.
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Alternatively, WVRA may want to facilitate the redevelopment initiatives and Smart Growth
strategies identified in this report by revising zoning entirely, not only to adopt design standards to
control the more subjective aspects of development (as in the WAOD), but also to allow a variety of
land uses and densities not currently allowed in the BA zone –uses that would improve the
diversity and liveliness of the Village and increase opportunities to attract business investment. The
best tool to achieve such positive change is the ‘
Smart Code.’
The Smart Code is a relatively new land development ordinance that integrates zoning, subdivision
regulations, urban design, street standards and basic architectural controls into one document. It is
customized for each community and calibrated for each district within the community to enable
walkable and mixed-use neighborhoods, to improve transportation options, to preserve and enhance
local character, to provide housing diversity, and to create more vibrant communities.1
The Smart Code is a “
form-based code”that primarily addresses the physical form of building and
community. It is therefore unlike conventional zoning codes based on use and density. 2 With the
exception of a limited area within the Town of Groton, the Smart Code has not yet been adopted by
any Connecticut municipalities. However, the Town of Hamden is currently revising its land use
and zoning regulations to implement transect zoning and a form-based code town-wide. Westville
Village could look to the north for a progressive zoning ordinance that would not only support its
Main Street initiatives but also result in a better community to live, work, learn and play.
Not incidentally, private redevelopment using the Smart Code greatly improves the “
walkability”
and safety of the street. This is because traditional patterns of development can provide trafficcalming benefits by creating enclosure and changing the psychological feel of the street. These
development patterns and complex urban forms send clear reminders or cues to motorists of the
dual functions of the street, as both a movement corridor and as a place for social and cultural
activity. 3 The presence of pedestrians, bicyclists, parked vehicles and prominent crosswalks also
conveys a sense of uncertainty and a reminder that movement on the street is not limited to
vehicles. The attention to detail of the design of the street edge and the creation of an interesting
and compact “
street-wall”have a moderating influence on motor vehicle speeds and obligate
motorists to drive slowly and attentively.4 All of these visual cues impart a distinctly village
character to the street that will remind motorists that they are in a special district and are using
streets that are designed for multiple users. People, not cars, are the priority.
Parking Challenges
Like most zones in the City, zoning regulations that govern uses in the BA zone also establish
minimum parking requirements based on the type of use or uses within the building. The City
parking minimums are not favorable for retail and mixed-use districts or supportive of principles of
Smart Growth. They do not allow developers to utilize shared parking with neighboring uses or
property owners in order to maximize parking efficiency, minimize or consolidate curb-cuts, and
effect safer, coordinated traffic flow through rear parking lots.
1
SmartCode Central, “
About the Code”
. Source website: http://www.smartcodecentral.com/about2.html
2
Ibid.
3
Engwicht, David, “
Street Reclaiming Through Design”
; Source website:
http://www.lesstraffic.com/Articles/Traffic/SRdesign.htm
4
Nozzi, Dom. “
The Ingredients of a Walkable Street”Source website: http://www.walkablestreets.com/walkingred.htm
16
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The availability of parking is a key issue for most town centers and main street business owners.
Since land in older retail districts is often in short supply, and large surface parking areas are
generally not conducive to a pedestrian environment, large parking lots are not good for Main Street
retail districts. Surface parking lots often cover more ground
than the commercial buildings they are intended to serve. On
average, 54% of the land area of commercial development is
paved and used for parking.5
On-street parking and public parking lots may be vital
resources, but often there is a perception that these facilities
are at or near capacity even when they are not. Communities
often have to balance the need for parking and the inclination
of businesses to provide parking to meet peak hour demand
during the busiest shopping periods with the desire to have a
compact, pedestrian-friendly, and aesthetically pleasing
downtown or Main Street.
Current parking policies instituted along Whalley Avenue
Parking prohibition signs clutter curbsides
include tow zones in that apply from 7 to 9 A.M. for the
and discourage shopping.
south side of the street and 4 to 6 P.M for the north side of
the street. Presumably, this is to facilitate in-bound in the morning and out-bound traffic in the
afternoon, respectively, by allowing more space for traffic to operate. The tow zones are not
enforced and are routinely ignored; also, it is not apparent what benefit would be gained if the tow
zone was enforced since the space made available by not allow parked vehicles cannot be used to
create an additional travel lane. Village residents and merchants have requested that the signs be
removed since they discourage people from parking on the street and patronizing local businesses.
While the New Haven City Plan Commission is
fairly progressive in its policies and practices
regarding Main Street architecture, site planning, and
place-making, its requirements for the construction
of parking for commercial developments is a bit
regressive and result in the construction of an
excessive amount of parking. These requirements
are out of synch with current practices and evolving
planning principles. There is a growing body of
evidence that indicates that parking demand in
mixed-use, high-density districts is significantly less
On-street parking along most streets in Westville
than similarly sized developments in single-use, lowVillage center provides convenient parking for
density districts. This decreased demand is due to a
shops and also creates a buffer for pedestrians.
number of qualities unique to mixed-use districts
including: the availability of alternative transportation choices (walking, biking, and transit);
complementary, cross-utilization of parking by surrounding land uses (e.g. an office building
parking lot will be empty when the restaurant next door is packed after 5 P.M., so requiring both to
provide for 100 percent of their parking needs is redundant); the availability of off-site parking
5
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Development, Community, and Environment Division. January 2006. Parking
Spaces/Community Places: Finding Balance through Smart Growth Solutions. Page 7.
June 2009
WESTVILLE VILLAGE An Action Plan for the Revitalization of Westville Village
17
within ¼ mile walking distance (i.e. municipal parking lots or garages)6 and, the convenience of onstreet parking.7
Researchers are finding that parking regulations should be adjusted to factor efficiencies gained by
using mixed-use and compact development planning principles. A recent study by the University
of Connecticut’
s Transportation Institute specifically evaluated parking supply and demand in
several New England mixed-use districts, and compared that demand to parking requirements
mandated by local jurisdictions. This study discovered that, on average, the amount of parking
mandated by municipal regulation was about two and one-half times peak use.8 The study
concluded that peak demand in compact, mixed-use districts averaged only 2.0 parking spaces per
1,000 square feet of building area. The Village should conduct a detailed inventory of parking
availability for commercial uses, and its rate of utilization over various periods throughout the day.
The objective of the study would be to provide tangible data on parking supply and demand specific
to the Village that will allow the City Plan Commission to reduce parking requirements to more
appropriate levels.
Recommendations
Westville Village Design Strategies
Westville Village possesses a remarkably strong structure of
traditional, urban streets with a ‘
Main Street’core; strong
neighborhood landmarks in its churches and civic buildings;
and a network of natural, green areas. As with any town, this
structure can be weakened or destroyed, as during the days of
urban renewal, when so many small cities ripped out their old
neighborhoods and replaced them with highways, large
commercial structures, and acres of asphalt parking lots.
Westville Village was spared much of that indignity, and that
strong underlying structure remains.
Westville Village contains fine,
historic buildings - many dating back
th
to the 19 century.
Now, however, there are signs this strong urban form is in
jeopardy due to disinvestment, deferred maintenance of historic buildings, and dysfunctional
streets. These forces will almost certainly further fracture the Village unless we can re-integrate
Westville Village’
s streets, natural environment and neighborhoods by reestablishing Westville
Village’
s traditional development and building forms. These development patterns, characterized
as "Smart Growth”
, enhance the livability of villages, towns, and cities by preserving green space,
slowing traffic speeds and easing traffic congestion, restoring a sense of community, and enhancing
economic competitiveness.
6
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Development, Community, and Environment Division. January 2006. Parking
Spaces/Community Places: Finding Balance through Smart Growth Solutions.
7
Oregon Transportation and Growth Management Program. C. 2001. Commercial and Mixed-use Development: Code
Handbook.
8
Marshall, Wesley E. and Garrick, PhD, Norman W. November 2005. Parking at Mixed-Use Centers in Small Cities.
University of Connecticut, Connecticut Transportation Institute, Civil and Environmental Engineering.
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WESTVILLE VILLAGE An Action Plan for the Revitalization of Westville Village
June 2009
In Westville Village, the Smart Growth answer lies not in applying a particular development style,
but in understanding the visual and underlying functional structure of the Village, and clarifying
and supporting each part of the structure until it bonds together as a coherent whole. This means
analyzing the spatial and architectural anatomy of each street, recognizing that every block evolved
under a clear set of rules that, if recognized, can serve to guide renovation and infill projects. It also
means looking for a similar clarification of parks, cemeteries and natural areas. Right now this
natural system is hidden or isolated from easy access by pedestrians.
The following sections discuss various strategies that can help Westville Village attain Smart
Growth under the common agenda of sustainable development. They are organized under the
categories of land use and transportation. While discussed separately, it is important to understand
the many relationships between land use and transportation in order to understand how to create
more functional and beautiful streets.
For example, land use development patterns that provide increased density, pedestrian-friendly
urban design, and a mix of land use types increase opportunities for residents and workers to use
transit or alternative transportation. Similarly, traffic-calmed streets that are designed for vehicles,
pedestrians, bicyclists and transit-riders contribute to a better urban environment - ecologically,
socially and economically, and support land development initiatives.
Walkability Map
Most of the commercial core of Westville Village is contained within a ¼ mile radius (yellow circle at lower
left) which planners consider to be the ideal planning unit for a traditional neighborhood because it is the
distance most people can walk in 5 minutes. The yellow circle at the upper right is the ¼ mile walking
radius centered on the SCSU Student Center .
June 2009
WESTVILLE VILLAGE An Action Plan for the Revitalization of Westville Village
19
It’
s All About Walkability
One of the prime indicators that a district or city has successfully integrated land use and
transportation to achieve Smart Growth is “
walkability”
. Districts that are walkable are the places
people prefer to shop in, to visit, to invest in and to live, work and play in. Conversely, places that
are not walkable have empty streets at most hours of the day and experience disinvestment. Dr.
Seuss said it best: “With your head full of brains and your shoes full of feet, you’
re too smart to go
down a not-so-good street.”9
Walkability, therefore, is a crucial virtue of town and village centers, but is a difficult concept to
define. We define walkability as attractive streets and sidewalks that not only promote
pedestrianism with wide and well-maintained sidewalks and safe and accessible crosswalks, but
also by enticing people to walk, stroll and wander. A district is truly walkable when its buildings,
street trees, and other amenities offer beauty, provide comfort, and create enclosure; where
pedestrians of all ages and abilities feel safe from traffic. The sidewalks are alive with people,
colorful flowers and banners, artistic signs, impromptu art exhibits, alluring shop windows,
sidewalk cafes, and pedestrian-level lighting. All of this richness and comfort combine to create
urban environments that attract people and make them want to linger and enjoy their surroundings
while they conduct everyday business, window-shop, or simply enjoy walking in a nice
environment for health and recreation.
SMART GROWTH
STRATEGIES: LAND USE
Village Core Infill
Development:
WVRA can best overcome
impediments to revitalization by
embracing Smart Growth
strategies and increasing the
concentration of buildings and
people in the Village. Smart
Growth development strategies
reduce reliance on singleoccupant auto use by creating
Possible infill redevelopment in Westville Village. Source: South Central
Regional Council of Governments, “Route 10 Corridor Study, City of New
dense, mixed-use development
Haven- and Town of Hamden.”
that encourages park and walk
behavior. People prefer to live,
work, and conduct business and social activities in mixed use districts that are attractive, compact,
walkable, have a human scale, cater to an array of lifestyles, and are alive with a diversity of
activities (business, retail, entertainment, dining, cultural, mixed-income housing, artist lofts and
galleries, etc.) throughout the day and through much of the night.
9
Seuss, Dr. “
Oh, the Places You'll Go!”
. New York: Random House, 1990.
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WESTVILLE VILLAGE An Action Plan for the Revitalization of Westville Village
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There are many underutilized parcels, vacant lots or parking lots within the Village (especially
along the back streets between Whalley Avenue and the West River) that could accommodate
new development (see Appendix B for map titled “Potential Development/Redevelopment
Opportunities”). Smart Growth in the form of “
New Urbanism”is a natural choice to provide
infill development in Westville that would not only capitalize on the unique architectural and
historical assets and traditional charm of the Village, but also complement it.
Infill development planned, designed and constructed under the precepts of New Urbanism
would complement the density, height, scale, and character of the existing buildings that front
on Whalley Avenue or Blake Street. Infill development would provide a critical mass of
leasable space and retail services to improve the economic sustainability of the village and
support its long-term viability.
The New Urbanism planning and design precepts include:

Development should be organized within a traditional grid of streets with short blocks
that encourage walking and promote safety and security.

Streets must have narrow traffic lanes, on-street parking, wide sidewalks, and, where
possible, bicycle lanes or other bicycle infrastructure.

Human-scaled architecture that results in finely detailed, contextual buildings with
porches, cafes, custom, pedestrian-level lighting and signage.

Buildings must be multi-story, mixed-use (e.g. residential, small-scale retail,
restaurants, professional services such as doctors, lawyers finance and real estate
offices) situated close to a tree-lined street.

Any off-street parking and loading areas must be discretely located to the rear of
buildings.

Buildings should be closely spaced with no parking or vacant lots between buildings
that would result in a gap in the “
street wall.”This proximity and density of uses
contribute greatly to ‘
walkability’and allow people to visit multiple destinations
without having to drive.
Infill Development along Fitch Street:
Zoning and land use regulations should
be revised to encourage the conversion of
industrial uses along Fitch Street
(between Whalley and Blake) to
neighborhood-oriented and transitsupportive, mixed-use development. This
change will result in development that is
more compatible with the adjacent
residential districts and will also provide
more continuous, pedestrian-friendly
retail linkages between SCSU and
Westville Village Center.
June 2009
Southern Connecticut State University (SCSU) and its
12,000 students are situated only 1/3 of a mile north of
Westville Village. Source of photo: SCSU website
WESTVILLE VILLAGE An Action Plan for the Revitalization of Westville Village
21
Transit-Supportive Infill Development: Westville Village benefits greatly from being at the
junction of several bus routes. However, bus transit facilities need to be better integrated within the
Village to better capture the economic potential of spending by bus transit riders and to allow
Village dwellers better access to remote jobs. For example, a bus transit hub located somewhere
between Westville Village and SCSU would increase foot traffic in Westville Village Center by
providing a pulse point at the junction of existing bus lines and the proposed Cross Town West bus
line. If this bus transit hub was coupled with New Urbanism styled, mixed-use infill development,
it would create multi-functional public spaces that allow transit riders to undertake multiple tasks or
errands at one stop, or to simply enjoy a cup of coffee at a sidewalk café while waiting for the bus.10
Dense, quality, mixed-use development (that includes a significant number of residential units)
constructed along existing bus routes in our cities will serve to reduce sprawl in outlying areas and
reduce distances that people commute to work by providing people with housing opportunities
closer to where they work and shop. This type of transit-supportive infill development therefore,
would not only increase transit ridership by improving access to transit, but would also encourage
economic development by co-locating uses at transit hubs.11
Transit-supportive or transit-friendly development not only controls growth and encourages
redevelopment of and reinvestment in our urban centers, but also reduces highway congestion,
reduces harmful vehicle emissions, and decreases the amount of contaminated runoff from
roadways. Improved transit opportunities also provide area residents with improved quality of life
by reducing commuting stress and household transportation expenses. Transit-supportive infill
development, therefore, is a prime example of Smart Growth because compact, quality, mixed-use
development adjacent to major bus routes can optimize use of urban infrastructure and promote
transit ridership –and lively, bus transit hubs adjacent to dense urban development can improve
land values of nearby properties.12 In other words, well-planned, infill development supports
transit and efficient, quality transit supports infill development.
In short, the economic development rewards of a successful infill redevelopment program include
increased investment in our historic urban core; increased property values and tax revenues;
strengthening of the city’
s appeal as a place to live, work and play; and, increased customer base
(e.g. transit users, new residents, and increased level of pedestrianism) for area retailers. 13 A map
titled “Potential Development Opportunities”that shows where we believe infill development
opportunities exist in Westville Village is provided in Appendix B.
10
South Central Regional Council of Governments, “
Route 10 Corridor Study, City of New Haven –Town of Hamden”
,
June 2008; Prepared by CHA, Inc. Pgs. 4-6, 4-7.
11
Ibid.
12
Ibid.
13
Ibid.
22
WESTVILLE VILLAGE An Action Plan for the Revitalization of Westville Village
June 2009
Construct Parking Structures to Increase Critical Mass
WVRA and the City should not hesitate to allow infill development to occur on surface parking
lots provided that on-street and municipal parking is available within the block. A high rate of
utilization of parking during peak hours is an
indicator of a successful Main Street. In the
event that development outpaces parking
supply, the Village or City should require
developers to construct parking structures
located behind ‘
liner buildings’
. The liner
buildings would contain retail, office and
residential space and would hide the parking
garages from view from the street. Parking
structures constructed in this manner are
compatible with traditional main streets, would
Parking structure on Audubon Court in downtown New Haven
allow increased densities, and would improve
which is hidden by commercial uses fronting on the street.
walkability.
Eco-City Identity
By embracing the spirit of a “
green”village within the city, Westville Village could remake
itself as Connecticut’
s first eco-friendly district and become a model for sustainable
development. It has the intellectual capital, institutional resources, and a strong identity of
sustainability and environmental stewardship to undertake such a transformation. An eco-city
could:
 Use alternative or renewable energy systems for power generation (e.g. solar, wind,
geothermal).
 Rehabilitate and/or construct high performance, carbon-neutral, green buildings certified by
the US Green Building Council under the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental
Design) program.
 Cover roofs and terraces with plants and flowers, purifying water runoff and providing
natural cooling for building interiors.
 Plant trees and community gardens irrigated with recycled gray water.
 Set high goals for recycling and composting for homes and businesses.
 Promote use of transit and non-motorized transportation (walking and bicycling) to reduce
automobile dependency.
An ultra-green agenda could pay dividends to Westville Village by attracting entrepreneurs and
young, creative and inventive people such as researchers, students, and scientists to live, work
and invest in Westville. It could attract innovative start-up companies that specialize in green
industry and that could provide green jobs. This green industry would benefit from an
environment that fosters sustainable living and has established partnerships with institutions
(such as SCSU’
s Urban Studies program, Yale University’
s Schools of Forestry and
Architecture, and The United Illuminating Company) to promote sustainability. SCSU has also
played host the last few years to the annual Green Expo, which is part of the Connecticut Folk
June 2009
WESTVILLE VILLAGE An Action Plan for the Revitalization of Westville Village
23
Festival. WVRA could partner with SCSU to showcase green development opportunities in the
Village.
Arts District Identity
Communities across the country are using arts districts to energize neighborhoods, stimulate
economic development, and enrich the cultural offerings for residents. Successful arts districts
attract artists and arts-related organizations, businesses, and facilities to a specific area within a
community. Common features of arts districts are the provision of affordable space, often low-rent
industrial or warehouse space converted to lofts, which can be used for artists’live-work space and
support facilities such as bookstores, coffee shops, studios, art galleries, supply stores, and
performing arts venues.14
Strategies used by other communities to promote arts districts include: revising zoning codes to
allow live-work units; providing low interest loans, fee waivers, and other financial incentives for
property owners who provide live-work space for artists; design and construct special signage,
banners, public art, and other street-related improvements to define the district; sponsor festivals
and art-related events like gallery walks that promote and serve as outlets for artists and draw
visitors to the arts district.15 Westville Village is off to a running start with its annual and
immensely successful
ArtWalk and with its
unique, animated metal
sculptures by Karen Rossi at
the intersection of Whalley
Avenue and Blake Street.
WVRA should parlay this
success to further define and
brand itself as a lively arts
district that is supportive of
the arts and provides
Examples of unique street
opportunities for all manner
art that enlivens public
spaces. Upper left: Bank
of artists (writers,
Street in New London, CT;
musicians, painters, dancers,
Center: Willimantic, CT;
Upper right: Unknown.
sculptors, etc.). The City of
New Haven’
s Office of
Cultural Affairs can provide assistance to WVRA in developing arts programs and in obtaining
grants for public art, including murals.
Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design
The importance of personal security, improving the safety of streets, and reducing the incidence
of crime cannot be understated. A sustainable district cannot be attained if people do not feel
14
Florida Department of Community Affairs, “
Florida Planning Toolbox, Infill and Redevelopment Tools –Arts Districts”
http://www.cuesfau.org/toolbox/
15
For more information on arts districts, go to: Americans for the Arts [www.americansforthearts.org], which offers the
Cultural Districts Handbook: The Arts as a Strategy for Revitalizing Our Cities through its on-line bookstore.
24
WESTVILLE VILLAGE An Action Plan for the Revitalization of Westville Village
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safe. Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) strategies can improve public
safety through the provision of adequate lighting, by increasing levels of police surveillance,
and through other physical improvements and community-building principles that deter criminal
behavior.16 For example, property owners should avoid sight-limiting fences or hedges adjacent
to public sidewalks; building owners and public works officials must pay close attention to the
design, placement and intensity of lighting; architects should provide transparent vestibules and
windows overlooking sidewalks and parking lots; planners should design streets and house lots
to encourage interaction between neighbors; traffic calming
Police presence is very important in
commercial districts
devices can discourage speed and cut-through traffic;17 and
community leaders can provide closed-circuit TV cameras
where “
natural surveillance”is unavailable.18
Natural surveillance can be established by taking steps to
increase the perception that people can be seen. This can be
accomplished by designing building and streets to maximize
visibility, foster increased activity, encourage positive social
interaction within private and public space, and provide a
greater sense of community. Through natural surveillance,
potential offenders feel increased scrutiny which is often
enough of a deterrent to crime.19
SMART GROWTH STRATEGIES: TRANSPORTATION
A neighborhood’
s transportation, traffic and transit systems are its lifeblood. Efficient and
productive connections need to be developed and maintained for a neighborhood to participate
in the regional and global economy. Corridors that are functional, beautiful, and integrated with
the natural and man-made environments bind communities into a sustainable whole. To affect
Smart Growth, Westville Village must improve the safety and efficiency of its transportation
system in a manner that:
 provides an interconnected transportation
network;
 better connects people to jobs;
 slows speeds of traffic;
 provides for better land use patterns;
 improves access to public transit and reduces
dependency on the automobile (which will
16
http://www.cpted.net/
17
City of Orlando and Timothy D. Crowe, “
Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design –Your Guide to Creating a
Safe Environment”
; undated publication.
18
MetLife Foundation and Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) Community Safety Initiative, “
Safe Growth –
Creating Safety and Sustainability Through Community Building and Urban Design.”www.lisc.org/resources
19
Ibid.
June 2009
WESTVILLE VILLAGE An Action Plan for the Revitalization of Westville Village
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result in improved air quality); and,
 supports non-motorized transportation (walking and biking).
Of course, WVRA alone cannot effect such a comprehensive transformation. It must work with
city, regional and state officials to effect incremental, positive change to its transportation, traffic
and transit systems. Specifically, WVRA should work with the City and South Central Regional
Council of Governments (SCRCOG) to press for progress on traffic and transit improvements that
would not only alleviate congestion on Westville Village’
s streets but also provide multi-modal
improvements that create safer streets for motorists, pedestrians and bicyclists (i.e. “
Complete
20
Streets”
).
SCRCOG is the designated Transportation Planning Agency for the South Central Connecticut
region and is responsible for carrying out major planning functions outlined by the federal
government in cooperation with the Connecticut Department of Transportation as well as other state
and federal agencies. The Transportation Committee of SCRCOG plays a lead role in planning and
programming the region's transportation projects that are funded by the STP Urban Program.
The STP-Urban program is one of several Surface Transportation Programs (STP) that provide
funds for non-interstate highway projects that benefit the region and its municipalities. The funds
are intended to benefit minor arterial and collector roads in urban areas. Funds can be used for a
wide range of projects including roadway widening, roadway reconstruction and transit projects.
SCRCOG has primary responsibility for determining how to prioritize regional projects for funding
under the STP-Urban program. SCRCOG also administers the Unified Planning Work Program
(UPWP) which outlines the transportation issues and needs anticipated within the region during the
next year. SCRCOG’
s current UPWP includes a planning study titled The City of New Haven,
Whalley Avenue Corridor Study.21
The study will update various prior studies undertaken for Whalley Avenue between Broadway and
Westville Village. The work plan for this study includes, in part, the following: a) identify issues
and existing conditions addressing engineering, safety and traffic; b) identify key neighborhood
issues or concerns; c) prepare concepts and alternatives for improvements to identified areas of
concern; d) conduct public outreach to solicit input on concepts and alternatives; and, e) produce a
final report outlining suggested and recommended alternatives, including preliminary cost estimates
for recommended improvements. WVRA and Westville residents should engage in the SCRCOG
planning process for this study to ensure that SCRCOG and its consultant are informed of and
understand the specific and unique needs, issues and priorities of Westville Village. Further,
WVRA’
s involvement in the planning process will ensure that the recommendations for the
Westville section of the Whalley Avenue corridor appropriately meet current and future needs, are
supportive of land use goals for the Village, and adequately address residents’concerns.
20
Information on Complete Streets can be found at the following website: http://www.completestreets.org/
South Central Regional Council of Governments, Fiscal Year 2010 Unified Planning Work Program. Available at
SCRCOG website: http://www.scrcog.org/
21
26
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June 2009
Traffic Calming and ‘
Complete Streets’
Relative to the built environment, the most common concern among residents interviewed by
the Resource Team was traffic safety. Whalley Avenue carries over 30,000 vehicles per day22.
The heavy traffic on Westville Village streets does not
mean that Whalley Avenue and other traffic arteries
have to sacrifice the qualities that bring people to it.
Intolerable conditions such as traffic noise, collisions,
poor walking environments, and loss of business, have
happened in part due to: 1) an emphasis on mobility
over accessibility, which can result in higher speeds
than are appropriate; 2) a departure from traditional
street design principles such as wide sidewalks and
High visibility crosswalk in Branford CT
narrow traffic lanes; 3) a lack of application of “
traffic
calming”techniques that slow traffic on major streets;
and, 4) a lack of alternative routes for local or regional traffic.
New Urbanism principles advocate more restrictive dimensional standards and traditional street
design strategies to keep vehicles in check or calm traffic. Traffic calming reduces vehicle
speeds, increases driver attentiveness, and heightens driver awareness of the need for safe
driving; the latter is accomplished by a set of visual cues that remind drivers that the street is
shared with pedestrians and cyclists and to expect that pedestrians or cyclists might enter the
travel lane at numerous points. Traffic calming measures also serve to improve pedestrian
crossing times, and in general emphasize the pedestrian over the passenger vehicle.
In keeping with the overall City commitment to a safe and civil traffic program, the Board of
Aldermen of the City of New Haven approved landmark ‘
Complete Streets’legislation in 2008.
The legislation promotes the safety and convenience of all users of the transportation system
using ‘
Complete Streets’strategies and improvements.
23
A‘
Complete Street’is a road that is designed and
operated to enable safe access for all uses. A
‘
Complete Street’integrates motorists, pedestrians,
bicyclists, and transit riders24. The focus is on
designing streets to balance safety and convenience for
everyone - older individuals, children, and people with
disabilities.
High visibility crosswalk in Keene, NH.
There is no distinct way to define a ‘
Complete Street’
,
each street type has different needs depending on its setting and traffic volumes. Based on the
context and the modes expected, a combination of elements such as wide sidewalks, bike lanes,
special bus lanes, crosswalks, median islands, curb extensions, narrow travel lanes, and curb
extensions can be provided to moderate driver behavior and improve safety for all users. The
City of New Haven is in the process of developing a “
toolbox”and other standards and
22
Average Daily Traffic (bi-directional) count of 30,600 vehicles in 2006 on Whalley Avenue northwest of Fitch
Street (Rt 10) per Connecticut Department of Transportation Traffic Count Locator Program
23
City of New Haven, 2008 Annual Report - Transportation, Traffic and Parking Department, pg. 12.
24
ITE Journal, May 2008, “
Complete Streets: We Can Get There From Here”
June 2009
WESTVILLE VILLAGE An Action Plan for the Revitalization of Westville Village
27
guidelines to help promote and implement ‘
Complete Streets’improvements and traffic safety
measures. Consistent with ‘
Complete Streets’strategies and improvements, traffic calming and
other pedestrian safety improvements that could be utilized in Westville Village include:
Articulated Crosswalks: Wider, better-designed and more articulated crosswalks greatly improve
pedestrian safety. Where possible, extend crosswalks through the tips of medians to provide a
pedestrian safety zone. Examples of safe crosswalks on arterial streets include illuminated
crosswalks with pavement imbedded lights, raised crosswalks, speed tables or raised intersections,
and crosswalks with pedestrian count-down signals.
Bicycle Lanes: Bicycle lanes indicate a preferential or
exclusive space for bicycle travel on a street, and are
typically striped –although colored pavement is
sometimes used. They create more consistent separation
between bicyclists and passing motorists, and can also
provide a buffer zone between motor vehicles and
pedestrians on a sidewalk (refer to Pedestrian and
Bicycle Travel, page 34 of this report, for a discussion
on specific measures to improve bicycle transportation in
and around Westville Village).
Example of a bike lane on an
urban street.
Curb extensions: Curb extensions (also called bulb-outs
or neck-downs) extend the line of the curb into the travel-way, reducing the width of the street.
Curb extensions typically occur at intersections, but can be used at mid-block locations to shadow
the width of a parking lane, bus stop or loading zone. Curb extensions serve to better define and
delineate the travel-way as being separate from the parking lane and roadside. They are used only
where there is on-street parking and the distance between curbs is greater than what is needed for
the vehicular traveled way. 25 Curb extensions can provide the following benefits:
 Reduce pedestrian crossing distance and exposure
to traffic.
 Improve driver and pedestrian sight distance and
visibility at intersections.
 Separate parking maneuvers from vehicles turning
at the intersections.
 Visually and physically narrow the traveled way,
resulting in a calming effect.
Curb extensions reduce crosswalk
 Encourage and facilitate pedestrian crossing at
lengths and help to calm traffic
preferred locations.
 Keep vehicles from parking too close to intersections and blocking crosswalks.
 Provide wider waiting areas at crosswalks and intersection bus stops.
 Reduce the effective curb return radius and slow turning traffic.
 Provide space for streetscape elements if extended beyond crosswalks.
25
Institute of Transportation Engineers. “
Context Sensitive Solutions in Designing Major Urban Thoroughfares for
Walkable Communities”
. An ITE Proposed Recommended Practice, RP-036 –2006;
http://www.ite.org/bookstore/RP036.pdf
28
WESTVILLE VILLAGE An Action Plan for the Revitalization of Westville Village
June 2009
Better Speed Enforcement: A series of terrible pedestrian-motor vehicle accidents and pedestrian
fatalities due to hit-and-run motor vehicle incidents over the past couple of years in New Haven
(including the death of an 11 year-old girl crossing upper
Whalley Avenue at Davis Street in 2008) has resulted in
stepped-up traffic enforcement by city police and in the
innovative “
Street Smarts”campaign.26 The City is also
stepping-up efforts to maintain and improve crosswalks,
crossing signals and other pedestrian safety improvements
and is in the process of developing a “
Traffic-Calming Tool
Box”to better identify and implement traffic control
measures such as curb extensions. Westville Village
residents should work closely with City engineering and
traffic staff to determine what specific measures could be
Wide traffic lanes on Whalley
Avenue result in higher traffic
implemented in the Village to slow traffic and to improve
pedestrian and bicycle safety.
Road Diet: Studies have shown that narrower travel lanes (10’to 11’vs. 12’to 13’
) result in lower
travel speeds. Urban streets are often designed using criteria that are more appropriate for rural
streets –that is, they are designed for speed in the misguided belief that speed increases capacity.
An urban street can carry more vehicle traffic at 20 m.p.h. than it can at 50 m.p.h. because the
capacity is controlled at signalized intersections. Higher design speeds lead to lower street capacity
because higher speed signals require more red clearance time. Also, wide traffic lanes require
longer pedestrian cycle times which can reduce green
time for vehicles.27
Westville Village is plagued by speeding traffic due
to wide travel lanes. In particular, just east of the
Village, the section of Whalley Avenue near the
cemeteries and Edgewood Park is straight and wide
which tends to result in high travel speeds, although
the posted speed limit is 25 mph throughout. Lane
width reductions along Whalley (possibly combined
with a landscaped median) would help to slow traffic
as it enters the Village from the east.28
The western gateway to the Village is problematic as
well since traffic from the west enters the village of a
curving road that has a steep downgrade and a wide
travel lane.
Modern Traffic Roundabouts are well-suited for urban
districts
Modern Traffic Roundabouts: Modern traffic roundabouts are gaining favor as a viable
alternative to the traditional signalized intersection. They improve both safety and efficiency for
pedestrians, cyclists and motor vehicles. Unlike older traffic circles or rotaries, modern roundabouts
26
Information regarding New Haven’
s Street Smarts campaign can be found at the following website:
http://www.cityofnewhaven.com/StreetSmarts/index.asp
27
Smart Mobility, Inc., Alaskan Way Viaduct, Analysis of No-replacement Option, September 12, 2006.
28
South Central Regional Council of Governments, “
Route 10 Corridor Study, City of New Haven –Town of Hamden”
,
June 2008; Prepared by CHA, Inc.
June 2009
WESTVILLE VILLAGE An Action Plan for the Revitalization of Westville Village
29
require entering vehicles to yield the right-of-way to vehicles already in the circle and therefore
discourage higher speeds. The incidence of vehicle-pedestrian accidents is also less in roundabouts
than in signalized intersections. Lastly, roundabouts also serve as attractive and landscaped
gateways or distinctive entry points into a town center.
A modern roundabout as a traffic improvement to replace the intersection of Whalley Avenue and
Fountain Avenue would greatly improve traffic flow at one of the main gateways into the district
and is a traffic improvement that should be explored on a
preliminary basis to determine its feasibility and acceptability by
State and City highway officials.
Streetscape Improvements: Streetscape improvements (e.g.
street trees, planters, pedestrian-level ornamental street lights,
bollards, etc.) visually reinforce that the street is in a high
pedestrian, slow traffic zone. They also provide vertical
elements that enclose the street or reinforce the ‘
street-wall’
.
Studies have shown that vertical enclosure of the street reduces
the perceived width of the street and causes drivers to
reflexively slow down. Also, drivers tend to be more courteous
and vigilant on streets that are visually pleasing and are
designed to complement the unique character of the
neighborhood.
Well-designed and attractive directory
signs will make Westville Village more
welcoming to visitors.
Residents have commented that the existing neighborhood commercial district on Whalley Avenue
lacks an attractive streetscape and unifying design elements. Streetscape improvements need not be
elaborate or expensive. Some of the most interesting streetscapes are those that evolve almost
organically with the community because property owners and local artists install unique public art,
murals, statues and banners.
Westville Village should capitalize on its lively and creative arts
scene and further cultivate its bohemian reputation by
encouraging funky art installations that enliven sidewalks and
street edges and, not incidentally, help to calm traffic. One
noteworthy precedent for organized or sanctioned street art
programs for shopping, entertainment and cultural districts is
Philadelphia’
s mural program.29
On-Street Parking: The presence and availability of on-street
parking serves several critical needs on urban thoroughfares
including: meeting parking needs of adjacent uses (especially
retail uses); protecting pedestrians from moving traffic; and
Street art and whimsical sculpture (like
increasing activity on the street. (Refer to “Parking
this pedestrian gateway in Willimantic,
CT) enliven shopping districts and
Challenges”discussion in the “Observations”section of this
improve walkability.
report). Rarely does on-street parking alone meet all of the
parking demand created by adjacent land use; it therefore needs to be supplemented with a supply
of off-street parking (e.g. surface parking lots or parking garages). Providing on-street parking
29
30
Information on the City of Philadelphia’
s Mural Arts program can be found at: http://www.muralarts.org/
WESTVILLE VILLAGE An Action Plan for the Revitalization of Westville Village
June 2009
wherever possible should be a primary consideration in the design of urban districts since on-street
parking can provide the following benefits:
 Supports the local commercial economic activity by providing proximate and convenient
access to shops, stores, service establishments, etc.
 Provides short-term parking to meet visitor needs in residential areas.
 Increases pedestrian comfort by providing a buffer between pedestrians and moving traffic.
 Slows traffic, making pedestrian crossing safer; especially if the parking lane along the curb
is identified by a painted lane –the delineation of the parking lane is one more visual cue
that alerts drivers to slow down.
 Facilitates safe and convenient curb-side drop-off of passengers.
 Increases pedestrian activity on the street since people will walk between their parking space
and destination, providing more exposure to ground floor retail and increasing opportunities
for social interactions.
 Supports local businesses by reducing parking construction and maintenance costs for small
businesses by decreasing on-site parking needs.
 Provides space for on-street loading and unloading of trucks, increasing the economic
activity of the street and supporting commercial retail uses.
 Provides a cue to the motorists that travel speeds are reduced and that they are entering a
low speed area.
A discussion of parking for mixed-use development can be found in the Parking Challenges
section of this report on page 19. A specific recommendation includes that the Village should
conduct a detailed inventory of parking availability for commercial uses, and its rate of utilization
over various periods throughout the day. The objective of the study would be to provide tangible
data on parking supply and demand specific to the Village that will allow the City Plan Commission
to reduce parking requirements to more appropriate levels. Said study should include the inventory
of on-street parking in addition to off-street parking and should evaluate whether there are
additional places where on-street parking can be provided.
Traffic Improvements
WVRA should work with City and SCRCOG officials to study and implement various forms of
traffic improvements which can optimize the functionality of existing infrastructure. Examples of
traffic improvements include:
 Upgrade or provide new traffic signal and pedestrian signal equipment.
 Consolidate Driveways/ Curb-cuts: Many uncontrolled driveways on a busy street
increase vehicle conflicts, hinder traffic flow, and interrupt the sidewalk. They also decrease
opportunities for pedestrians to cross the street because gaps in traffic are filled by motorists
entering the road from driveways. Finally, excessively wide driveways allow faster turns
and result in more exposure to pedestrians. Restricting driveways can be one of the most
important access management tools for pedestrian and bicycle safety, and for general street
June 2009
WESTVILLE VILLAGE An Action Plan for the Revitalization of Westville Village
31
function.30 While Westville Village currently has few curb-cuts due to the historic pattern of
development that precedes accommodations for the automobile, the Village should consider
adopting regulations that prohibit drive-through windows (e.g. fast-food restaurant, coffee
shop, bank or pharmacy drive through lanes) and that requires property owners to share
driveways for new development or redevelopment.
 Connect Streets. City streets (especially commercial streets) should be laid out as an
interconnected network to improve traffic circulation and to improve walkability. To
provide optimum circulation, access, and crossing opportunities, an ideal downtown block
length is between 200 and 400 feet.31 Communities with incomplete street grids or longer
blocks can provide more street and pedestrian connections by improving undeveloped
rights-of-way, improving alleys, and redeveloping larger blocks with new streets, walkways,
or alleyway connections. Westville Village should work to reinstate a grid of streets (e.g. by
connecting Tour Avenue directly to Blake Street near the West River) to improve
pedestrianism and facilitate traffic flow. New streets would also meet the needs of
bicyclists, and shoppers, and provide more convenient on-street parking.
Pedestrian and Bicycle Travel
Trail systems have been favored by
recent economic stimulus funding
formulas because they benefit the
environment and are easier to make
shovel ready than road projects.
According to the City of New
Haven’
s Greenways and Cycling
Systems plan,32 there is an
opportunity to connect the
Farmington Canal Greenway to the
off-street portion of the West River
Excerpt of Bike Route Map for the City of New Haven showing routes
leading to Westville Village. Source: City of New Haven website.
Greenway that runs through
Edgewood Park. This connection
will likely occur through a combination of on-street and off-street bikeways to and through the
campus of SCSU and Beaver Pond Park, located about one-half mile northeast of Westville Village.
The Farmington Canal Greenway or Heritage Trail will eventually link Northampton, MA with
New Haven. Further, the majority of the Farmington Canal Greenway route (from Simsbury CT to
New Haven) has been designated the East Coast Greenway which is a continuous, shared-use,
traffic-free trail currently under development that will extend 3,000 miles between Calais, ME at
the Canadian border and Key West, FL.
Once this connection is made, Westville Village could see economic rewards in increased tourism,
increased spending on bicycle supplies, lodging and restaurants if these future interstate bicycle
30
Oregon Transportation and Growth Management Program. November 1999. Main Street…when a highway runs
through it: A Handbook for Oregon Communities.
31
Ibid.
32
City Plan Department, “
Plan Greenways and Cycling Systems, New Haven CT”
, April 2004.
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WESTVILLE VILLAGE An Action Plan for the Revitalization of Westville Village
June 2009
riders can be enticed to take a break from the East Coast Greenway and visit Westville Village,
possibly even to spend a night at a Bed and Breakfast.
The City of New Haven’
s plan for greenways and cycling systems also provides recommendations
for pedestrian and bicycle improvements that would result in a variety of transportation, economic,
environmental, public health and safety benefits,33 including alternative commuting routes, reduced
traffic congestion, reduced parking issues and overall improvement in the quality of life for
residents.
In addition, the City’
s“
Share the Streets”program recognizes the
bicycle as an integral part of daily life in New Haven, particularly for
trips of less than five miles, and is working to implement a bikeway
network which will include end-of-trip facilities, improved bicycletransit integration, programs to encourage bicycle use and to make
cycling safer.34 These documents include recommendations to create
bicycle lanes along city streets and improve other pedestrian and
bicycle facilities to promote and encourage walking and cycling. The
City is also currently working with Elm City Cycling, a local bicycle
advocacy group, to plan and implement a signed, painted or marked
(with sharrows and, in places, bike lane symbols) bicycle route
between Westville Village and downtown New Haven.
Sharrows alert motorists
to expect bicyclists in the
street
According to the “
South Central Regional Bicycle and Pedestrian
35
36
Plan” and the “
Bike Route Map for New Haven”
, there are two
designated bicycle routes between Westville Village and Downtown New Haven: 1) an on-street
(but unmarked) bikeway on Blake Street east to Osborn Avenue, Osborn north to Goffe Terrace,
Goffe Terrace/Goffe Street east to Broadway; and, 2) an off-street bikeway from Whalley Avenue
(at its intersection with Fitch Street) south through Edgewood Park to Edgewood Avenue, then east
along Edgewood to Park Street downtown. There are three designated bicycle routes leading to
Westville Village from the Town of Woodbridge to the west: 1) an on-street (but unmarked)
bikeway along Fountain Street (Route 243) to Whalley Avenue; 2) an on-street (but unmarked)
bikeway along Whalley Avenue (Route 63) to Fitch Street (Route 10); and, 3) an on-street (but
unmarked) bikeway from Route 69 in Woodbridge to Pond Lily Avenue to Valley Street to Blake
Street, connecting to Whalley Avenue in the Village.
According to the Route 10 Corridor Study, Whalley Avenue and Fitch Street are not bicyclefriendly and are not conducive to safe biking due to the lack of delineated roadway shoulders or
bicycle lanes that would provide a dedicated area for bicyclists adjacent to vehicular travel. The
study cautions that high vehicle speeds in the Route 10 corridor also discourage bicyclists and
motorists from sharing the road.37
33
City Plan Department, “
Plan Greenways and Cycling Systems, New Haven CT”
, April 2004.
34
City of New Haven Connecticut, “
Share the Streets Program”
, February, 2003.
35
South Central Regional Council of Governments, “
South Central Regional Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan”
, June 2007;
Prepared by Fitzgerald and Halliday Inc. in association with CHA; pg. 69.
36
City of New Haven, “
Bike Route Map for New Haven”
, New Haven Bicycle Map, First edition.
South Central Regional Council of Governments, “
Route 10 Corridor Study, City of New Haven –Town of Hamden”
,
June 2008; Prepared by CHA, Inc. Pg. 2-15.
37
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WESTVILLE VILLAGE An Action Plan for the Revitalization of Westville Village
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The City and WVRA should work to accommodate and encourage nonmotorized travel (walking and biking) by pushing for construction of
the gaps in the West River Greenway, by signing and striping on-street
bike lanes to and through the Village, where space allows, and by
providing wider sidewalks and pedestrian amenities wherever possible.
As a long-term goal, there may also be opportunity to further extend the
West River Greenway from Westville Village to Woodbridge. The
route would roughly parallel the West River, Whalley Avenue and
Valley Street. It would extend from Edgewood Park through the
Village along the existing river walkway, continue into West Rock Park
to the northwest, and then continue in a northwesterly direction along
the West River to the Woodbridge town line near the Merritt Parkway.
This multi-use trail could be used for recreation and commuter biking.
Self-service bicycle rentals like
the program at Smart Bike DC
makes biking convenient for
college students
A viable alternative to striped bike lanes are shared lane pavement markings (or “
sharrows”
).
Sharrows are bicycle symbols that are placed in the roadway lane indicating the potential presence
of bicycles. Unlike bicycle lanes, they do not designate a particular part of the roadway for the use
of bicyclists. Sharrows can be an effective bicycle safety tool useful in conditions when the travel
lane is too narrow for side-by-side passage of an automobile and a bicycle. Advantages of sharrows
include:
• Alerting motorists to expect bicyclists
on the street;
• Reminding motorists to share the road
and to give bicyclists three feet of
space when passing;
• Guiding bicyclists to the safest area of
the street;
• Reminding bicyclists not to ride too
close to parked cars; and
• Helping motorists and bicyclists
follow the rules of the road.
Current CT Transit Bus Routes B, Q, and Z serving Westville
Also, Westville Village Center could serve as
Village. Source: South Central Regional COG, Implementation of
a much more viable village center if there
the Regional Transit Study by Transystems
were better pedestrian, bicycle and transit
connections or linkages to Southern Connecticut State University and if the village had more
critical mass of retail and service uses to attract a wider range of people. In addition to a shuttle
service or better transit connections between the Village and SCSU, the University and WVRA
should consider implementing a self-service bicycle rental program similar to the Smart Bike DC
program in Washington DC. 38 Bike rental stations are provided at key locations. Renters use a
special card that provides access to any station of the program. The cards are available via online
subscription. Each bike station consists of a rental kiosk and docking points for secure parking of
bikes. The kiosk processes the rental of bikes and provides information for users.
38
34
Information on the Smart Bike DC program can be found at: https://www.smartbikedc.com/program_information.asp
WESTVILLE VILLAGE An Action Plan for the Revitalization of Westville Village
June 2009
Transit
The City of New Haven is working to
construct improvements that support a variety
of alternative (non-auto) transportation modes
(e.g. dedicated transit lanes, improved transit
connections, more frequent buses, etc.). More
than one choice of alternative travel should be
available for residents to most destinations.
To improve transit choice and to better
facilitate mode shift in Westville Village, the
City and WVRA should:
 Provide facilities to improve comfort
and convenience for commuters and
transit riders (e.g. heated/lighted bus
shelters, benches, maps/ directories/
schedules at bus stops).
The proposed Cross-Town West Bus Route would improve bus
transit between Westville Village and points north (Hamden) and
south (Union Station). Source: City of New Haven, Route 34 West
Municipal Development Plan, Draft Development Concepts.
 Continue to pursue funding of the so-called “
Cross-Town West”bus route that is intended to
link City Point to Acme Plaza in Hamden. According to City officials, of the 30,000 people
a day that use CT Transit buses in New Haven, 10,000 of them have to go downtown to
transfer to another bus to reach their ultimate destination.
 The Cross-Town West bus route was a recommendation of the Statewide Bus Study
completed by the Connecticut Department of Transportation in 1999.39 A cross-town route
would eliminate the need for a transfer for many commuters.
 Continue to improve bus circulation routes, create shorter headways, and provide intermodal
stations and/or pulse points to facilitate transfers from bus to various other modes of travel.
 Continue to work with officials at SCSU to forge partnerships for growth and to implement
mutually beneficial connections between the University and Westville Village, especially on
the topic of improving transit between the two locations.
Bus transit ridership in the Village would increase
if better facilities were provided, such as bus
shelters like this one on the New Haven Green
The existing shuttle system of SCSU could
be expanded to provide better transit
connections between SCSU and Westville
Village.
39
South Central Regional Council of Governments, “
Route 10 Corridor Study, City of New Haven –Town of Hamden”
,
June 2008; Prepared by CHA, Inc. Pg. 2-17.
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WESTVILLE VILLAGE An Action Plan for the Revitalization of Westville Village
35
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
The work of the Economic Development Committee (ED Committee) is focused on understanding
the economic conditions that effect business vitality and real estate market dynamics in Westville
Village. Well informed market assessments inform thoughtful strategies and interventions that
stimulate sustainable growth of the village. High performing economic development committees
perform these important functions:
 Clearinghouse
The first step in gaining a good understanding of local market conditions is to assemble
available market data. Complete data sets are readily available which provide great detail
about market demographics in various radii from the center point of business districts. The
ESRI data derived from the 2000 census data (provided to WVRA under separate cover)
provides information about the income and buying potential in 5, 10 and 15-minute drive
times from Westville Village.
WVRA has already assembled comprehensive information regarding the current building
stock of Westville Village. This can be used to market available spaces to prospective
businesses and/or investors. Other key data to collect and catalogue is information
pertaining to local incentives. Having this data packaged in an accessible format makes it
easier to engage existing businesses in discussions of expansion and enhancement
opportunities as well as attracting new businesses to the village.
Keeping key data sets up to date and easily accessible is an important on-going task of a
successful ED Committee. Time and resources should be allocated annually to support this
clearinghouse function.
 Business Planner
Another important function of a successful ED committee is to conduct business planning
for the district. The data collected, packaged, and distributed as a clearinghouse helps
individuals and businesses make investment decisions and is the starting point for a good
district business plan.
With good data the ED Committee can assess current strengths and weaknesses of the
district. Key questions to ponder: What is the current business mix? What complementary
businesses form compelling clusters? Where are the gaps that leak retail sales to more
distant districts? Further research should consider the regional commercial ecology –what
other districts compete with Westville Village for customers and what are their strengths
and weaknesses? Carefully identifying the most promising niches and clusters upon which
to build is the key goal of a good district business plan.
 Expediter
Helping remove the barriers to small business development is another key role of the ED
Committee. There are many places an investor can choose to locate his or her business.
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WESTVILLE VILLAGE An Action Plan for the Revitalization of Westville Village
June 2009
Westville Village would increase its odds of keeping and growing its current businesses, and
attracting new businesses, if it is easier for people to make such investments.
Business owners and property developers often rely on a team of advisors to guide them.
Many realtors, accountants and attorneys who advise prospective businesses are often
unfamiliar with older commercial district locations. Developing relationships with these
advisors, and making their job of selling or renting properties in the village easier, is an
important strategy.
Lastly, expediting development can take many creative turns. One of the big challenges
facing Westville Village is the lack of readily available properties. There are many vacant
properties, but owners, for a variety of reasons, have been unable or unwilling to sell or
lease them. Difficult property owners must be engaged. Understanding their needs is often
a challenge, but nobody benefits from stalemate situations.
For property owners with large land holdings it is not possible, especially given current
economic conditions, to come up with one complete answer. Look for incremental steps in
building relationships with property owners. For example, WVRA may be able to help
expedite the re-opening of the parking lot behind 500 Blake Street which is currently
blocked off because of liability exposure, safety concerns, and/or snow-plowing costs. This
relationship-building can create the context for working through bigger problems.
 Recruiter
Retention is the first part of any successful recruitment campaign. It is estimated that
upwards of 80% of growth in local economies comes from businesses already in existence.
The ED Committee’
s most important job is to understand the health (or lack thereof) of
existing businesses. Identifying success, encouraging expansion and preventing failure
when possible are the quickest ways to increase occupancy rates. While there may come a
time when a targeted recruitment campaign is needed, most ED Committees would be well
served by catering to existing businesses and aggressively responding to inquiries from
those who have been attracted to the district by talking to existing business owners.
Recruiting can be successful when efforts are focused on a short list of the most appropriate
new businesses, and when targeted to independent businesses from nearby commercial
districts. In a healthy economy, Westville Village would find it difficult to attract national
retailers. The current economy is forcing national retailers to look at locations in
neighborhood business districts, but they still need to see more success by independent
merchants before they will make the jump.
 Developer
Lastly, the ED Committee needs to understand real estate market opportunities and barriers.
Most of our older commercial districts have been underserved by the commercial real estate
sector. Over the past fifty years this sector was hell-bent on building standardized singleuse products that could be sold and resold to real estate investment trusts, rather than
redeveloping the distinctive, mixed-use buildings that give downtowns and older
commercial districts their character. Since we have lost much of our collective knowledge
June 2009
WESTVILLE VILLAGE An Action Plan for the Revitalization of Westville Village
37
about how to build the kinds of buildings that will encourage walkable communities, an
important role for the ED Committee is to be an expediter of mixed use projects for both
for-profit and non-profit or community-based developers.
Sensitive use of affordable housing tools can help build mixed use and mixed income
projects in ways that contribute mightily to local economies. Artist live/work spaces can
often be built with affordable housing finance tools that make feasible projects that
otherwise would not be built.
Real estate development is challenging work and many ED Committees have grown into the
role of developer because no for-profit developers came forward to build projects deemed
important to the community. WVRA is a young organization and has much capacity to
build before contemplating the role of developer. However, developing a thorough
knowledge of the local real estate market can help the organization advocate for and
expedite development that fits its long term vision for the village and can work to
discourage or prevent development which injures the village.
Observations
Assets
Westville Village has a great set of assets upon which to build. The ED Committee should focus on
developing strategies that leverage the village’
s existing assets:
 Eclectic mix of independent businesses
Westville Village has a wonderfully diverse group of independent businesses, including
long-time businesses as well as start-ups. Some businesses, especially some of the art
galleries and home furnishing retailers, an emerging clothing and fashion cluster, and at
least one of the restaurants, draw customers from a wide area while others serve much more
local clientele.
The challenging environment for national retailing provides some upside potential for
business districts that feature independent merchants. As national chains prune their
inventory of stores, business districts comprised of independent merchants have an
opportunity to recapture lost market share.
 Arts / antiques / home furnishing cluster
Antiques, house wares, and art galleries form the most distinctive cluster of businesses and
provide much of the current identity for Westville Village. Recent success in attracting
more artists and arts-centric events has fueled the perception that Westville Village is an
emerging center for the arts. Artist live/work success provides a great template for further
mixed-use development that can move the district to greater success.
 Food & beverage cluster
This is a nicely sized cluster that does not dominate other uses, as happens with many
club/bar districts adjacent to large universities. There is good variety, from destination
38
WESTVILLE VILLAGE An Action Plan for the Revitalization of Westville Village
June 2009
Sunday Brunch at Bella’
s Café to more casual dining at Delaney’
s. Both restaurants are
important food anchors for the district.
 Huge traffic counts
Many older business districts suffer as changes in road systems divert traffic from their
streets. Whalley Avenue remains a key New Haven arterial with more than 30,000 cars per
day passing thru the district. While WVRA cannot afford marketing campaigns that provide
30,000 daily impressions, it can increase the awareness of the district by improving the
impressions of those that traverse the district on a daily basis. People are already coming to
Westville Village. Half the battle has been won. Now WVRA must work to provide
compelling reasons for customers to stop and shop.
 Farmers’Market
WVRA has developed a great partnership with City Seed in presenting a weekly Sunday
Farmers’Market that can become an important building block for a growing cluster of
businesses to serve the everyday needs of nearby residents.
 Civic anchors
Edgewood, Beecher, and West Rock State Parks are great recreational assets. The various
athletic facilities at these parks, plus the proximity of Yale University’
s athletic fields, bring
many people into the district throughout the year. The open spaces, walking trails, and
natural areas also provide great amenities for those living nearby. The library, schools, and
houses of worship are also important civic assets that serve as economic engines by
increasing traffic to the district and by helping to strengthen the district’
s role as a convener
of adjacent communities.
Economic Development Challenges
 No critical mass in any cluster
There are three existing business clusters in the district: arts / antiques / home furnishings,
food & beverage, and convenience retail & services. The convenience retail cluster is the
weakest of the three and is the one that is dependent upon those living within a 5-minute or
less drive for its success. The other two clusters have some great individual businesses but
neither has enough breadth to withstand new competition from other districts that might
surface from time to time. With its current inventory of space, and with anticipated new
development opportunities, there is enough room to build three compelling clusters but
careful consideration must be given to what goes where to ensure that businesses within
each cluster support each other.
 Inconsistent images
Hosting some of New Haven’
s toniest home furnishing businesses and galleries, while also
having some very marginal businesses and highly blighted storefronts, confuses Westville’
s
customers and reduces the value of the Westville brand. Minimum maintenance standards
must be established and enforced to reduce negative perceptions that “
no one cares about an
area.”
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 Safety Issues
Westville Village has three different safety issues –and they vary to the extent that they are
real or perceived:
a) A very real safety issue is the volume and speed of vehicular traffic through the
district, conflicting with those walking, biking and/or waiting for transit. Tragic
accidents have moved local authorities to re-design and re-construct streets. The
opportunity to build streets that are more balanced between vehicular and pedestrian
use should not be wasted.
b) Late night bar-related rowdiness is a highly emotional issue in Westville. Many
urban entertainment districts have to contend with late night crowds that pose both
nuisance issues, like public urination and noise, along with more serious crime issues
like fights, drugs, and gang activity. The food & beverage cluster can become much
more robust in Westville but its growth must be carefully managed to mitigate bad
bar/club behavior.
c) The concentration of poverty and service providers to vulnerable populations attracts
at-risk populations that can feed misperceptions about safety. Service providers and
the community must work together to mitigate issues like loitering where groups of
people congregate in visible places and feed the negative perceptions of those
passing by. For example, in Rock Island, Illinois, complaints about a drop-in center
for mental health patients were eliminated once the crowd of its patients smoking
cigarettes was relocated from the sidewalk outside the facility to a fenced courtyard
at the rear of the facility. This example might be of value when addressing
perceptions of safety at the Parole and Community Services Center on Fitch Street
and the Community Action Agency on Whalley Avenue.
 Connectivity
The disconnections between the galaxy of neighborhoods that abut Westville Village, and
between SCSU and Westville Village, are as much social as they are physical. Developing
a more inclusive approach is critical to the long term success of Westville Village. WVRA
communications, programming, and planning should engage these diverse groups who are
the pools from which new customers and investors will be drawn.
Observations Regarding WVRA’
s Current Work Plan
The ED Committee is still in its infancy and is now beginning to address the action items below:
Complete building inventory
A comprehensive inventory has been completed. It was presented to the Resource Team as
a large bound volume that would be much more valuable in a searchable, electronic format
which is linked to the City’
s GIS system.
Host Commercial Realtor Open House
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This is a very useful tactic to expose vacant spaces to real estate brokers and agents and to
also build relationships with these professionals. Working with the Placemaking & Design
Committee to provide possible renderings of what stale vacant space might look like as an
occupied business is an excellent idea.
Conduct neighborhood and shopper survey
SCSU offered to survey students and to provide business students to help with surveys of
nearby residents. Both opportunities should be quickly exploited. A sample survey in
Appendix C, used to poll nearby workers/residents about the need for a convenience store,
can be modified and used to help determine feasibility of additional convenience retail in the
village.
Work to develop merchant-oriented events, develop holiday craft market
Small events are often as important as larger ones. The ED Committee should work to
support the Marketing & Promotions Committee, which should lead this effort.
Host bi-monthly merchant open houses
Building a greater sense of teamwork and collaboration is critical but resist the
programming of too many additional meetings for small merchants whose time is precious.
Survey merchants
An annual survey of merchants can be the backbone to evaluate the effectiveness of
WVRA’
s work. See the attached sample downtown business survey developed by the
Mississippi Main Street Association, in Appendix C.
Develop appropriate programs with CT Small Business Development Center (SBDC)
One of SBDC’
s regional offices is housed at SCSU. CT Main Street Center has entered into
a memorandum of understanding with SBDC, focusing SBDC’
s resources towards
designated Main Street programs like WVRA. This is an excellent opportunity for the ED
Committee to reach out to SBDC.
WVRA is encouraged to build strong relationships with all organizations which work to
facilitate entrepreneurial enterprise. A realistic year one objective might be to catalogue and
evaluate all such programs in the region.
Conduct niche market study
It will be important to drill down beyond the initial market data from ESRI which has been
provided to WVRA. The ED Committee should look at more detailed analysis from a
qualified retail consultant focused on the three key clusters that provide the greatest
opportunity for establishing sustainable niche retailing. The arts / antiques / home
furnishings, food & beverage and convenience retail & services clusters should be studied in
detail to hone retention and recruitment strategies.
Often communities fail to move forward with business retention and attraction programs
until they have completed a market study. Yet, the most compelling evidence we have for
what works is what is already working –those parts of the current business mix that are
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performing well. An initial assessment of the district’
s business mix, and which businesses
are doing well, is the only information needed to begin developing the business clusters.
Start by working with successful existing businesses to get them to grow or add products or
services.
A review of the ESRI Retail Expenditures report will show that people living within the 5minute drive time are spending less than the national average on various goods and services.
While some of this data may be skewed by the university students in the area, this
demonstrates there are gaps in Westville Village’
s offerings of goods and services for which
there is demand. This information can be used to help current businesses grow as well as
for attracting new businesses down the road.
Determine availability of façade improvement funds
There is a small residual amount of city façade funds available from earlier years’unspent
balances. This is an opportunity for the ED Committee to work with the Placemaking &
Design Committee to target the right property owners to utilize this program.
Economic Development Recommendations
Building upon Westville Village’
s great assets while acknowledging current challenges, the
Resource Team makes the following recommendations to guide the Westville Village Economic
Development Committee:
Build a culture of support, collaboration, and action
Federal, state, and local governments will become more financially stressed as the current economic
slowdown lingers. The good news is that many older commercial districts have transformed
themselves over the past twenty years by looking within, building upon core assets, and nurturing a
culture of collaboration around a shared vision. Local stakeholders working in concert, not at
crossed purposes, can move mountains.
The most important short term goal of WVRA is to achieve highly visible success that builds
momentum and convinces those waiting on the sidelines to join the team.
These three sub-strategies should be pursued vigorously by the ED Committee in conjunction with
other WVRA committees.
 Improved appearance of the public realm
The most visible evidence of a successful Main Street program would be a dramatic
improvement in the maintenance of the public realm in Westville Village.
Led by the Placemaking & Design Committee, and a sense of urgency, teams of WVRA
volunteers should combat sidewalk weeds and trim trees and shrubs. Conveying the sense
that people care about the neighborhood will begin to change the perception of both those
who work daily in the village as well as occupants in the 30,000 vehicles that pass daily thru
the district.
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A block-by-block approach helps to distribute the work load by developing a system of
block captains that can work with WVRA to develop a punch list of small maintenance
issues and strategies to address them.
The public realm includes streets, sidewalks, alleys, and the building facades that define the
public space. Several blighted, high profile building facades should be remediated within
the next few months. Dunkin Donuts, Tripp’
s, and the CITGO Super Food Mart are the
three most likely candidates for improvement.
Three volunteer teams could transform each of these properties in a matter of hours. One
volunteer group has already convened around the idea of fixing up the Dunkin Donuts site.
The most important element in engaging these property owners is to treat them with respect
and not try to shame them into improving their properties. Establish a program to help three
property owners per year and require the property owners selected to pay for the cost of
materials. This will greatly reduce the cost of the project, build community good-will, and
leave the business owner some dignity.
 Enhanced cross-promotions
Develop successful cross-promotions between WVRA merchants. One such idea discussed
during the Resource Team visit was the idea of developing a Back to School Survival Kit
for incoming students at SCSU. Such a Survival Kit would include discount coupons for
meals, merchandise, and services and provide at least one gift item of substance emblazoned
with the new WVRA logo. Frisbees or water bottles are low cost gifts that can help college
students feel welcomed to the business district closest to campus.
Another joint promotion to consider is a Moveable Feast Progressive Dinner, marrying
restaurants and art galleries to celebrate great art and food. This ticketed event would
provide an inclusive price for a happy hour cocktail, an appetizer, a salad, a soup, several
tapas-style sized entrees, a dessert, and an end of the night libation in successive stops that
feature great spaces in Westville Village.
 Produce Smaller events
Smaller events do not sap the entire organization’
s energy and often succeed in ringing cash
registers as much as larger events. A couple of ideas for smaller events:
Harvest Fest –pick one weekend during September or early October and produce a special
Friday or Saturday version of the farmers market. In addition to the Farmers’Market
though, work with the restaurants in Westville Village to produce daily specials featuring
locally produced foods and to provide cooking classes about how to prepare such foods.
Valentine’
s Day in Westville Village would provide package deals between restaurants,
salons, and gift shops and include a small Film Festival of Love in conjunction with SCSU.
Venues such as the library and on-campus theatres would host the films from a variety of
genres.
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Cross promotions and smaller events are more centrally the work of the Promotions
Committee and they are discussed here to underscore the importance of such work in trying
to establish a culture of collaboration and action.
The following two recommendations also help to establish a similar culture but are more
centrally the work of the Economic Development Committee.
 Develop business training series with partners
Small group training sessions around common business development issues can be very
important to building successful independent merchants. Partner with the City of New
Haven, the SBDC, and local colleges and universities to get expert advice to Westville
Village merchants.
Always remember independent merchant time constraints and keep meetings to no more
than ninety minutes and schedule meetings at times and places most convenient to
merchants. Providing a low-cost meal is always a nice inducement.
Subjects such as low-cost social marketing, new accounting rules, demographic analysis,
how to improve window displays, hiring and training employees, and customer data base
management should be considered. Surveying merchants as to what subjects interest them
is a great first step.
 Joint effort to improve public parking
WVRA can help to build a culture of collaboration and action by developing a strategy to
reopen the parking lots that have been taken out of use when the former 500 Blake Street
closed.
The lot was closed because of snow removal costs and liability exposure to the current
property owner. WVRA can show its members value by working with the property owner
to find a way to re-open these lots to the public.
For example, WVRA could rent the parking lot from the current owner at market rates in
exchange for the owner making a charitable contribution to WVRA equal to the amount of
the rent. WVRA gets the lots for free and the property owner gets a tax deduction. To
make this alternative attractive to the property owner, WVRA must also figure out how to
pay the operating costs of the parking lot. Snow plowing, litter pick-up, insurance, lighting,
and security are all costs that have to be paid by someone.
Merchants benefiting from the re-opening of this lot are the likely candidates to provide
funding for the above costs as well as a management fee charged by WVRA to offset staff
time required to oversee the lot.
A tough problem solved in ways that benefit all parties - collaboration building at its best.
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Engage all neighborhoods located in close proximity
WVRA can play an important role in convening the disparate groups that live in proximity to the
village. Diversity is a negative when it helps spawn fear that reduces economic activity when
groups feel unwelcomed, but becomes a great strength when it is embraced in ways that breed
inclusion.
No retail market benefits from serving an area less than 360 degrees. Spatial proximity will
become increasingly important in a renewed era of walkability and those business districts that
draw from a full circle will do better than those that serve only a portion of the circle.
These ideas are suggested to help break down the divisions and support diversity as a positive value
between students, households of various income and age levels and different ethnic groups that
make up the three distinctive sub-groups that live near Westville Village:
 Smaller ethnic fests celebrating local ethnic groups
Celebrating the great food, music, and dance of various ethnic groups is the quickest way to
knock down walls between groups. A series of such events focused on locally prominent
groups satisfy both the palette as well as the soul. This provides a good opportunity to reach
out to ethnic groups who can at least be partners in, if not solely responsible for, the
production of these events.
 Block vs. Block Olympics
Given the great parks in the area, as well as open parking lot spaces, friendly competition
between groups can help to build relationships. WVRA and other partners could target a
number of participants and organizations. Downtown Milwaukee hosts an annual event
focused on downtown workers, which runs for an entire week and has attracted a number of
sponsors. Some of their fun events include: world’
s largest coffee break, office rock star,
office challenge games, beach volleyball and grandest happy hour.
The abundant creativity of Westville residents and stakeholders could develop this kind of
event with a distinct Westville Village brand. Integrating competitions into the Farmers’
Market might be a great way to build traffic to the market - each week a different event with
teams representing a wide variety of blocks in the neighborhoods around WVRA.
 Asset-based approach to diverse groups
WVRA must build an appreciation for the contributions which different groups can make to
the success of the district. The well-connected higher income neighbors provide political
clout that helps the district access resources from local government but other groups can
also provide great value. New immigrant groups, living in the public housing projects near
WVRA, often are much more likely than long time residents to start their own businesses
since they come from cultures where small businesses are still the norm.
Students can be rowdy and loud but they bring great energy and have enormous buying
power as a group. Westville Village will not realize its full potential unless students are part
of the equation. Unless Westville Village welcomes most of the full circle of
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neighborhoods that surround it and taps their buying power, retail will not flourish and it
will be difficult to become a compelling, walkable place.
Build town / gown relationships
The proximity of Southern Connecticut State University to Westville Village represents a huge
opportunity to build many mutually beneficial partnerships. The purchasing power of students,
staff, faculty, alumni, and parents can greatly improve the performance of Westville Village
merchants while a resurgent district can become a very important asset to SCSU as it markets itself
in competition for talented students and faculty.
Universities are often the 800 pound gorilla –the large institution with attendant bureaucracies that
confound community residents by size and complexity. SCSU’
s leadership, however, is very well
connected and engaged with WVRA and the opportunity is at hand to build new collaborations like
these:
 Student Survey
In the course of the Resource Team visit, SCSU officials indicated a willingness to
encourage students from the business department to conduct student surveys to better
determine student buying needs and habits that could help inform retention and recruitment
efforts for WVRA.
 Neighborhood Redevelopment
Clearly the university and Westville Village will benefit by improving the connection
between the two, especially by eliminating the blighted conditions in the Fitch Street
corridor.
Developing a joint venture community development corporation could combine the
financial strength of the university with the community support that WVRA can muster.
As the ED Committee begins to tackle low-hanging fruit, like re-opening the Blake Street
parking lot, it will build real estate management and development experience. This
entrepreneurial role will support the university by providing a community-based
organization to acquire and develop property that can reduce resentment between the
university and its neighbors, and also provide access to additional funding sources that the
university by itself may not be able to access.
 Internships
SCSU students provide a source of talent that can augment WVRA staff at little or no
additional expense. Providing for a regular rotation of interns throughout the year from
various departments can bring both new energy and skill sets to the organization. Managing
interns does take time away from other tasks but can provide a good return on investment if
WVRA can develop a project-based approach that fits the time and talent levels of
participating students.
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 Survey staff and faculty
Once the student survey is completed, another survey team can design and conduct a survey
of staff and faculty on the SCSU campus. Large employers offer a great opportunity to
communicate with a big group of customers if you can get into their intra-campus
communication systems.
Many universities and hospitals have become big advocates of farmers’markets as part of
their employee wellness programs. Being able to communicate weekly updates about the
Farmers’Market and other happenings in the district can be a very effective and low cost
way of building the district’
s customer base.
 SCSU Task Force
Appoint a small task force to drill deeper into the opportunities for collaboration with the
goal of identifying the “
win-win”for the community and the university. This task force can
also address how WVRA can work with various campus student groups to build a fun yearly
schedule of events and promotions that makes for richer student life and wealthier
merchants.
Additionally, similar relationship-building can, to a lesser extent, be established with alumni
and parent groups. These groups of potential customers are already organized and holding
events. Why shouldn’
t they be held in the district?
Lastly, the university itself has a huge purchasing division that buys the goods and services
needed to operate on a daily basis. In order to increase the amount of goods and services
that Westville Village merchants supply to the university, begin with an understanding of
the procurement needs and procedures of SCSU and match those up with what merchants
can offer. This is another example of the ED Committee’
s clearinghouse function.
SCSU is not the only educational enterprise with which WVRA should build a stronger
partnership. Three other partnerships should be developed:
1) Chapel Haven residents, their families and its 150-person staff can become another
key reservoir of customers for district merchants.
2) Yale Athletic Fields: student athletes, their families, and fans have been deposited at
WVRA’
s doorstep. Outreach programs to engage coaches, players, and fans will
ring cash registers throughout the district.
3) University of New Haven, which has a large student population living in Westville
Village and has already established a shuttle service between its campus and
Westville Village, is another important partner for WVRA.
Improve partnership with local government
Most successful commercial district revitalization programs have a strong public/private partnership
at their core. The City is a key beneficiary of a successful WVRA by reaping increased taxes,
resident satisfaction, and community image enhancement.
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Despite the strong adjacent neighborhoods that have significant political standing within the City,
the prevailing wisdom is that WVRA does not get the attention because there is greater need
elsewhere. A stronger WVRA can help the district obtain its fair share of resources and can
improve communication with key elected and administrative leaders about what help is needed
from the City of New Haven.
In tough times it is important to remember that help has many forms and is not always about more
funding. The City of New Haven, for example, can provide great assistance to WVRA by helping
to strengthen enforcement of performance standards for licensed establishments. Working in
concert with WVRA, the City of New Haven can help pressure state liquor control authorities to not
tolerate criminal activities on the premises of clubs and bars
The Resource Team met with several key department heads including City Plan Department,
Cultural Affairs, Economic Development and Traffic & Parking. These departments are headed by
capable leaders that are looking for ways to help. WVRA needs to engage these and other
appropriate departments as it hones its strategies and establishes its vision.
Encourage continued development of public facilities located in the WVRA district. The great
parks and the library could benefit from new investment, which connect them better to the
commercial district.
The library in particular would benefit from improvement of the hillside that faces the heart of the
WVRA district. Providing spaces for enhanced children’
s activities, as well as great settings for
public art, will make the uphill walk more pleasant and will provide for more active use of the
space.
Leveraging a district’
s focus on the arts, with more sculpture and public art, by linking a highly
programmed public space better to the commercial district is how successful districts brand
themselves –key assets are aligned to support each other to fully develop market niches.
Fully leverage arts and creative cluster
Westville Village is best known for its existing cluster of artists, arts-related retailing, and for an
arts-inspired event –ArtWalk. Identifying other things WVRA can do to support the development
of this cluster is an important strategy for the ED Committee to develop. Engaging WVRA’
s other
committees in implementing these programs and projects will allow this cluster to grow.
Support monthly gallery openings that have already begun. One discouraged gallery owner
complained of the lack of traffic to these events and WVRA can help improve the performance of
these events.
Support can come in the form of help with marketing, connecting the events to the work around
engaging the arts department of SCSU, or growing the event by adding more performance or visual
arts into unconventional spaces. Some communities, for example, develop phantom galleries that
operate out of vacant spaces during gallery opening nights.
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 More public art including murals and sculpture garden(s). The public art in the
municipal parking lot is crammed into a corner of the lot and is easy to miss if you are
travelling thru the district at 35 miles per hour.
Using art to change perceptions has been a successful strategy in other places. Developing a
public arts master plan might link major works in the hillside lawn of the library to others
located in Edgewood Park. The gazebo in the park, for example, could become a defining
public art element like similar structures in Bryant Park in New York or Millennium Park in
Chicago.
 Partner with area arts development organizations. The Resource Team heard from the
city’
s Cultural Affairs Department that they were ready to partner more with WVRA
because Westville Village now has a critical mass of artists that other competing districts
lack. Regional arts organizations are great clearinghouses and can help connect WVRA to
more artists and to more funding opportunities in the arts.
 Develop more live/work spaces. Live/work spaces are especially appropriate housing
forms in arts districts. Though not all owners or tenants will be artists, many different kinds
of creative people will be attracted to neighborhoods with live/work housing stock. Such
development helps enliven the street by creating a retail presence and gives occupants a
lower cost space to incubate entrepreneurial enterprise.
Developing the parking lot behind 500 Blake Street will help build critical mass, provide
more locations for ground floor uses for its three key business clusters and provide more
residential opportunities. Two other sites to consider for live/work space are those blocks in
need of revitalization that separate Westville Village from SCSU and in the parking lot of
50 Fitch Street. In both of these cases, the live/work space might be marketed toward
student populations in conjunction with their enrollment in small business development
course work at the university.
Live/work projects can be built at nearly all price points from luxury to affordable formats.
This form of housing has been very successful in changing the perception of affordable
housing in many communities because they tend to be cleverly designed and it’
s nearly
impossible to discern the incomes of the typically younger tenants or owners. Properly
sited, these kinds of projects can help reconnect higher and lower income neighborhoods by
providing a bridge of arts and creativity between the two communities. This kind of
development is long-term in nature. Now is the time to make sure that all of the potential
tools are in place to attract the right developers and businesses when the economy has begun
to turn around.
Manage and enhance the food & beverage (f & b) cluster
Many of WVRA leaders and stakeholders complained about the noise and nuisances associated
with several club operations. Calls for police assistance and an occasional news item about
suspected gang activity and incidents involving guns help perpetuate the perception of Westville
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Village as a place with safety issues. Eliminating such problems is challenging. Law enforcement
authorities have limited resources. Those communities that work in strong partnership with public
safety agencies, and help establish a framework where poor management of clubs is not tolerated,
have a better chance of ensuring bars and clubs do not have an adverse impact on the neighborhood.
This is a problem that needs both more communication between affected parties and more
disciplined enforcement of rules and policies.
WVRA needs to establish better dialogue with alcohol license holders so that they understand that
they are an important part of the business mix and that any serious crime problems that happen at
their establishments has a strong negative effect on the neighborhood and will not be tolerated.
Badly managed clubs create more problems for well-run clubs than any other business, since the
word-of-mouth among the late night crowd will reduce their business if there are safety concerns.
It is important to support well-managed clubs. Sometimes residents or daytime business owners
frustrated by noise and nuisance punish all operators, not just those that are the source of problems.
The Responsible Hospitality Institute is a clearinghouse and facilitator that provides resources and
information for organizations and networks seeking to create more safe and vibrant places to
socialize. RHI’
s website is www.hospitalityweb.org.
 Zero-tolerance policy
In conjunction with local law enforcement and the state liquor control department, create
a zero-tolerance policy with regard to serious violations of existing laws at licensed
establishments. The Resource Team heard conflicting reports regarding the consistency
with which laws are enforced in different entertainment zones throughout the city.
Effective advocacy of this issue by WVRA to influential Westville Village stakeholders
can build the political will necessary to insure that laws regulating this industry are
stringently and consistently enforced. It is recommended that WVRA contact Upper
Albany Main Street to learn about their partnership with the Hartford Police Department
regarding their cross-departmental code enforcement teams.
 Specialized crowd management training
A proactive approach that many commercial districts are adopting is to provide
specialized crowd management training for club operators and managers. Improving the
tactics used to prevent patrons from getting out of hand is a good investment by all
parties.
The joint hiring of security personnel is often done in entertainment districts for tighter
neighborhood security. Linking bar security personal at individual clubs with each other
and with a district-wide unit can help prevent small incidents from escalating by
improving the speed and ease of calling in backup support.
 Integrate bar-restaurant participation into every WVRA event
Sales opportunities for licensed food and beverage establishments should be worked into
all WVRA-sponsored events. Creating opportunities for these establishments to profit
while strengthening events by adding better quality and wider variety of food and
beverage options provides benefit to all. Providing income opportunities to this sector
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creates a reward system in which WVRA can provide positive support to well managed
establishments.
 Diversity cluster
There are some excellent food and beverage venues in the Westville Village business
mix, as well as some same-old, same-old kind of operations that contribute little to the
overall business mix.
Attracting and retaining a wide variety of establishments through marketing vacant sites
and working through realtors and food and beverage industry trade groups is important.
This cluster needs a variety of taverns, clubs, and restaurants to reach its full potential
and maintain its appeal to a wide range of age groups.
Club districts catering to younger audiences are difficult to diversify once the
predominant business is a club that is open three to four days per week with most of its
business occurring between 10pm and 2am.
WVRA should pay careful attention to the permitting of new licensed establishments
and investigate whether requirements can be added that stipulate a minimum percentage
of food sales for new license holders in the village.
Build a new cluster of convenience around the Farmers’Market
An emerging trend indicates the interest of people in buying more of their food from local sources.
Over the past ten years both the number of, and the collective sales at, farmers’markets have been
growing at double-digit rates. There are many steps WVRA can take to strengthen the role of the
farmers’market as an anchor to re-establishing a cluster around convenience food and services:
 Trim trees
Auto traffic on Whalley Avenue passing by Edgewood Park cannot see into the park: it is
not obvious that the Farmers’Market (or any other event) is underway in the park.
Trimming trees will improve the visual access to the Farmers’Market and will also serve to
improve the perception of safety within the section of the park where the market operates.
 Set annual goals to grow the number of market vendors
Work in concert with CitySeed to grow the number of vendors at the market. Establishing
such a goal will force WVRA and City Seed to better understand market dynamics and
develop the marketing and programming that may be necessary to grow traffic to support
additional vendors.
 Build a food-retail cluster
Establishing a more successful farmers’market is the first step towards building a new
cluster around every-day, convenience retail. Creating a walkable neighborhood between
the district and adjacent neighborhoods means re-establishing convenience retail that can be
accessed on foot rather than by car.
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To grow this cluster it may be necessary to consider the relocation of the farmers’market.
Most markets begin in parking lots or parks away from existing businesses because they
may be considered mostly a competitor for scarce parking resources. As we move to more
walkable environments, the need for parking is diminished and, as communities recast
farmers’markets as anchors for food-related businesses, moving the market to sites that can
provide traffic to adjacent commercial spaces becomes more important.
While the district may not be able to support a full-line, contemporary grocery store, it may
be able to support a cluster of food-retailers, such as a combination of butcher, green grocer,
dairy store, bakery, fish store, and/or gourmet specialty food stores, that are located in
proximity to the farmers market.
In addition to the location, the day of the week must support the effort to build a food retail
cluster. Sunday has become the second busiest shopping day of the week but having the
Farmers’Market on Sunday has limited impact if other businesses are not open on Sunday.
Also, the Sunday market does not take advantage of large employers whose employees work
from Monday through Friday.
Changing how we think about farmers’markets will lead to a more thoughtful discussion of
these issues. Farmers’markets are not a special event. They are a way to organize a
community around a local food system and they function as an economic anchor that can
help to spur development of a food retail cluster.
The ED Committee should consider these economic development issues and work with the
other groups that currently plan and promote the market to ensure that WVRA maximizes
the impact of its market.
Farmers’markets provide a great recruiting tool to fill an emerging food retail cluster.
Temporary market vendors can graduate to become permanent vendors.
Property development
Several specific larger vacant properties pose major barriers for Westville to achieve its full
potential:
 Fitch Street properties
The low occupancy at 50 Fitch Street and the potential for the relocation of the communityaction agency from the corner of Whalley Avenue and Fitch Street should be seen as an
opportunity to recast the entire two-block area.
The Community Action Agency building, with its river frontage, could make excellent
live/work space especially since the lowest level is in the flood plain, where zoning may allow
commercial use and the residential use can be above.
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Building a new structure closer to Fitch Street and creating a courtyard to the existing 50 Fitch
Street property may have market feasibility by focusing on student housing and smaller streetoriented retail rather than an office of social service uses.
 Blake Street Complex
The relocation of the Metropolitan Business Academy, and the subsequent vacancy at 495
Blake Street, may motivate the current owner to market and price the property more
aggressively. However, the favorable lease on the largest part of the complex with several years
left suggests that it will be some time before that owner needs to think about discounting the
price of his holdings.
If the Wintergreen Apartments ultimately proves successful (results are still pending), the
property owner may be encouraged to keep searching for one buyer rather than finding a way to
place multiple tenants or to sell the property in parts.
The 500 Blake Street site is of the most immediate concern. The district could really use
another anchor food and beverage establishment and there may be an opportunity to develop the
parking between the river and Whalley Avenue more densely with structured parking,
residential, and commercial space rising on what is now a surface parking lot.
Engaging the current property owner in how to jointly re-open the closed parking lot is the first
step towards building trust and a deeper relationship. If that short-term project can be
accomplished, it will set the stage for further collaboration.
WVRA’
s ED Committee should become intimately familiar with this property and work
vigorously to help the realtor find a buyer. 500 Blake Street was a huge food and beverage
anchor for the district and is a facility that can again serve as an anchor with a minimal amount
of modification. Consider inviting the realtor for the Blake Street property (as well as other
commercial realtors) on to the ED Committee.
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MARKETING & PROMOTIONS
The goal of Main Street Promotion is to bring more people to Westville Village to shop, dine, relax,
and be entertained—and ultimately to work, live, and invest. This is accomplished through two key
strategies:
1. Marketing the unique assets of the district, in order to get people to come; and
2. Creating a compelling experience for people once they come to the district (or for those who
are already there, as is the case for Westville residents and employees).
Westville Village has the potential to succeed with both of these strategies, ultimately changing the
way people feel about the district and significantly increasing the number of people who choose to
come there. To accomplish this, however, it is important to think strategically about an effective
promotional plan for the district and what it takes to make these strategies work.
Promotion works in three primary areas, which are inter-related:
 Special events. A wide variety of events gives people reasons to come to Westville Village.
Events are particularly important when the retail mix is not yet compelling enough to be a draw
on its own. Downtowns and neighborhood commercial districts need both daytime and evening
vitality, and special events help provide this.
 Image development. Over the past two or three decades, the image of many downtowns and
neighborhood commercial districts has deteriorated, due to a number of different factors. The
unkempt appearance of the buildings and streets and the declining business mix have created an
undesirable image. As a result, many people have negative impressions of the area, which—
whether real or perceived—need to be addressed through positive image campaigns and
activities.
 Retail activities. Because of the dramatic changes in retail that have resulted in tremendous
competition for main street retail businesses, many of which are locally owned, retail promotion
needs to be strategic and well-coordinated.
In its “
heyday”
, downtowns and neighborhood commercial districts served a clearly defined local
market, therefore promotional activities were relatively simple –the occasional sale, ads in the local
paper, etc. For the most part, individual businesses “
marketed”themselves. However, the retail
marketplace has changed dramatically. Consumers are now offered increasing choice –not only in
what to buy, but also in how to buy it. The volume of commercial “
noise”has increased to the
point at which the average consumer is subjected to thousands of advertising messages per day.
This dynamic environment has rendered traditional promotional practices obsolete. Businesses can
no longer afford to promote themselves individually. In order to stay competitive, Main Street must
collectively rethink how it defines, attracts and keeps its customers. This process, called
Promotion, focuses on developing and implementing a clearly articulated strategy for marketing the
district in much the same fashion as major retailers or shopping malls market themselves.
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OBSERVATIONS
Assets
Westville Village has many assets from which to draw when building a promotions program:
ArtWalk and the Farmers’Market represent two signature events with a proven track record
that draw a significant number of people to the district.
There is a growing niche of artists and arts-related businesses.
There is a good collection of independent businesses, from which the district can grow.
The public spaces provide a number of options to stage events.
In total, the district has a significant number of parking spaces.
The diverse socio-economic and ethnic makeup of the surrounding area allows for a wide
array of retail opportunities. It also provides existing businesses with the opportunity to tap
these markets with small additions to product or service lines. For example, an emerging
trend is for somewhat upscale clothing stores to add a “
previously owned”clothing
component. This usually is upscale clothing with price points that appeal to the low- and
high-end of the middle-income range, which is where much of the country will be shopping
for in the next decade.
The people living in and around the district are not only a good target for attending events, but
also to target for volunteers and customers.
Westville Village’
s proximity to SCSU represents a significant source of potential buying
power.
Challenges
The heavy volume of traffic moves quickly through the district making it difficult for drivers
and passengers in the cars to notice opportunities to stop and shop. Banners, improved
gateways, striking street furniture, public art and window displays can all work to help brand
the district and even provide sales messages. These visual tools can also help calm traffic.
The parks and public performance spaces are often blocked visually and not easily accessible
to pedestrians.
The merchants need to learn to work more closely together, particularly related to promoting
the district. While this can be challenging in many districts, it also provides a wonderful
opportunity for the Marketing & Promotions Committee to facilitate opportunities to bring the
merchants together.
The overall design appeal of the district is unkempt at the gateways, where it should be the
most inviting. The district lacks a consistent visual brand that is clear and apparent to visitors
and to those passing through.
There are no retail anchors in the Village. However, a collection of retail clusters can act as
anchors, moving forward, to draw more foot traffic to the district.
While there are some key buildings that are vacant and/or underutilized, many of these are not
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conducive to retail. Over time, in order to build the critical mass of retail, consideration will
need to be given to complementary infill development projects.
RECOMMENDATIONS
Targeted Strategies
The Economic Development Committee will, from time to time, assemble information that will
primarily be used to retain, recruit and help expand local businesses. Its other function will be to
supply information so that investors will have the information they need to make informed
decisions. The Marketing and Promotions Committee (hereinafter called the Promotion
Committee) can use this and other information to guide them when making decisions for the types
of promotions to stage, the content of their advertising, or the type and style of logo. This section is
meant to spur the Promotion Committee to use demographic information in their decision-making
processes when considering advertising and promotions projects.
In preparation for this report the Resource Team used ESRI GIS, a service that demographers and
GIS information managers commonly use in their businesses. ESRI GIS services provide a wealth
of information that the Promotion Committee can use to target their message to specific groups.
The internet address is www.esri.com/bao. This site provides detailed information about the
demographic makeup of Westville Village’
s primary trade area, lifestyles and buying behavior as
well as information about businesses in your market area. This information will help Westville’
s
businesses identify and reach their most profitable customers.
CT Main Street has provided WVRA with the 60+ page report from ESRI that provides
demographic information and buying habits of the people who live within a 5, 10 and 15-minute
drive time of the intersection of Whalley Avenue and Central Avenue. What can be gleaned from
these reports is that:

Within a 5-minute drive of the target area over 67% of the population is under the age of
44 and 57% is under the age of 34. The trend will be for fewer family households in the
area, far below the growth rate nationally.

The median household income for the area will continue to outpace the national average.
Within a 5-minute drive the income range is pretty wide with 43% earning between
$35,000 and $100,000.

The younger demographics and wide ranges in income are typical, in an area with a
university where students are on budgets and have small incomes, while professors and
managerial and support staff earn more but do not necessarily live in the area. Retailers
can hit all price points and expect to make a sale to some portion of the people in this
trade area.
There is the potential to tap into the goods and services that parents are now buying at
home for their students. Downtown Flagstaff worked with Northern Arizona University
(NAU) to develop a program to market the downtown businesses to incoming students
and their parents, marketing products such as furniture for dorm rooms, clothes and
electronic equipment.
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
While some businesses may want to focus some of their offerings and price points to
attract people from the 10- and 15-minute drive times, the majority of offerings should be
targeted at the $50,000 income or less level within the 5-minute drive time. Retailers
should look carefully at this demographic information to insure they have the right
percentage of their inventory matching the income, needs and wants of people living in
the 5-minute drive time.

According to demographic reports, the majority of the 2009 population within a 5-minute
drive time of Westville Village is black or African American - and will continue to grow.
The largest buying contingent in the area is in this 19-34 year age group. If Westville
Village is going to tap these groups they will have to reflect this group’
s needs and wants
in its look, promotions and product offerings.

Clearly Westville Village should target this younger demographic as part of a
comprehensive promotions strategy. The committee should meet with representatives of
companies that are already targeting this younger demographic. They often have traveling
acts from bands to skate boarders that can be utilized for promotional purposes.
Clearly the bars understand the potential buying power of this younger market. Rather
than try and suppress this market, learn how to manage it. This is a young district. Young
people like nightlife, theater, coffee shops, book stores, restaurants and, oh yes –bars.
The point is, for the most part only the bar cluster has started to develop, these other kinds
of offerings are needed to round out a vibrant and balanced night life and retail mix for the
younger demographic.
Cosmetic companies, both independent retailers and wholesalers, will often help develop
promotions such as makeovers for women which can help draw more people to an event
or business.
Young people can be a great source of volunteers as well. Work with the different schools
in the area to have students adopt parts of Westville Village for a Keep Westville
Beautiful campaign. This is an opportunity to provide your own brand of signage like the
Adopt a Highway sign program. For example there could be a sign that states SCSU’
s
Graphic Design class Adopts Edgewood Park.
Recommendations:
 Review the Demographic and Income profile contained in the ESRI report and become
familiar with the makeup of the area by drive time.
 Review the Retail Goods and Expenditures profile in the ESRI report paying special
attention to categories where spending is below the national average. This provides
opportunities for businesses to change and/or expand their products and services.
 Brainstorm activities, holidays, promotions or even additions to the district (Wi-Fi) that
would be appealing to the demographic make-up of the area.
 Window display clinics followed by a promotion can go a long way in changing the visual
appeal of the retail business community and catch the eye of those passing in the 30,000
cars per day. Most of the windows in the village lack depth, contrasting color, and in some
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cases are cluttered. Businesses are not contributing to the “
joint”advertising via their
window displays. The Placemaking and Design Committee could enlist the help of the
studio art, graphic design, or advertising and promotion classes at SCSU and/or Yale to
assist businesses with window displays. Also, check other nearby colleges and universities
for fashion merchandising classes; their students would be excellent resources.
Special Events Recommendations
Make ArtWalk and other special events a profit center - “
grow what you got.”ArtWalk, as
well as other promotions, should not be a major drain on WVRA’
s resources. The good news
in all of this is that ArtWalk is an established event with a real track record. Advertisers and
sponsors, and even other organizations, want to work with proven events. One of the biggest
challenges in producing a successful promotion is finding sponsors. They often don’
t want to
risk sponsoring a new event. ArtWalk is not a risk: it has a track record, attendance and
notoriety that should make it rather easy to “
sell off the event”
. The various performance
stages can be “
sold”to advertisers. ArtWalk is now large enough to think in the terms of
$5,000 –10,000 for a main stage sponsor. These sponsors are often given VIP tickets and
have a “
meet and greet”with the main stage talent. Bottled water and soft drink companies
will kick in cash and product for giveaways to be a part of the festival and have their name
attached to it. Others will do the same. Most festivals have created “
areas”such as the main
stage, kid’
s areas, food courts, game areas, beer gardens, vendor booths, demonstrations and
display areas and even bathroom areas that are all “
sponsored”by organizations or companies.
Eventually the committee will struggle with having to consider the concept of selling naming
rights to the event.
The Farmers’Market is another example of an event that could and should grow. The park
where the event is currently held is not visible and is somewhat disconnected from the
shopping district, but the existing location affords the event plenty of room to grow. If the
event can’
t grow with food and vegetable vendors then other ideas should be given some
consideration. When considering additions to an event, the question should always be, “
Have
we covered the five essentials?”Walt Disney defined them as; 1) something for free (could
be bottles of water from a sponsor, balloons, face painting), 2) music, 3) food, 4) something
for kids (bounce house, puppet shows, etc), and 5) something for adults (beer garden, evening
entertainment, wine tasting). Please refer to the consumer survey from Clarksville, TN, in
Appendix D, that could be modified by the Promotion Committee to see what other kinds of
activities people would like to see connected to the Farmers’Market.
Retail Promotions / Building the Business Owner Network Recommendations
Consider more frequent low-cost promotions such as street corner performers, face painters
and balloon tiers to attract residents living around the Village. These must be consistent and
publicized so that moms and dads know to bring the kids.
“
Hoot Loot”- Businesses can accept a form of payment from students that is processed via
SCSU. There may be hoops to jump through and it may not be for all businesses, but the
Promotion Committee should work with SCSU to ensure that EVERY business understands
how to become part of this system.
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Consider an event such as “
10 for the Heart”
- this promotion involves health care
professionals, or school nurses, or even students. A set location and day is made available for
folks to stop for 10 minutes to have their blood pressure checked and perhaps other nontechnical easy to administer tests. The location could be a gallery, retail store or even a
restaurant.
Help organize and promote morning gallery events - for one day a week or month galleries
could have morning showings combined with morning activities like coffee. The Resource
Team heard many folks say that they cannot get to evening showings; senior citizens almost
always prefer daytime events over evenings. Perhaps local banks would be willing to sponsor
the cost of morning refreshments. A different gallery or store can be the host each month.
Investigate opportunities for stores other than galleries to sell local artists’work. In Cedar
Rapids, Iowa they have a program where the local Main Street program rents art from local
artists for display around downtown. When a piece is sold, the downtown gets 10% which
more than covers the rental costs.
Window display contests are a great way to improve the internal networking and camaraderie
among businesses. A theme can be used to encourage and stimulate creativity. Themes can
be wide and varied. Tie into some of the existing events already drawing people into or near
the district like ArtWalk, the Farmers Market, the Pilot Pen tennis tournament and Yale
football games. This promotion will also help business owners get accustomed to changing
their displays and keeping them interesting.
Begin a business “
bounce back”program - teaching and encouraging Westville businesses to
bounce the business back and forth between each other (If I get my hair cut in the village, do I
get something to encourage me to eat at a local restaurant?). Businesses should get together
(with guidance) and offer incentives to each other’
s customers.
Start holding sidewalk sales - in the down economy it will be important for businesses to get
rid of inventory that is not selling. A good old-fashioned sidewalk sale can be just the ticket
to get businesses involved and customers buying. Make sure the sidewalk sale is planned far
in advance so businesses (savvy ones) can “
buy”for the sale.
Host Merchant Mixers- these can be designed any way you want, but basically a day or
evening for merchants, business owners, and property owners to get together, get information
(bounce backs), and develop some cross communication that is missing from the village now.
Purchase a subscription to Downtown Promotions Reporter; this is a great source for ideas,
contacts and other information related to downtown promotions.
www.downtowndevelopment.com/dpr
Communications Recommendations
Surveys are tools that can provide valuable information. Several examples of surveys may be
found in the book “
What Do People Do Downtown?”
, purchased through the National Trust
Main Street Center’
s bookstore. There has been an offer from SCSU to provide students to
help with survey implementation. The business community, property owners, WVRA and
others will glean much information from a simple consumer survey. Either the Promotion
Committee or the Economic Development Committee (or both) should utilize surveys to get
information from existing customers in the village, students, senior citizens, and residents
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within the sphere of influence of the village core. All kinds of ideas will come out of the
results from these surveys. The Resource Team did its own informal survey and found that
WVRA and Westville Village merchants might consider;
o An AARP program, where businesses would extend a discount to seniors.
o Taxless Tuesdays- a promotion where businesses include the tax with the sale: in
essence, giving the customer a discount equal to the sales tax.
o Welcome bags for new students that would include goodies from local businesses.
Guides and brochures can be used as marketing, education and information tools both for
businesses and customers. A good start would be a simple Village Business Guide. The
guide could be a tri-fold brochure that can be low cost and paid for by merchants’listings. As
the Village grows so will the number of guides; a restaurant and bar guide, a gallery guide and
a shopping guide will most likely be the three used in the coming years. Each guide should
have a similar design so we know what it is and, as always, be self-supporting through
advertising sales. Businesses could really benefit from a “
how to profit from special events
guide”
, with ideas for businesses that are interested in creative ways to attract sales during
promotions such as ArtWalk. In Flagstaff Arizona, NAU students were used to design, sell
and distribute a dining guide, arts and collectibles guide, shopping guide and various
brochures and guides for businesses ranging from promotional ideas to membership
brochures. This could be another potential project for SCSU/Yale students. Please refer to
the Downtown Pullman Guides in Appendix D.
Email blasts are good, but if overused, or too wordy, they will just become the victims of the
delete key. Plan to utilize an e-marketing program (such as Constant Contact, peer360.com,
etc.) for e-communications. Email blasts are best if used on set days and contain information
that is of value to the reader. Sending them consistently on the same day will create
anticipation in the receiver’
s mind and, when emails are needed for an emergency, they are
more likely to be taken as an emergency message when received other than on the prescribed
day or week.
Create your own “
Street Sheets”- business owners still love to read it on paper, many of us
do. Once a month a Street Sheet could be produced and supported by couple of simple ads if
needed. Street Sheets are generally one page front and back and contain information useful to
the business owner but the general public will find them fun to read as well. Reminders to
businesses about workshops or seminars, meetings, changes in downtown and other
information is laid out in a kind of newspaper fashion but on one large page 11”
x17”or
12”
x24”
. Please refer to Walla Walla, WA’
s“
Downtown Update”in Appendix D.
Utilizing social networking sites and services are more popular with younger consumers. The
baby boomer for example is not as active in all of these venues as the younger population.
SCSU is on the doorstep of the Westville Village area and should be a more significant
buying group. Enlisting a group of marketing majors to create a facebook, twitter and texting
program for the Promotion Committee would be a great way to start getting university
students more engaged and other students more informed. Sales, plays, art events and other
special “
happenings”can be posted with relative ease and can play a significant role in
educating the markets that receive information from these sources.
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BRAND DEVELOPMENT PROCESS
Recommendation:
The Promotion Committee can spearhead the creation of a task force to create and implement a
Brand Development process. The steps to this process: (within 12 months)
Step One: Develop the brand team. This should be a small group of Westville stakeholders and
consumers who have the capability to be both strategic and objective. This should be a broad
group representing the various target markets. Look for a mix of people who are relatively new to
Westville as well as some “
old timers”
. The main requirement is that they can be objective,
strategic, flexible and able to see the big picture beyond their particular business or role they play in
Westville Village. At least one of the participants should have some marketing experience. Also,
since they will have to “
sell”this to a larger constituency, the group should be well-respected and
have credibility in the community. Constituencies that might be represented are: municipal
officials, Chamber of Commerce, Convention and Visitor Bureau, Westville Village businesses,
consumers, local residents, regional residents, and businesses from other retail centers in New
Haven.
Step Two: Assess the current situation. WVRA has already conducted a SWOT analysis. Do some
very basic consumer research and determine customer perceptions of downtown. Remember –
Westville Village is not what you think it is –it is what your customers think it is.
Step Three: Develop the brand promise. What will shoppers and other users experience in
Westville Village? Why would customers choose Westville Village over another shopping district?
What advantages do you have? Be honest –this is not about what you want to be –it is about who
you are and what you are not. A brand promise is not a slogan. It is customer confidence that the
experience in Westville Village will meet expectations.
Step Four: Create the brand communications plan. This is the step in the process where you
develop your logo, graphics and messaging. Notice it is not the first step. Many communities try
to do this first. It is exciting and visual and gives volunteers something tangible to work toward.
But graphic communications are most successful if a community has thoughtfully worked through
steps one-three. Graphics should be simple and consistent. It is important that they are just as
identifiable and striking in black and white as they are in color. Messaging can be a slogan, or
catchphrase, but it is really about building consensus on what you want to communicate.
Step Five: Build and sustain the brand. Do not give up. This is the marathon portion of the brand
building process. Establish some goals and measurements and do not expect to succeed overnight.
Be realistic in your expectations. Progress can be measured by online surveys or intercept surveys.
These do not have to be scientific or expensive –they just need to provide information.
The rules of branding are:
 Be who you are
 Be bold vs. being shy
 Be consistent
- Look
- Messaging
- Timeless
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Please see “
The Branding of Downtown Boulder”by Jeff Cohn and Jane Jenkins, reprinted from
Main Street News, November 2001, in Appendix D.
Part of the branding of Westville Village should include helping consumers to feel they are in a
place that is well-managed. Visual encounters by the customer will tip them off to the management
and coordination of the district i.e. unified shopping bags, door decals; neighborhood watch signs
are all symbols of a managed area. Use the WVRA logo on all materials and information to keep
the organization top of mind as well.
Door decals and stickers can be used to denote a member in good standing. This can be kind
of like the good housekeeping seal of approval. Some districts will promote that the customer
can be assured that this business will “
treat them right”just look for the Main Street decal!
Shopping bags are used to promote a unified district. When
businesses see the shopping bags on the street they are
reminded that there IS someone coordinating all of this for
them and the bag is a form of advertising to the customer.
In most cases, bulk buys of shopping bags will result in a
15% savings for the business and the organization can make
a buck or two as well (see downtown Monroe shopping bag
photo at right).
Main Street programs have had great success with T-shirt
and other accessory sales. Today, in many main streets,
business owners and employees will wear the official
“
downtown shirt”on selected days. All of these messages
are advertising messages that do get through to the customer. This provides an excellent
opportunity to involve local artists.
Districts must be clean, safe and friendly if they are going to attract quality shoppers and
avoid constant calls to the police. Main Street programs have to be proactive leaders in
promoting the clean, safe and friendly ideas and ideals:
o Neighborhood Watch Campaigns –WVRA currently participates on the
Westville/West Hills Community Management Team (WV/WH CMT).
Management teams were formed to help identify and examine neighborhood
problems and to develop strategies utilizing local resources. This is an excellent
program which should develop into an ongoing partnership with WVRA.
o Art Cans –in many art districts trash cans become artists’canvasses. Garbage cans
were not in over-abundance in the Village so there might be a need to purchase
additional cans.
o Westville Village Clean-Up Day –this promotion can involve everyone from the
Universities to the fire department to the Boy and Girl Scouts. Scouring the district
for trash and getting the area clean and polished not only makes the area look safer
but gets people involved in the district as well.
o Network with the Placemaking and Design Committee to develop maintenance
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standards for the district.
Building the Promotion Committee’
s Army of Volunteers and Partners
 Develop and utilize clear and concise work plans to recruit volunteers and partners. Work
plans are critical to the success of each committee and the program as a whole. While each
work plan should be detailed with all the needs of EVERY aspect of the promotion, the
Promotion Committee doesn’
t have to do all of this work. The committee becomes an
architect, so to speak, leaving the job of matching tasks to key initiatives to appropriate
volunteers and/or partners while the committee manages the process. Committees do not
have to work harder; they just have to work smarter. If trash must be picked up at a festival,
can the Boy Scouts lend a hand? Can a first aid center be manned by members of the Red
Cross?
 Network with other organizations. It has been said many times that Main Street is a stage
and we just have to recruit the players. Many times promotion committees fail to
understand what other groups are doing that would be best done in their district. Follow the
example of the Main Street executive who was on her way to work and saw a huge crowd in
the parking lot at a local Wal Mart. She, being the curious one, pulled in to find out what
was going on. Turned out that the tractor trailer in the parking lot was delivering Girl Scout
cookies. Well, the next year, the Girl Scout cookies were distributed to the town square in
the heart of the Main Street executive’
s downtown, drawing over 1,000 Girl Scouts and their
parents to downtown.
 The Promotion Committee must be careful not to “
bite off more than it can chew.”The
committee should reach out to SCSU and/or Yale students for membership on the
committee, as young people bring a wealth of ideas and energy. Remember that the
promotions calendar must include good balance and not require a disproportionate amount
of time on any one event or promotion.
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ORGANIZATION
To be effective, downtown revitalization cannot be a haphazard undertaking or a series of disparate
projects. Comprehensive Main Street revitalization requires collaboration, focus and continuity.
Organization is about bringing these qualities to a community’
s main street revitalization efforts by
integrating diverse interests in the community and focusing on a shared, long-term agenda for
restoring the district’
s physical beauty and economic viability. Organization is also about
marshaling the human and financial resources to implement a comprehensive main street
revitalization process.
The Organization (also known as Outreach) Function works to educate and engage the public
and complements other committees’work by developing resources and tools in:
 Outreach / Partnership Development
- Engaging active partners and developing an increasingly engaged volunteer base
(NOTE: each committee is responsible for this outreach)
 Advocacy / Education
- Educating the community on the Main Street Four Point Approach and the need for a
comprehensive management program for revitalizing Westville Village
 Public Relations & Communications
- Furthering WVRA’
s mission, vision and program of work
The organizational component is the work of the Board of Directors of Westville Village
Renaissance Alliance (WVRA) in conjunction with task forces and/or sub-committees of the Board.
Indeed the credibility of the organization, and therefore revitalization efforts as a whole, rely on the
Main Street organization’
s effectiveness in outreach to the community and setting the standard for
transparency, governance, and accountability.
The basic responsibilities of WVRA’
s Board of Directors fall under the following categories:
 Stewardship
- Developing, supporting and promoting WVRA’
s mission and vision
- Developing, implementing, monitoring and evaluating the annual work plan and budget
- Selecting and supporting the Chief Executive and reviewing his/her performance
- Assessing its own performance and developing a recruitment plan for future board
members (Governance)
- Managing financial resources effectively (Fiduciary Management)
 Fund Development
- Ensuring there are adequate and diverse resources to support the work plan and sustain
the organization (Fundraising)
 Advocacy
- Engaging partners, stakeholders and the community at large in the revitalization process
- Embracing the responsibility to develop and express opinions on issues related to the
district
- Enhancing the organization’
s public image
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OBSERVATIONS
Assets
New Haven, like any city, is made up of a series of neighborhoods. Westville Village joins a
number of other actively managed New Haven neighborhoods that are working to make the City a
better place for residents, workers and visitors. Collectively these neighborhoods represent a
network that can learn from and support each other, working jointly with the City and EDC New
Haven to address common issues and opportunities. There is great potential to harness the
collective expertise, energy and resources of Westville residents, businesses and institutional
partners into a highly effective and ongoing revitalization program. It is the intent of this report to
help guide WVRA in harnessing that potential.
Having been designated a CT Main Street Program in June 2008, WVRA’
s Board of Directors has
since worked with CT Main Street Center, learning about the Main Street Approach to Downtown
Revitalization, reviewing roles and responsibilities of Main Street’
s major players, developing
mission and vision statements, and convening a search committee - which led to the hiring of Chris
Heitmann as executive director. WVRA’
s board also undertook a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses,
Opportunities & Threats) Analysis and it has set program goals for the coming year.
WVRA benefits from an intellectual and talented core of volunteers and an articulate executive
director who, together, have proven to be effective advocates for Westville on the City and State
levels. WVRA is developing excellent relationships with key elected officials and City staff.
Significant start up operational funding was garnered from the State and other sources.
WVRA is primarily known for its signature event, ArtWalk. In the past year WVRA has also
helped organize and promote a number of events which draw people into the district and the
organization has helped promote activities and businesses in the district. The CitySeed operated
Farmers’Market in Edgewood Park is an excellent example of an ongoing activity that brings foot
traffic to the district throughout the season, connects residents and visitors with local producers and
provides them with access to healthy foods. Some of Westville Village’
s events also help increase
sales to local businesses. The Resource Team heard that ArtWalk 2009 helped some merchants
achieve their best sales day of the entire year.
WVRA’
s website (westvillect.org) is a good medium for promoting the businesses, resources,
organizations and activities in Westville Village. The events calendar provides an excellent
summary of the many events that occur in the district. With some additional expertise in creating a
compelling visual impression, with attractive images of the district, the website will look more userfriendly. Additional attention to promoting and driving the community to the site will make
westvillect.org a truly effective communications and marketing tool.
Challenges
Currently, WVRA’
s most important challenge is to complete the transition from existing as an
organization well-known for running a premiere event (ArtWalk) into a comprehensive Main Street
revitalization and management program. Most newly designated Main Street programs are just
getting off the ground and therefore do not yet have significant activities on their plates. 2009 saw
WVRA not only engaged in planning and producing ArtWalk and other events and activities, but
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65
attempting to convey to stakeholders the major organizational shift facing the organization. This
created the dual challenges of:
1. Broadening and articulating WVRA’
s new mission as a Main Street program and not just an
event producer; and
2. Identifying more volunteers and partners to build WVRA’
s capacity to implement current
programs while developing a Main Street management program.
In order to successfully live up to its new mission, WVRA must complete a number of basic
activities that will result in a strong organizational foundation, including fully activating the four
“
functions”of Main Street through the board and committee structure (see “
Main Street Committee
Basics”in Appendix E). The Marketing and Promotions Committee has been very active. It is
critical that the Economic Development, Placemaking & Design and Organization functions be
more fully developed.
The first step is for WVRA’
s board and staff to educate themselves and potential volunteers,
partners and funders as to how the Main Street Approach works and articulating the benefits to
various stakeholders. Many people told the Resource Team that they were not clear what WVRA’
s
new role was as a Main Street program and still thought of WVRA as “
the organization that
supports artists.”WVRA has a start-up work plan, a board that represents a diverse group of
stakeholders, and strong relationships in the community. Together with the recommendations in
this report, there is ample material to share with all stakeholders in continuing efforts to engage
partners and community volunteers and build the capacity and resources to implement priority
projects.
The Resource Team heard from a number of people that WVRA needs to “
move from a tactical to a
strategic organization.”This is true for any new Main Street program (see “
Phases of Program
Development”in the Appendix E). The key is to embrace start-up projects while, over time,
building the capacity and strategies to make fundamental changes in the district. While you need to
dream big, you have to start with small steps.
While past fundraising efforts have been successful, it is critical for WVRA to develop and
implement a fund development plan that will sustain an urban neighborhood Main Street
revitalization program with at least a full time executive. Building such a plan can be difficult for
any newer organization –no doubt made more challenging by these difficult economic times. The
good news: there is significant potential for resource development in Westville Village.
WVRA is well respected for the work it has done over the last 12 years, and many people feel that
WVRA has the capacity to accomplish its new mission. What many potential funders and
stakeholders do not yet understand is that WVRA has vastly expanded its mission by becoming a
designated Main Street program. To successfully fulfill this mission WVRA will need more
ongoing resources than in the past. As one WVRA board member questioned, “
As a board, do we
have the expertise to dig deeply into the complexity of issues in our action plan?”The answer is,
not yet, but WVRA does have the potential to develop and engage a diverse set of partners and
stakeholders in order to build this capacity.
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WVRA must share its developing plan of work and vision for the future with potential funders and
stakeholders, articulating what can be accomplished with their support. The number one reason
people contribute to, or volunteer for, any organization is because they were asked. There is a
perception that WVRA and Westville Village are in good shape compared to other neighborhoods
in New Haven. Revitalizing a commercial neighborhood center like Westville takes incredible
resources and partnerships. The perception of “
being in good shape”needs to be turned around to:
“
Here is what we can accomplish, and here is the return on investment if we align and focus
sufficient resources on Westville Village.”
RECOMMENDATIONS
The WVRA Board of Directors
Governance. It is the job of the Board of Directors to (1) set overall strategy and policy objectives,
(2) review and approve the ways the staff and committees plan to achieve those aims, and (3)
monitor whether the organization is making sufficient progress toward its goals. The Board
Governance Committee incorporates routines, structures and procedures that establish a focus on
the board’
s responsibility of policy and strategy rather than managing the program.
The Board Governance Committee concerns itself with:
 Board roles and responsibilities
 Board composition
 Board knowledge
 Board effectiveness
 Board leadership and succession planning
A Board Governance Committee job description is included in Appendix E.
Recommendations:
1. Establish a Governance Committee (consider inviting one or two individuals from outside the
current WVRA Board who have expertise in governance and leadership development).The
Governance Committee will lead the board through a process of self-assessment, identification,
recruitment, and training of new directors to ensure that WVRA has a board that matches the
needs of the district and that represents the community.
2. Board and Executive Coaching and Training. Contact the Pro Bono Partnership, Community
foundation of Greater New Haven, Yale, SCSU or the Nonprofit Resource Council at the
Chamber of Commerce for advice and workshops in nonprofit governance and the roles and
responsibilities of nonprofit boards. The entire board and the executive director should attend
such workshops.
3. Develop a Leadership Succession Plan that includes identification of Vice Presidents of
Governance and Fund Development.
4. Review WVRA bylaws and recommend necessary changes to the Board of Directors.
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Strategic Planning.
It is imperative that WVRA transition from operating as tactical, project-based organization to
developing and implementing strategic plans. In the catalyst phase of development, WVRA must
focus on learning basic main street revitalization skills, building partnerships and the organization’
s
volunteer base and achieving some highly visible successes. As WVRA reaches the growth phase
of development, which can take 3 to 4 years, it will develop and implement a comprehensive
economic and community development strategy with broader scope and long-term focus.
Former National Main Street Director, Kennedy Smith, in her article entitled “
Ultimate Work
Planning”(see Appendix E) states the three fundamental principles of the ultimate work planning
process:
1) The Four Points of Main Street –organization, marketing & promotions, economic
development, and placemaking & design –are an integrated, Zen-like package (not four
separate categories into which activities are arbitrarily assigned);
2) The revitalization organization’
s role is to coordinate a community-wide agenda, carried out
by dozens of other organizations, rather than to single-handedly tackle the revitalization
effort on its own. When carefully implemented, the ultimate work plan eliminates turf
battles, since it’
s the entire community –not WVRA alone –that is improving the
commercial district; and
3) Ultimate Work Planning relies on continuing feedback and thorough communication among
committees and task forces at all levels of the organization.
WVRA is in the process of developing an action plan which adopts appropriate initial goals for the
organization:
I. Position WVRA as the advocate, partner, master planner, coordinator and manager of
Westville Village;
II.
Enhance and promote the image of Westville Village to attract and engage residents,
visitors and new businesses;
III.
Engage existing businesses and assist them to better serve their customers, identify
opportunities for them to expand and an appropriate mix of new and compatible uses for
village properties; and
IV.
Foster and activate an urban village environment that is attractive, vibrant and pedestrianfriendly.
This Resource Team Report provides more recommendations which must be incorporated into
WVRA’
s plan. Now is the time to utilize the model of Ultimate Work Planning to develop an
integrated (and written) work plan which will:
 Serve as the road map that will tell the community how you will achieve your vision;
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 Be the best tool for seeking financial support, allowing investors to see how their support will
be utilized and what the benefits will be to them;
 Help you recruit partners and volunteers who will carry out key activities; and
 Keep WVRA focused –acting as a filter to ensure proposed projects and/or grants are
appropriate and relevant to your goals and, ultimately, to your vision.
Recommendations:
1. As planning is an iterative and incremental process, WVRA must develop the discipline to work
on current plans (getting projects done) while continuing to build a more complex long-term
plan. Don’
t let planning for tomorrow get in the way of today’
s accomplishments.
2. Led by the Executive Director, the Board must complete its planning process by finalizing and
approving WVRA’
s plan for this year incorporating recommendations from this report as
appropriate.
3. Each committee will then identify and prioritize projects that meet WVRA’
s goals and will
develop detailed work plans with project managers, partners, timelines, and budget information.
4. The board will review / approve the proposed work plan and budget.
5. Committees are then empowered to implement their projects. Each committee chair will provide
a monthly written update to the board on the status of projects. The Executive Director monitors
projects on a daily basis.
Financial Management. Every work plan needs to be synchronized with the budget. The Board of
Directors is responsible for the development of a financial plan that determines where the
resources come from and who is responsible for obtaining these resources.
 Give each committee a budget line-item that supports its work plan and, at the same time, can
be reasonably raised. While it is the board’
s job to ensure that WVRA is adequately funded,
each committee should discuss the possibility of income opportunities related to its projects.
 As the new work plan is fine-tuned, the budget also needs to be re-visited, and a financial plan
put in place to raise the funds necessary to support this budget.
 The Board must also ensure that there is sound financial control and a reporting system in place.
The Board should review monthly reports that compare actual results to the budget.
Recommendations:
1. The Board must pay immediate attention to creating and implementing a fund development plan
and campaign. An excellent resource is your local community foundation. Other local Main
Street organizations have received technical assistance grants and consultants for such planning.
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2. Developed by the Executive Director and Board leadership, the Board must review and approve
an annual operating budget.
3. The Executive of a small, start-up nonprofit also functions as its Chief Financial Officer,
overseeing management of budgeting, accounting, and record keeping. It is imperative that
WVRA’
s Executive Director, working closely with the Board Treasurer, be fully engaged in the
financial management of the organization.
Public Policy Development. The Board has an obligation to educate itself on all issues related to
the district and be prepared to take public positions on those issues. As ambassadors of Westville
Village, appropriate WVRA Board members should be present at public hearings and commission
meetings and should continue to engage the community in conversation about the future of the
district.
Recommendations:
1. Appoint spokespersons for the organization who will address the media and the public. The
Executive Director and Board President are standard appointees.
2. The Executive Director and Board leadership should continue to meet regularly with City staff
and elected officials to communicate the activities of WVRA and engage them in conversation
about issues related to the district. Invite a business owner from Westville Village to come to
these meetings to discuss a specific success story and/or current challenge. Report back to the
Board on results of those meetings.
Personnel. Because of the challenge of raising sufficient funds in the current recession, the
Executive Director was hired in the Fall of 2008 on a three-quarter time basis. The Board must
develop a budget and funding plan for the current year that will bring the Executive Director to fulltime status.
Recommendations:
1. WVRA’
s current budget continues the Executive Director’
s position as three-quarter time. This
should only be considered a base-line budget with the ultimate goal being to develop and
approve an operating budget plan for 2009-2010, which includes salary and benefit line items
for a full-time Executive Director once the funding goals are achieved (see Fund Development
below).
2. It has been recommended to the Organization/Outreach Committee, and to the Board of
Directors, that a WVRA Internship program be developed, which will create job descriptions,
identify and recruit interns that will carry out specific projects and tasks, coordinating with
other committees. The Executive Director should oversee WVRA interns.
Fund Development
Board development consultant Chuck Loring has produced a list of “
Best Practices of Nonprofit
Boards”(see Appendix E). Number 8 on this list, RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT, is viewed as a
primary board responsibility –the entire board, not a committee. Even in this challenging
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economy, there is significant potential for WVRA to tap new sources of funding and achieve the
goal of building a sustainable financial base.
In 2006, $295 billion was donated to non-profit organizations in the United States, 75.6% of which
came from individuals. The potential individual donor base in Westville Village is very strong both
in terms of household income levels and in terms of people who are, or who want to be, committed
to making the Village a vibrant place.
In order to capture the untapped resources in the community, WVRA must develop and implement
a fundraising plan that will support the current year’
s work plan and lay the foundation for building
a sustainable, ongoing revitalization process.
Recommendations:
1. As stated above, fund development is primarily the Board’
s responsibility. It is acceptable
to activate a fundraising sub-committee to help strategize, but the board needs to clearly
understand that this is its primary job. The current members of the fund-raising subcommittee are an excellent mix of people. To recognize that fundraising is the primary
responsibility of the Board, this sub-committee must be chaired by a board member, which
it currently is not. A WVRA Board member should be appointed chair of this committee.
2. WVRA is blessed with the partnerships of SCSU and Yale. Both institutions have
experienced and accomplished development departments and staff. Consult with
representatives from each university to help develop and implement a fundraising plan for
WVRA.
a. As you are building your case for support, be very clear about WVRA’
s new mission
of revitalizing and managing Westville Village, that this is much more
comprehensive than just an event, and that it requires many more resources. At the
same time it will be important to articulate that your new mission will result in an
impressive return on investment and benefits to current and future supporters (see
“
Benefits for Each Donor Market Segment”in Appendix E).
3. Launch a comprehensive membership campaign. This will present opportunities to educate
your target audiences on WVRA’
s mission and the benefits of its program of work, while
attracting funding and volunteers. WVRA members also become a potential major donor
pool in the future. The fundraising committee mentioned that house parties are being
planned, and they may also tap into Sunday Soups, neighborhood Sunday night dinners
hosted by different people in the neighborhood.
a. The membership brochure should focus on WVRA’
s vision for the future and what
membership funds will help accomplish.
b. The Resource Team was told that people may earmark their United Way gift to
WVRA. Any United Way or corporate matching opportunities should be promoted
in membership materials.
4. The Board and other willing volunteers can contribute to the fundraising plan by doing the
following:
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a. Donate to the best of your ability. All Board members, and any volunteers who will
be asking others for support, must first make their own contribution. 100% of the
Board must make a meaningful financial contribution to WVRA annually.
b. Call past donors to thank them and inform them of WVRA’
s current plans.
c. Identify prospects for cultivation purposes.
d. Identify potential future Board members.
e. Speak frequently about WVRA and its programs and purpose.
f. Provide names and addresses for any direct mail campaigns.
g. Identify potential foundation and corporate donors.
The Organization (or Outreach) Function
This function is the direct responsibility of the Board. It is appropriate for the Board to develop
task forces, sub-committees and ongoing partnerships to add capacity and resources and to ensure
an ever-growing strategic plan is implemented.
Over the course of the Resource Team visit it became very clear that WVRA is blessed with the
potential to have many dynamic and productive partnerships, with SCSU and Yale at the top of the
list. Representatives from both SCSU and Yale indicated a strong willingness to partner with
WVRA. One representative said that it would be good to know WVRA’
s strategy and the programs
it will be undertaking in order to know how they can plug in their people, programs and resources.
A particularly good study, conducted by the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City & CEOs for
Cities, is “
Leveraging Colleges and Universities for Urban Economic Revitalization”
, provided
under separate cover. Reach out to appropriate representatives from each university to be part of
work plan development and committee participation.
Recommendations: Outreach / Partnership Development
 Develop and maintain WVRA’
s database –a simple Excel spreadsheet format can be easily
manipulated to sort by donors, volunteers, media, etc. This is necessary for your marketing and
communications activities.
 Compile WVRA program information (mission, vision, strategic goals, committee job
descriptions and work plan summary) into a Volunteer Orientation Kit. This will assist both
WVRA and potential partners and volunteers in easily placing people and organizations in the
right roles. NOTE: New London Main Street has an award-winning model for this program.
 Inventory the talent in your community: all organizations and entities that are users of
downtown. Include all contact information and the mission and/or stated focus of each. With
board-approved workplans in hand, WVRA committees can then reach out to potential partners
to engage them in upcoming projects.
 Develop a WVRA Internship program, creating job descriptions, identifying and recruiting
interns who will carry out specific projects and tasks, coordinated with other committees
(Marketing & Promotions, Placemaking & Design, Economic Development,
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Organization/Outreach). Many of the recommended projects in this report can be implemented
with interns.
 Work to develop WVRA’
s major funders as programmatic partners as well –engaging them in
the work plan throughout the year. Do banks and other larger employers, and their employees
seem to lend themselves naturally to a given project? Are they already doing an event or project
that could be located in Westville Village or enhanced by WVRA? Current funders can also
refer the board to potential new funders.
 Invite appropriate municipal staff department heads to meet with committees in order to open
lines of communication and proactively involve city staff in developing solutions that will
improve the quality of life in Westville Village. This should happen as committees are
developing their work plans, so as to take full advantage of the natural programmatic
partnerships that exist with City Hall.
 Involve young people! Main Street programs across the country have come up with creative
ways of engaging youth in revitalization initiatives. Check to see if local public and private
schools have community service requirements for students. Explore scouting organizations,
youth groups at churches, etc. for volunteers. Some Main Street programs involve high school
students on the Board or committees. For ideas, post a request for examples on the National
Main Street ListServe, which connects you with 1,600 Main Street communities throughout the
country.
Recommendations: Advocacy / Education
 Publish an online newsletter which links back to your website. Email this newsletter to your
database contact list and print copies for distribution, always driving people to your website.
Each committee can be responsible for submissions of updates that report its activities. Reprints
of articles related to the four points of Main Street and occasional articles written by partnering
organizations convey that WVRA is part of a larger regional and national movement.
 Consider holding “
Community Conversation”evenings, which can be presented in conjunction
with a sponsoring partner, to illuminate important Westville Village issues and provide a focus
for community debate and discussion. Rose City Renaissance (Norwich) has developed such
events and they should be contacted for information.
Recommendations: Public Relations & Communications
The Marketing & Promotions Committee may currently be taking the responsibility for several of
the recommended activities below. Be sure to coordinate with that committee:
 The Marketing and Promotions Committee will be focusing on image and branding of the
district. Be in close contact with them in order to understand the brand development concept
for Westville Village and for the organization.
 Develop WVRA’
s“
Dog & Pony”PowerPoint presentation, utilizing presentations already
provided by CT Main Street Center for talking points. Plan to roll-out this 20-30 minute
presentation, containing plenty of photos, to all of the organizations listed on your community
& partner inventory.
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 Develop a program brochure that highlights WVRA’
s mission and program of work. This
brochure will function as a “
leave behind”on calls to potential partners and funders.
 Develop a sharp public relations package, which includes media kits, press releases, and your
program brochure. Perhaps local newspapers, websites or blogs will be willing to feature a
regular column written by WVRA.
 Continue to update and improve the WVRA website. The Marketing and Promotions
committee can enhance this website in order to promote Westville Village as well as WVRA.
Add images of the district and develop strategies to drive people to the site.
 Utilize an e-marketing program (such as Constant Contact, etc) to send emails to your target
audiences. These programs are very easy to use, visually attractive and easier to read and
navigate that standard emails. Downloaded images (photos, logos, etc.) and links back to your
website are standard in these programs.
 Plan a fun Annual Meeting, celebrating WVRA’
s accomplishments and publicly recognizing
and thanking funders, partners and volunteers. Plan on also producing an Annual Report each
year.
CONCLUSION
The job of the Main Street organization is not just to identify the commercial district’
s problems,
but also to develop and implement solutions. Westville Village Renaissance Alliance must be a
solution-oriented program. This distinction carries with it the obligation to be pro-active rather
than re-active; optimistic rather than pessimistic; results-driven rather than captives of process. As a
solution-oriented program WVRA must develop a strategic work-plan that outlines a list of key
projects and then set about the business of systematically completing each one.
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‘Economic Development’ Action Plan
The following action items are excerpted from the Economic Development section of this report
or inferred from suggestions in that section. They are intended to provide WVRA with a
template to help assign responsibilities, track progress, and prioritize efforts.
Short-Term
(one year)
Mid-Term
(1-3 years)
1. Prerequisite Economic Development Activities
•
•
Data Collection
o
Building Assessment – Completed, but
needs updating and maintenance
Short-Term
Task
o
Market Demographics – Resource Team
obtained
Short-Term
Task
o
Existing Businesses survey – Formal
measure to create baseline data profile
Short-Term
Task
o
Niche Market Analysis – Okay to start
with “ready, shoot, aim approach”
Short-Term
Task
Economic Development Strategy – Vet and
tweak the Resource Team plan
Short-Term
Task
2. Build a Culture of Collaboration and Action
•
Improve public realm appearance - Begin at
once and keep at it
•
Enhance cross promotions – Develop the
framework and let merchants run with it
•
With merchants, conduct neighborhood &
shoppers surveys
•
Business Training Series – Find local
partners to assist with the series (SBDC,
others)
•
Improve Public Parking – Low hanging fruit,
put 500 Blake Parking Lot back into use
Short-Term
Task
Mid-Term
Task
Short-Term
Task
Mid-Term
Task
Mid-Term
Task
Long-Term
(>3 years)
3.
Engage all Nearby Neighborhoods
•
Smaller Ethnic Festivals – Empower ethnic
groups to manage their own events
•
Block vs Block Olympics – Every other year
to manage work load
Short-Term
Task
•
Asset Mapping – Outsider perspective on
community assets
Short-Term
Task
•
Community Forums – Present Asset
Mapping results to the community
•
Walkable Community – Whalley Avenue
improvements
Mid-Term
Task
Mid-Term
Task
Long-Term
Task
4. Build Stronger Town / Gown Relations
• University Student Surveys – complete as
students return to school
• University Student Internships – Develop
an ongoing program to augment staff
• Staff and Faculty Survey – Stagger with
student survey every three years
• SCSU / WVRA Task Force – Task Force
approach to inventory potential partnerships
Short-Term
Task
Short-Term
Task
Mid-Term
Task
Mid-Term
Task
• SCSU Alumni Reception – Alternate with
UNH, Yale Athletics and Chapel Haven
events
• Chapel Haven Events – Alternate with
SCSU, UNH and Yale Athletics events
• Yale Athletic Field Events – Alternate with
Chapel Haven, SCSU and UNH events
• University of New Haven Event – Alternate
with SCSU, Yale Athletics and Chapel Haven
events
Mid-Term
Task
Mid-Term
Task
Mid-Term
Task
Mid-Term
Task
5. Improve Municipal Partnership
• Design / ED Charrettes – Get engaged in the
planning work now
Short-Term
Task
• Whalley Avenue improvements – Prepare
Mid-Term
Task
for the disruption well in advance
• Public Space Capital Improvements – Build
public support for Beecher, Edgewood and
West Rock Park improvements and/or
investment in new public spaces (e.g. pocket
park on greenway or broad sidewalk
extension)
Long-Term
Task
6. Fully Leverage Arts and Creative Cluster
•
Public Art Plan – Utilize university arts
educators
Mid-Term
Task
•
Public Art Implementation – Incremental
program to build up public art
Mid-Term
Task
•
Area Public Art Partnership – Build traffic
and generate interest by partnering with
regional arts agencies
•
Develop More Live / Work Space – Several
large opportunities, typical 18 month predevelopment period
Short-Term
Task
Mid-Term
Task
7. Manage and Enhance Food and Beverage (F & B) Cluster
•
License Holder Round Table – Engage bar
and club owners
Short-Term
Task
•
Zero Tolerance for Late Night Crime –
Engage police and liquor license control staff
Short-Term
Task
•
Crowd Management Training – Provide
assistance as well as discipline
•
Fill Vacant F & B Venues – Blake Street a
great opportunity to diversify the f & b mix
Short-Term
Task
Mid-Term
Task
Long-Term
Task
8. Build a New Convenience Cluster around Farmers’ Market
•
Trim Trees by Park – Improve visibility now
•
Attract Five New Farmers’ Market Vendors
– Incrementally grow the Market and learn
local food system nuances
•
Attract Three New Food Businesses – Reconsider location of Farmers’ Market when
you seek food retail tenants
Short-Term
Task
Mid-Term
Task
Long-Term
Task
9. Property Development
•
Joint SCSU / WVRA CDC – each has a
common need for community-based
development
•
50 Fitch Street Redevelopment –
Underdeveloped site could become
compelling mixed-use project site
•
Blake Street Redevelopment – Major large
footprint office and school awaiting end of
current leases
Mid-Term
Task
Long-Term
Task
Long-Term
Task
‘Marketing & Promotion’ Action Plan
The following action items are excerpted from the Marketing & Promotions section of the report
or inferred from suggestions in that section. They are intended to provide WVRA with a template
to help assign responsibilities, track progress, and prioritize efforts.
Short-Term
(3-6 months)
Mid-Term
(1-5 years)
Ongoing
10. Targeted Strategies
•
Review the Demographic and Income
profile contained in the ESRI report and
become familiar with the makeup of the area
by drive time.
•
Review the Retail Goods and Expenditures
profile in the ESRI report paying special
attention to categories where spending is
below the national average.
ShortTerm
Task
•
Brainstorm activities, holidays, promotions
or even additions to the district (Wi-Fi) that
would be appealing to the demographic make
up of the area.
ShortTerm
Task
•
Window display clinics followed by a
promotion to change the visual appeal of the
retail business community and catch the eye
of those passing in the 30,000 cars per day.
The Placemaking and Design Committee
could enlist the help of the studio art, graphic
design, or advertising and promotion classes
at SCSU and/or Yale to assist businesses with
window displays. Also, check other nearby
colleges and universities for fashion
merchandising classes; their students would
be excellent resources.
ShortTerm
Task
Ongoing
Task
Ongoing
Task
Ongoing
Task
11. Special Events – “Grow What You Got”
•
•
Make ArtWalk, and other special events, a
Profit Center - Develop a sponsorship
program for events.
Farmers’ Market – Expand the market by
ensuring there are more vendors and “the
5 essentials” - Walt Disney defined them as;
1) something for free, 2) music, 3) food, 4)
something for kids, and 5) something for
adults.
ShortTerm
Task
Ongoing
Task
ShortTerm
Task
Ongoing
Task
12. Retail Promotions / Building the Business Owner Network
•
Enliven the Public Space - more frequent
low cost promotions such as street corner
performers, face painters and balloon artists to
attract residents living around the village.
ShortTerm
Task
•
“Hoot Loot” - the Promotion Committee
should work with SCSU to ensure that EVERY
business understands how to become part of
this system.
ShortTerm
Task
• Consider an event such as “10 for the
Heart”- this promotion involves health care
professionals, or school nurses, or even
students. A set location and day is made
available for folks to stop for 10 minutes to
have their blood pressure checked and
perhaps other non-technical easy-toadminister tests. The location could be a
gallery, retail store or even a restaurant.
• Help organize and promote morning gallery
events - senior citizens almost always prefer
daytime events over evenings. Perhaps local
banks would be willing to sponsor the cost of
morning refreshments. A different gallery or
store can be the host each month.
• Investigate opportunities for stores to sell
local artists’ work. When a piece is sold,
WVRA gets 10%, which can more than cover
rental costs.
• Window display contests - tied into existing
events. This promotion will also help business
owners get accustomed to changing their
displays and keeping them interesting.
ShortTerm
Task
ShortTerm
Task
ShortTerm
Task
ShortTerm
Task
Ongoing
Task
•
Begin a business bounce-back program teaching and encouraging Westville
businesses to bounce the business back and
forth between each other
• A good old-fashioned sidewalk sale can be
just the ticket to get businesses involved and
customers buying.
• Host Merchant Mixers - a day or evening for
merchants, business owners, and property
owners to get together, get information
(bounce backs), and develop some cross
communication that is missing from the Village
now.
• Investigate opportunities for stores to sell
local artists’ work. When a piece is sold,
WVRA gets 10%, which can more than cover
rental costs.
ShortTerm
Task
ShortTerm
Task
ShortTerm
Task
ShortTerm
Task
Ongoing
Task
13. Communications
•
•
•
•
•
Surveys - The business community, property
owners, WVRA and others will glean much
information from a simple consumer survey.
Either the Promotion Committee or the
Economic Development Committee (or both)
should utilize surveys to get information from
existing customers in the village, students,
senior citizens, and residents within the
sphere of influence of the village core.
ShortTerm
Task
Guides & Brochures - marketing, education
and information tools both for businesses
and customers. Each guide should have a
similar design and, as always, be selfsupporting through advertising sales.
ShortTerm
Task
Utilize an e-marketing program (such as
Constant Contact, peer360.com, etc.) for ecommunications. Email blasts are best if
used on set days and contain information
that is of value to the reader.
ShortTerm
Task
Create your own “Street Sheets” - monthly,
generally one page front and back,
containing information useful to the business
owner - but the general public will find them
fun to read as well. Reminders to
businesses about workshops or seminars,
meetings, changes in downtown and other
information is laid out in a kind of news paper
fashion.
Utilize social networking sites and services
to reach younger consumers. Enlisting a
group of marketing majors to create a
Facebook, Twitter and texting program for
the Promotion Committee would be a great
way to start getting university students more
engaged and other students more informed.
Ongoing
Task
Ongoing
Task
ShortTerm
Task
Ongoing
Task
ShortTerm
Task
Ongoing
Task
14. Brand Development Process
•
Create a task force to create and
implement the brand development process
for Westville Village – steps are laid out in
Appendix D4.
•
Westville logo on door decals and stickers
can be used to denote a WVRA business
member in good standing
•
Shopping bags are used to promote a
unified district. When businesses see the
shopping bags on the street they are
reminded that there is district management
coordinating all of this for them, and the bag is
a form of advertising to the customer.
•
Main Street T-Shirt - business owners and
employees can wear the official “Westville
Village shirt” on selected days.
•
Be proactive leaders in promoting clean,
safe and friendly ideas and ideals:
o
o
o
o
Neighborhood Watch Campaigns –
WVRA currently participates on the
Westville/West Hills Community
Management Team (CMT). This is an
excellent program which should
develop into an ongoing partnership
with WVRA.
Art Cans – in many art districts trash
cans become artists’ canvasses.
Westville Village Clean-Up Days: one
in the fall; one in the spring
Network with the Placemaking and
Design Committee to develop
maintenance standards for the district.
MidTerm
Task
ShortTerm
Task
ShortTerm
Task
ShortTerm
Task
ShortTerm
Task
Ongoing
Task
15. Building the Promotion Committee’s Army of Volunteers and Partners
•
Develop and utilize clear and concise work
plans to recruit volunteers and partners.
• Network with other organizations.
ShortTerm
Task
Ongoing
Task
ShortTerm
Task
Ongoing
Task
• The Promotion Committee must be careful
not to “bite off more than it can chew.”
The committee should reach out to SCSU
and/or Yale students for membership on the
committee, as young people bring a wealth of
ideas and energy. Remember that the
promotions calendar must include good
balance and not require a disproportionate
amount of time on any one event or
promotion.
Ongoing
Task
‘Organization’ Action Plan
The following action items are excerpted from the Organization section of the report or inferred
from suggestions in that section. They are intended to provide WVRA with a template to help
assign responsibilities, track progress, and prioritize efforts.
Short-Term
(3-6 months)
Mid-Term
(1-5 years)
Ongoing
16. Governance
It is the job of the Board of Directors to (1) set overall strategy and policy objectives, (2) review and
approve the ways the staff and committees plan to achieve those aims, and (3) monitor whether the
organization is making sufficient progress toward its goals. The Board Governance Committee
incorporates routines, structures and procedures that establish a focus on the board’s responsibility of
policy and strategy rather than managing the program.
•
Establish a Governance Committee: The
Governance Committee will lead the board
through a process of self-assessment,
identification, recruitment, and training of new
directors to ensure that WVRA has a board
that matches the needs of the district and that
represents the community.
o
Board and Executive Coaching and
Training. In addition to assistance
provided by CT Main Street Center,
contact the Pro Bono Partnership,
Community Foundation of Greater New
Haven, Yale, or SCSU for advice and
workshops in nonprofit governance and
the roles and responsibilities of nonprofit
boards. The entire board and the
executive director should attend such
workshops.
ShortTerm
Task
ShortTerm
Task
o
Develop a Leadership Succession Plan
that includes identification of Vice
Presidents of Governance and Fund
Development.
ShortTerm
Task
o
Review and update WVRA’s bylaws,
ensure the inclusion of a conflict of
interest policy and procedure, develop
and approve board responsibilities
document, etc.
ShortTerm
Task
17. Strategic Planning
It is imperative that WVRA transition from operating as tactical, project-based organization to
developing and implementing strategic plans. In the catalyst phase of development, WVRA must
focus on learning basic main street revitalization skills, building partnerships and the organization’s
volunteer base and achieving some highly visible successes. As WVRA reaches the growth phase of
development, which can take 3 to 4 years, it will develop and implement a comprehensive economic
and community development strategy with broader scope and long-term focus.
•
•
•
•
Work Today’s Plan. As planning is an
iterative and incremental process, WVRA
must develop the discipline to work on current
plans (getting projects done) while continuing
to build a more complex long-term plan.
ShortTerm
Task
Ongoing
Task
Led by the Executive Director, the Board must
complete its planning process by finalizing
and approving WVRA’s plan for this year
incorporating recommendations from this
report as appropriate.
ShortTerm
Task
Ongoing
Task
Each committee will then identify and
prioritize projects that meet WVRA’s goals
and will develop detailed work plans with
project managers, partners, timelines, and
budget information.
ShortTerm
Task
Ongoing
Task
The board will review / approve the
proposed work plan and budget.
Committees are then empowered to
implement their projects. Each committee
chair will provide a monthly written update to
the board on the status of projects. The
Executive Director monitors projects on a daily
basis.
ShortTerm
Task
Ongoing
Task
18. Financial Management
The Board of Directors is responsible for the development of a financial plan that determines where
the resources come from and who is responsible for obtaining these resources. The Board must also
ensure that there is sound financial control and a reporting system in place. The board should review
monthly reports that compare actual results to budget.
•
•
•
The Executive Director of a small, start-up
nonprofit also often functions as its Chief
Financial Officer, overseeing management of
budgeting, accounting, and record keeping. It
is imperative that WVRA’s Executive Director,
working closely with the Board Treasurer, be
fully engaged in the financial management of
the organization.
Developed by the Executive Director and
Board leadership, the Board must review
and approve an annual operating budget.
As the new workplan is fine-tuned the budget
also needs to be revisited, and a financial plan
put in place to raise the funds necessary to
support this budget.
Give each committee a budget line-item
that supports its workplan and, at the same
time, can be reasonably raised. While it is the
board’s job to ensure that WVRA is
adequately funded, each committee should
discuss the possibility of income opportunities
related to its projects.
ShortTerm
Task
ShortTerm
Task
ShortTerm
Task
Ongoing
Task
19. Fund Development
Resource Development is viewed as a primary board responsibility – the entire board, not a
committee. Even in this challenging economy, there is significant potential for WVRA to tap new
sources of funding and achieve the goal of building a sustainable financial base. In order to capture
the untapped resources in the community, WVRA must develop and implement a fundraising plan
that will support the current year work plan and lay the foundation for building a sustainable, ongoing
revitalization process.
•
•
•
•
To recognize that fundraising is the primary
responsibility of the Board, the Fundraising
Committee must be chaired by a board
member, which it currently is not. A WVRA
Board member should be appointed chair of
this committee.
WVRA is blessed with the partnerships of
SCSU and Yale. Both institutions have
experienced and accomplished development
departments and staff. Consult with
representatives from each university to
help develop and implement a fundraising
plan for WVRA.
Launch a comprehensive membership
campaign. This will present opportunities to
educate your target audiences on WVRA’s
mission and the benefits of its program of
work, while attracting funding and volunteers.
WVRA members also become a potential
major donor pool in the future.
The Board and other willing volunteers can
contribute to the fundraising plan by doing
the following:
o Donate to the best of your ability. All
Board members, and any volunteers
who will be asking others for support,
must first make their own contribution.
100% of the Board must make a
meaningful financial contribution to
WVRA annually
o Call past donors to thank them and
inform them of WVRA’s current plans
o Identify prospects for cultivation
purposes
o Identify potential future Board
members
o Speak frequently about WVRA and it
programs and purpose
o Provide names and addresses for any
direct mail campaigns
o Identify potential foundation and
corporate donors
ShortTerm
Task
ShortTerm
Task
ShortTerm
Task
ShortTerm
Task
Ongoing
Task
•
The Board must develop a budget and funding
plan for the current year that will bring the
Executive Director to full-time status.
ShortTerm
Task
20. Public Policy
The Board has an obligation to educate itself on all issues related to the district, and to be prepared to
take public positions on those issues. As ambassadors of Westville Village, appropriate WVRA Board
members should be present at public hearings and commission meetings and should continue to engage
the community in conversation about the future of the district.
• Appoint spokespersons for the
organization who will address the public and
the media. The Executive Director and Board
President are standard appointees.
•
ShortTerm
Task
The Executive Director and Board leadership
should continue to meet regularly with City
staff and elected officials to communicate the
activities of WVRA and engage the City in
discussion of issues related to the district.
Ongoing
Task
21. Outreach & Partnership Development
This function is the direct responsibility of the Board. It is appropriate for the Board to develop task
forces, sub-committees and ongoing partnerships to add capacity and resources and to ensure an evergrowing strategic plan is implemented. WVRA is blessed with the potential to have many dynamic and
productive partnerships, with SCSU and Yale at the top of the list.
• Develop and maintain WVRA’s database –
a simple Excel spreadsheet format can be
easily manipulated to sort by donors,
volunteers, media, etc. This is necessary for
your marketing and communications activities.
ShortTerm
Task
• Compile WVRA program information
(mission, vision, strategic goals, committee job
descriptions and work plan summary) into a
Volunteer Orientation Kit. This will assist
both WVRA and potential partners and
volunteers in easily placing people and
organizations in the right roles.
ShortTerm
Task
Ongoing
Task
• Inventory the talent in your community: all
organizations and entities that are users of
downtown. Include all contact information and
the mission and/or stated focus of each. With
board-approved workplans in hand, WVRA
committees can then reach out to potential
partners to engage them in upcoming projects.
ShortTerm
Task
• Develop a WVRA Internship program,
creating job descriptions, identifying and
recruiting interns who will carry out specific
projects and tasks, coordinated with other
committees (Promotions & Marketing,
Placemaking & Design, Economic
Development, Outreach). Many of the
recommended projects in this report can be
implemented with interns.
•
ShortTerm
Task
Ongoing
Task
Work to develop WVRA’s major funders as
programmatic partners as well – engaging
them in the work plan throughout the year.
Current funders can also refer the board to
potential new funders.
Ongoing
Task
22. Build Stronger Town / Gown Relations
• Student Surveys – complete as students
return to school
•
Student Internships – Develop an ongoing
program to augment WVRA staff
•
Staff and Faculty Survey – Stagger with
student survey every three years
•
SCSU / WVRA Task Force – Task Force
approach to inventory potential partnerships
Short-Term
Task
Mid-Term
Task
Mid-Term
Task
Mid-Term
Task
23. Public Relations, Education & Advocacy
•
•
Consider holding “Community
Conversations”, evenings which can be
presented in conjunction with a sponsoring
partner, to illuminate important Westville
Village issues and provide a focus for
community debate and discussion.
Publish an online newsletter which links
back to your website. Email this newsletter
to your database contact list and print copies
for distribution, always driving people to your
website. Each committee can be responsible
for submissions of updates that report its
activities. Reprints of articles related to the
four points of Main Street and occasional
articles written by partnering organizations
convey that WVRA is part of a larger regional
and national movement.
•
Develop a program brochure that
highlights WVRA’s mission and program of
work. This brochure will function as a “leave
behind” on calls to potential partners and
funders.
•
Develop a sharp public relations package,
which includes media kits, press releases, and
your program brochure. Perhaps local
newspapers, websites or blogs will be willing
to feature a regular column written by WVRA.
•
Utilize an e-marketing program (such as
Constant Contact, etc) to send emails to your
target audiences. Downloaded images
(photos, logos, etc.) and links back to your
website are standard in these programs.
•
Continue to update and improve the WVRA
website. The Marketing and Promotions
committee can enhance this website in order
to promote Westville Village as well as WVRA.
Add images of the district and develop
strategies to drive people to the site.
ShortTerm
Task
ShortTerm
Task
Ongoing
Task
Ongoing
Task
ShortTerm
Task
ShortTerm
Task
ShortTerm
Task
Ongoing
Task
APPENDIX B: PLACEMAKING & DESIGN
B1: Land Use Map…………………………………………………………………..104
B2: Existing Zoning……………………...…………………………………………..105
B3: Traffic Issues…………………………………………………………………….107
B4: Potential Development Opportunities……………………………….………..108
B5: Glossary of Terms………………………………………………………………109
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APPENDIX B2: EXISTING ZONING
Westville Village lies within the ‘
General Business’(BA) district. The BA zone provides for
central concentrations of neighborhood-oriented convenience stores and services (i.e. nodes of
retail) within the city’
s various neighborhoods.
Uses allowed by right in the BA zone include most retail stores (including clothing, food, and
specialty goods), offices, restaurants/caterers (including drive-in restaurants not adjacent to
residential lots), bakeries, neighborhood services (real estate, barbers, salons, travel agents, etc.),
boarding houses, lodges or motels, business schools, antique stores, funeral homes, hardware and
home improvement sales, bankers, brokerage houses and insurance agencies, medical and dental
practices, clinics, hospitals and veterinarians, game rooms, auto sales, auto rentals, and auto
servicing, and parking structures of 200 spaces or less. Uses allowed by Special Permit or by
Special Exemption include art and photography studios, parking structures greater than 200
spaces, custodial care facilities, pawn shops, bars, social clubs, auto body shops and kennels.
Uses not allowed in the BA zone include live-work lofts, adult entertainment or cabarets, adult
book stores, liquor stores, gun shops, off-track betting, self-storage facilities, intercity bus
terminals, outdoor storage (greater than 500 square feet), and all heavy commercial, industrial,
and manufacturing plants, and storage, warehouse and distribution facilities.
Building densities and forms are controlled in the City’
s business zones by so-called bulk and
yard regulations that control the coverage, height, mass and location of buildings within a site.
The bulk regulations for the BA zone include a maximum floor area ratio (FAR) of 2.0 but do
not include any maximum height restrictions or maximum coverage requirements since the FAR
and parking and loading requirements indirectly limit building coverage and height. There are no
minimum front yard or side yard setbacks in the BA zone which allows buildings to front on the
street and abut neighboring businesses. Minimum rear yard setback varies according to building
height.
City Plan staff and the Commission on the City Plan as the City’
s principal agency that regulates
and approves site plans and large-scale construction projects, has shown considerable awareness
of the design principles that provide for compact development and walkable districts and
acknowledge deficiencies in the current zoning code that discourage or prohibit these principles.
For example, the zoning code allows FAR increases if buildings are situated further from the
street line of the lot. This density bonus serves to undermine the walkablity of main streets
because buildings are encouraged to have greater setbacks which weaken the “
street wall”effect.
Also, current zoning regulations do not provide for municipal review and control over the more
subjective aspects of place-making such as architectural style, building massing, roof lines,
exterior materials, colors or window placement. This often results in inappropriately-scaled
Main Street architecture where buildings do not relate to the historic or traditional buildings on
the street.
To its credit, the City Plan has established historic districts, Planned Development Districts
(PDDs) and overlay districts that encourage the revitalization of Main Streets with mixed-use
development and control building form and context. One example is the Whalley Avenue
Overlay District (WAOD) which applies to a section of Whalley between Ella T. Grasso
Boulevard and Sherman Avenue. Proposed development within the overlay district must
observe special standards and must comply with design guidelines that ensure that new buildings
create a pedestrian-scaled environment; harmoniously blend with existing development (relative
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WESTVILLE VILLAGE An Action Plan for the Revitalization of Westville Village
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to architectural style, materials, and colors); have a mass and continuity that relate in scale and
design to the surrounding buildings; have articulated and architecturally proportional and
interesting and distinctive facades or storefronts, building entrances, windows, and roofs; provide
embellishments such as dormers, belvederes, masonry chimneys, cupolas, and clock towers if
appropriate to the building vernacular, especially if the building is situated on a visible corner
lot. The WAOD also allows the City Plan to review and control the use of architecturally
compatible materials, colors, details, awnings, canopies and marquees, signage and lighting
fixtures.
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APPENDIX B3: TRAFFIC ISSUES
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APPENDIX B4: POTENTIAL DEVELOPMENT OPPORTUNITIES
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APPENDIX B5: GLOSSARY OF TERMS
Eco-city/Sustainable City - A city designed with consideration of environmental impact, inhabited by
people dedicated to minimization of required inputs of energy, water and food, and waste output of heat,
air pollution, and water pollution.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sustainable_city
Green Infrastructure - Is the concept originating in the United States in the mid-1990s that highlights
the importance of the natural environment in decisions about land use planning, with an emphasis on
interconnectivity to support long term sustainability. Examples include anthropocentric functions such as
recreation and providing shade and shelter in and around towns and cities.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Green_Infrastructure
Greenway - A long, narrow piece of land, often used for recreation and pedestrian and bicycle traffic and
sometimes including multiple transportation (streetcar, light rail) or retail uses. Greenways often provide
a contiguous pathway, allowing urban commuting via bicycle or foot.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greenway_(landscape)
Mixed-Use Development - The practice of allowing more than one type of use in a building or set of
buildings. In planning zone terms, this can mean some combination of residential, commercial, industrial,
office, institutional, or other land uses.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mixed-use_development
New Urbanism - An urban design movement that promotes walkable neighborhoods that contain a range
of housing and job types. New Urbanism arose in the U.S. in the early 1980s and continues to reform
many aspects of real estate development and urban planning and is closely related to Regionalism and
Environmentalism. It is strongly influenced by urban design standards prominent before the rise of the
automobile and encompasses principles such as traditional neighborhood design (TND) and transitoriented development (TOD).
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Urbanism
Smart Growth - An urban planning and transportation theory that concentrates growth in the center of a
city to avoid urban sprawl; and advocates compact, transit-oriented, walkable, bicycle-friendly land use,
including neighborhood schools, complete streets, and mixed-use development with a range of housing
choices. Its goals are to achieve a unique sense of community and place; expand the range of
transportation, employment, and housing choices.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smart_Growth
Townscape - The equivalent of a landscape. In urban design the terms refer to the configuration of built
forms and interstitial space. Townscape is roughly synonymous with cityscape, though it implies the same
difference in urban size and density (and even modernity) implicit in the difference between the words
city and town.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cityscape
__________________________
1
Definitions derived from Wikipedia, the web-based, free-content encyclopedia at
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Page.
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APPENDIX C: ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
C1: Sample Shoppers’
Survey –Downtown Detroit Resident Study.……………..111
C2: Sample Merchants’
Survey –Mississippi Main Street Association…….……..118
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APPENDIX C1: SAMPLE SURVEY –DOWNTOWN DETROIT RESIDENT STUDY
Campus Martius Resident Food Study
This survey is Only for Residents of Downtown Detroit. If you are not a resident of
Downtown Detroit, please quit this survey.
If you are a Resident, please continue by answering the first question below and then
scrolling down for the remaining questions. Please complete the entire survey. When you
are finished, click on the Done button.
The Survey takes about 5-10 minutes. If you cannot finish the survey or you want to edit
your response later you can re-enter your survey at any time by using the same computer
and click again on the hyperlink for Survey Monkey.
We appreciate your assistance.
1. From the following list, which type of food store is your primary food store, that
is, where you spend the most money each month. (Check only one)
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
Convenience Store (e.g. 7-11)
Detroit Eastern Market
Dollar Store
Drug Store (e.g. CVS, Walgreen's)
Ethnic Food Stores (e.g. Hispanic, Asian)
Full-Service Supermarket (e.g. Kroger)
Limited Assortment Store (e.g. Aldi, Save-a-Lot, Trader Joe's)
Natural or Organic Foods (e.g. Whole Foods, Coops)
Supercenter (e.g. Wal-Mart, Target, Meijers)
Warehouse Club (e.g. Costco, Sam's Club)
2. Please indicate how important the following factors are for you in selecting your
primary food store:
Not at All
Important
Not Too
Important
Somewhat
Important
Very
Important
Clean, neat store
Convenient
Location
Fresh Food Deli
Good Selection of
Ethnic or Cultural
Foods
Great Product
Variety
High-Quality Fresh
Produce
High-Quality Meats
Items on Sale or
Specials
Low Prices
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Natural/ Organic
Products
Personal Safety
Outside the Store
3. How would you rate your primary food store on the following?
Poor
Fair
Good
Excellent
Clean, neat store
Convenient
Location
Fresh Food Deli
Good Selection of
Ethnic or Cultural
Foods
Great Product
Variety
High-Quality Fresh
Produce
High-Quality Meats
Items on Sale or
Specials
Low Prices
Natural/ Organic
Products
Personal Safety
Outside the Store
4. On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being “Not at All Satisfied”and 10 being
“Completely Satisfied”, how satisfied are you overall with your primary food
store?
_________________
5. Again, thinking about your primary food store, which one of the following Fresh
Departments in your primary food store are you the Least Satisfied? (Check just
ONE)
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
Produce
Prepared Foods
Bakery
Seafood/Fish
Poultry
Meat
Other (please specify)
6. How often do you purposely buy locally grown products?
o
o
o
o
112
At Least Once a Week
1 - 3 Times a Month
Less Often than Once a Month
Never (If checked, Go to Question #8)
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7. If you have chosen to buy locally grown foods, from the following list, please
check all the reasons why you chose to do so. (However, if you haven't chosen to
buy locally grown foods, GO to Question #8.)
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
Taste
Freshness
Like knowing the Source of the Product
Nutritional Value
Price
Support of Local Economy
Environmental Impact of Transporting Foods Across Great Distances
Appearance
Other (please specify)
8. How convenient would a Campus Martius store location be for you to buy fresh
foods to take home?
o
o
o
o
o
Very Inconvenient
Somewhat Inconvenient
Somewhat Convenient
Very Convenient
Don't Know
9. Thinking about DINNER last week, how many times did you purchase a
prepared meal and then eat it at home?
o
o
o
o
0
1
2
3
times
time
times
times or more
10. Of the meals that you Eat at Home, but were Not Prepared at Home, are they
most often purchased from: (Check only one)
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
Full-service restaurant
Natural or Organic Food Store
Non-fast food takeout (Chinese, pizza, etc)
Fast-food restaurant
Ethnic Food Store
Gourmet or Specialty Store
Supermarket
Convenience Store
Other (please specify)
11. On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being “Not at All Satisfied”and 10 being
“Completely Satisfied”, how satisfied are you overall with the place you use most
to buy prepared foods that you take home to eat?
_________________
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12. Where do you primarily work? (Check only one box)
o
o
o
Downtown Detroit
Outside of Downtown, but within the City of Detroit
Outside the City of Detroit
13. If you primarily work downtown, how many days last week did you work at a
Downtown Detroit office?
o
o
o
o
o
o
NONE
1 day
2 days
3 days
4 days
5 or more days
14. And on how many of those days did you eat lunch?
o
o
o
o
o
o
No lunches (GO to Question #17)
1 lunch
2 lunches
3 lunches
4 lunches
5 or more lunches
15. Of the times last week that you ate lunch, how many times did you just walk
(as compared with taking an auto, taxi, public transit, etc.) to your dining
destination?
o
o
o
o
0
1
2
3
times
time
times
times or more
16. Thinking about last week in the office, how many of your lunches were:
0
1
2
3
4
5+
Catered into the office
Sit-down restaurant
Fast food restaurant
(like Subway)
Takeout from a deli,
grocery store, etc
Company Cafeteria
Brought from Home
Didn't Eat Lunch
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17. When you buy your lunch, how much do you typically spend on it?
_________________
18. When eating lunch outside the office, on average, how many minutes do you
usually spend getting to your dining destination? (If you do not go out for lunch,
Go to Question #19)
o
o
o
o
o
Less than 5 minutes
5 to less than 10 minutes
10 to less than 15 minutes
15 minutes or more
Varies too much
19. Thinking about the past 30 days in the office, please check all the places that
you purchased food for lunchtime in the downtown area (Check all that apply)
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
a restaurant in Eastern Market
a restaurant in Greek Town
a restaurant in Mexicantown
Jimmy John's
Marketplace Cafeteria in
Compuware
Mr. Pita
a restaurant in Ren Cen
Au Bon Pain
Bahn Thai Cafe
Bellacino's Pizza & Grinders
Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream
Coney Dog
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
Detroit Breakfast House & Grill
Eph's Deli
Hard Rock Cafe
Orchid Thai
Papa Romano's
Penobscot Cafeteria
Quizno's
Rio Wraps
Salad Creations
Subway
Vicente's Cuban Cuisine
Other (please specify)
20. Continuing from Question #19, which, if any, of the same places do you
Frequent the Most? (Check just One box, if None, GO to question #21)
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
a restaurant in Eastern Market
a restaurant in Greek Town
a restaurant in Mexicantown
a restaurant in Ren Cen
Au Bon Pain
Bahn Thai Cafe
Bellacino's Pizza & Grinders
Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream
Coney Dog
Detroit Breakfast House & Grill
Eph's Deli
Hard Rock Cafe
Jimmy John's
Marketplace Cafeteria in
Compuware
Mr. Pita
Orchid Thai
Papa Romano's
Penobscot Cafeteria
June 2009
o
o
o
o
o
o
Quizno's
Rio Wraps
Salad Creations
Subway
Vicente's Cuban Cuisine
Other (please specify)
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21. On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being “Not at All Satisfied”and 10 being
“Completely Satisfied”, how satisfied are you with the lunchtime choices to buy
food?
_________________
22. Thinking about all the food you eat at home, how would you describe your
diet?
o
o
o
o
o
As healthy as it can be
Healthy enough
Could be somewhat healthier
Could be a lot healthier
Don't know
23. Thinking about the food you eat away from home (restaurants, fast-food,
takeouts) how would you describe your diet?
o
o
o
o
o
As healthy as it can be
Healthy enough
Could be somewhat healthier
Could be a lot healthier
Don't know
24. Do you subscribe to any food magazines like Gourmet, Bon Appetit, Cooking
Light, etc.?
o
o
YES
NO
25. In a typical week, how many days do you watch the Food Channel on
television?
o
o
o
o
0
1
2
3
times
time
times
times or more
26. Approximately how many minutes does it take to get from your office to your
home?
o
o
o
o
10 minutes or less
11 to 20 minutes
21 to 30 minutes
More than 31 minutes
27. Gender
o
o
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Male
Female
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28. When were you born?
o
o
o
o
1981 or Later
1965 - 1980
1946 - 1964
Earlier - 1945
29. Number of People in your Household?
o
o
o
o
1
2
3-4
5 or more
30. Are you employed downtown?
o
o
o
Full Time
Part-Time 20 hrs Week or More
Part-Time Less than 20 hrs Week
31. How long have you lived at your current address? (Check only one box)
o
o
o
o
Less than One Year
One to Two Years
Three to Five Years
More than Five Years
32. Please make any comments about your potential use of a downtown Campus
Martius Fresh Food Market here. Thank you.
June 2009
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APPENDIX C2: SAMPLE SURVEY –MISSISSIPPI MAIN STREET ASSOCIATION
Mississippi Main Street Association
Downtown Business Survey
BUSINESS PROFILE
Business Name:
Telephone:
Business Owner Name:
Manager Name:
Street Address:
Email:
Mailing Address (if different):
Website:
Nature of Business:
Years at Present Location:
Number of Employees
(specify full-time/part-time)
Days/Hours
of Operation
Monday
FT
Tuesday
PT
Wednesday
Do you own or lease?
Thursday
Friday
Saturday
Sunday
Open
Close
CURRENT BUSINESS CLIMATE
How would you respond to these statements:
Circle One:
Parking is accessible and available for my customers
Strongly Agree Agree Disagree Strongly Disagree
Downtown is a safe place during the day
Strongly Agree Agree Disagree Strongly Disagree
Downtown is a safe place after dark
Strongly Agree Agree Disagree Strongly Disagree
Shoplifting and vandalism are problems for my
business
Strongly Agree Agree Disagree Strongly Disagree
Downtown is clean and well maintained
Strongly Agree Agree Disagree Strongly Disagree
The City’
s business services (licensing, permits, etc.)
are efficient and professional
Strongly Agree Agree Disagree Strongly Disagree
I plan to expand my business within the next year
Strongly Agree Agree Disagree Strongly Disagree
I plan to close or relocate my business with the next
year
Strongly Agree Agree Disagree Strongly Disagree
I would recommend downtown to other entrepreneurs
Strongly Agree Agree Disagree Strongly Disagree
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TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE
Which, if any, of the following workshops would you attend if offered?








Customer satisfaction
The Internet and business
Marketing your business
Developing a business plan
Financing options
Tax information
Storefront design/Window displays
Healthcare options for small businesses





Finance 101 for retailers
Dealing with the seasonal business
cycle
Tapping into downtown neighborhoods
Computers and your business
Other
What two things are the biggest impediments to your business success in downtown?
What two things are the biggest facilitators of your success in downtown?
Date Report made ______________
June 2009
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119
APPENDIX D: MARKETING & PROMOTION
D1: Consumer Survey, Clarksville, TN..……………………………………………121
D2: Downtown Pullman Guide.………...……………………………………………125
D3: Walla Walla, WA Downtown Update...……………………………….………..126
D5: The Branding of Downtown Boulder……………………………………………128
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APPENDIX D1: CLARKSVILLE, TENNESSEE CONSUMER SURVEY
January 2009
Dear Consumer:
Preceding meetings with community members confirm that downtown Clarksville needs a
“
Gathering”place where multiple vendors of local and regional products can sell their wares
as well as provide entertainment and educational activities. Now is the time to start putting
those ideas into action!
The key to the success of any market is a core of consumers who will purchase a variety of
quality products or service from local vendors. The Clarksville Downtown Market Committee
is actively seeking ideas and opinions for this market which will be located in downtown
Clarksville.
Would you like to participate? If you are interested, please complete the following survey by
February 13th, 2009. You may complete the hard copy and mail it Karla Kean at the
address below or complete the survey on-line at:
Enter survey address here
If you have questions, please contact Karla Kean or Rita Arancibia at the numbers listed
below.
Sincerely,
Karla Kean
Horticulture Extension Agent
Tennessee State University-Montgomery County
1030 Cumberland Heights Road, STE-A
Clarksville, TN 37040
931-648-5725 ext. 31
[email protected]
Rita Arancibia, Director
Office of Housing & Community Development
City of Clarksville
One Public Square, Suite 201
Clarksville, TN 37040
931-648-6133
cc:
Enclosure: Consumer Pre-market Survey
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1. How long have you lived in the Clarksville area?
o 1 year or less
o 2 –4 years
o 5 –9 years
o 10 –19 years
o 20 years or more
2. Where do you currently purchase the majority of your produce (fruits & vegetables)?
(one choice)
o Grocery store
o Super Center (ie. Wal-Mart, K-Mart, Sam’
s, etc)
o Farmers Market (if yes, location ___________________)
o Specialty Store
o Pick your own operation
3. How many miles do you typically travel to purchase produce?
o 0 –10
o 10 –20
o 20 –30
o 40 or more
4. How would you rate your satisfaction with the current produce you purchase?
Not Satisfied
Somewhat Satisfied
Moderately Satisfied
Completely Satisfied
5. If there were a farmers market close to you, would you shop there?
o YES
o NO
6. How far would you be willing to travel to shop at a farmers market that supplied locally
grown, high quality produce and other items?
o 1 -3 miles
o 3 –6 miles
o 6 –9 miles
o 9 miles or more
7. Ideally, what day or days of the week would you like the market to be open? Check all
that apply.
o Monday
o Tuesday
o Wednesday
o Thursday
o Friday
o Saturday
o Sunday
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8. On a scale of 1-10, rate the importance of each factor in selecting fresh vegetables: (1 =
least important, 5 = Most Important)
Quality (Freshness)
1
2
3
4
5
Price
1
2
3
4
5
Availability
1
2
3
4
5
Consistency
1
2
3
4
5
Variety
1
2
3
4
5
Produced in TN
1
2
3
4
5
Organically Grown
1
2
3
4
5
Appearance
1
2
3
4
5
9. On a scale of 1 –5, rate the problems or reasons for dissatisfaction with current produce
purchased: (1=Totally Not Satisfied, 5 = Most Satisfied)
Low Quality
1
2
3
4
5
High Price
1
2
3
4
5
Availability (or lack of)
1
2
3
4
5
Consistency
1
2
3
4
5
Variety
1
2
3
4
5
Produced in TN
1
2
3
4
5
Organically Grown
1
2
3
4
5
Not Produced in TN
1
2
3
4
5
Appearance
1
2
3
4
5
Flavor
1
2
3
4
5
10. What items would you like to be able to purchase at
o
o Tomatoes
o
o Onions
o
o Beans
o
o Broccoli
o
o Cucumbers
o
o Carrots
o
o Garlic
o
o Herbs
o
o Beets
o
o Squash
a farmers market?
Sweet Corn
Lettuce
Spinach
Turnip Greens
Specialty teas
Quilts
Organically grown products
Jams/jelly
Salsa/sauces
Other
Non Food products:
o Bath Soap
o Laundry detergent
o Herbal Body Care Products
o Herbal Medicinal Products
o Country Crafts
o Clothing
Quilts
Dried flowers
Gourds
Potpourri
Candles
Other item(s) not mentioned above
June 2009
o
o
o
o
o
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11. What would be the best way to inform you of the opening of a farmers market?
o Radio/TV
o Personal Contact
o Newspaper
o Flyers, leaflets, posters
o Other
12. What additional facilities and services do you think are important to a downtown
market? Please rate each of the following facilities/services in terms of their importance to a
successful market where a rating of 1= very important, 2= important and 3= less
important.
___ Coffee shop
___ Lunch or snack counter
___ Vending machines
___ Paved parking
___ Ample and easily accessible unloading space for vendors near their selling area
___ Pay telephones for vendors and customers
___ Staffed market office with phone for vendors’use only
___ Refrigeration and cooler facilities available for storage
___ Entertainment
___ Educational programs (such as cooking demonstrations, question/answer sessions
with Master Gardeners or Extension agents, youth activities)
___ Other (explain)
13. What is your gender?
o Male
o Female
14. Race:
o Black
o White
o Asian
o Hispanic
o American Indian
o other
15. Age:
o 20-30
o 31-40
o 41-50
o 51-60
o 60 +
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APPENDIX D2: DOWNTOWN PULLMAN GUIDE
APPENDIX D4: WALLA WALLA, WA DOWNTOWN UPDATE
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APPENDIX D5: THE BRANDING OF DOWNTOWN BOULDER
By Jeff Cohn and Jane Jenkins
Reprint from Main Street News, November 2001
Image development campaigns have long been used by Main Street district leaders struggling
to improve the public perception of downtown. But the task of creating a compelling image for
your main streets is a continuing priority, for even the most successful of revitalization
programs. The popular buzzword “
branding”is now being applied to whole commercial districts,
not just the familiar “
products”that are sold over the counter. In this article, we will explore how
an established, successful downtown program in Boulder, Colorado, has, in the face of new
retail competition, begun to reshape the public’
s image of the downtown through the process of
“
branding.”-Doug Loescher, National Main Street Center
What Is a Brand?
What is a brand? It is the relationship between a customer and a product. The brand is the sum
total of what the customer thinks and feels and how he or she interacts with the brand. It is
incumbent upon the marketer to try to influence this behavior. Brands held in high esteem by the
customer get used more frequently and therefore capture a greater share of the customer’
s
spending.
Using a classic retail example, if we say “
Nordstrom”to a typical upscale female consumer, her
opinion of the Nordstrom brand will immediately come to mind. She will no doubt mention the
store’
s strong commitment to customer service, depth of merchandise, sense of style, and
comfortable shopping atmosphere. She most certainly will not use classifications such as dirty,
unfriendly, low-end, etc. The customer’
s image of the store is the result of Nordstrom’
s branding
excellence. And Nordstrom is famous for understanding that the brand is created at every
customer interaction, from advertising to full shelves (inventory) to educated and friendly sales
professionals on the floor. The company manages its brand by managing every experience the
customer may have with the company.
At this point, we must emphasize that a logo, or tagline, is not a brand. The brand is the
relationship customers express when they see that logo or tagline. In the Main Street context,
consider the branding of a famous American city such as San Francisco. When we mention that
town, what comes to mind? From our perspective, we’
re likely to think about hills, cable cars,
great restaurants, maybe the Gold Rush era, or perhaps the new urban developments in the
Yerba Buena area. That’
s the San Francisco brand, helped along by a few Rice a Roni
commercials along the way! And if that makes you want to take a quick trip to the Golden Gate
City, then they’
ve done a great job of creating that brand image in your mind.
Try this exercise with your town. When you say the name of the community, what images come
to mind? Are they positive or negative? What are people missing in the context of your brand?
This can be a very enlightening process.
Defining Downtown Boulder
Downtown Boulder is a 40-square-block area of Boulder, Colorado. Nestled against the
beautiful Flatiron Mountains, Boulder is a component of the Denver metropolitan area; it is
located 30 miles from Denver but has its own political, social, and economic systems. Many
Boulderites never leave town if they can help it and prefer to use Boulder-based businesses
whenever possible.
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The City of Boulder formed a business improvement district (BID) in 2000. The hub of the
district is the Pearl Street Mall, which was closed to vehicular traffic in 1977. (There is, however,
vehicular access to Pearl Street on the horizontal streets running perpendicular to the mall.)
Downtown Boulder has many distinguishing characteristics. The commercial district offers more
than 250 retail, food, and service businesses and many anchor tenants that can be defined as
“
one of a kind.”Total retail square footage equals that of a typical suburban mall, less the
department stores. Our merchant mix is strong, made up of apparel, gift, and service
businesses, and people love to stroll along the mall and see the new and ever-changing shops.
Boulder loves to support independent businesses although our retail mix does include some
well-known nationals such as Ann Taylor, Borders, and the Cheesecake Factory.
Our town’
s restaurant collection is among the best in the entire region, and the total package
offers an experience that combines unique shopping, great food, and the sights and sounds of a
downtown experience that cannot be found at the local mall. Of course, that includes some less
than favorable descriptors as well, including parking difficulties and an increasing level of street
kids that offend some customers. But, in the end, people look on Downtown Boulder with a
positive point of view and we intend to increase that over time.
The New Millennium Brings New Challenges
The year 2000 was a challenging one for Downtown Boulder. First and foremost, a new
shopping mall, Flatiron Crossing, opened just seven miles down the main access road to
Boulder, in the town of Broomfield. A high-tech wonderland not unlike California’
s Silicon Valley,
Broomfield, which lies halfway between Boulder and Denver on the Boulder Turnpike, is full of
technology and telecom firms that have moved in over the last few years.
Flatiron Crossing is a new hybrid mall that contains many well-known anchors, including
Nordstrom, Foleys (May Company), Dillards, and Lord and Taylor. The interior portion of the
mall contains a strong mix of retailers ranging from Old Navy to Pottery Barn, plus a large food
court. The center also contains an outdoor “
village”concept that will be anchored in 2002 by a
large stadium-seating movieplex. The village contains a strong mix of sit-down restaurants,
Border, Crate and Barrel, and a long list of small, independent businesses, many of which were
once exclusive to Downtown Boulder. In short, the mall was trying to “
one up”downtown by
providing an entertaining outdoor shopping destination in a clean, secure environment with an
outstanding mix of stores.
Our mission was clear. We needed to build and enhance the value of our marketing
expenditures and to maximize the visibility of both consumer marketing campaigns and
programs executed by the BID on behalf of our stakeholders.
Our strategy focused on managing the customer’
s experience of downtown at all levels in every
place that we could control, including operations, marketing, special events, internal and
stakeholder communications, and sense-of-place attributes. Our goal was simple and important:
maximize every customer to minimize the sales erosion that was sure to occur as a result of the
new mall. Later, we also needed to address the nation’
s falling economy, the failure of many
companies in the tech sector, and a slow tourism summer in Colorado. The challenges were
great but we put together the right team to deal with the situation.
1. Develop the brand team.
The first step in developing a brand is to put together the brand team. Who is responsible for the
process? In our case, we invited the two members of the BID board of directors who were
responsible for marketing to join the BID’
s executive director, Jane Jenkins, and the marketing
consultant in developing the program. We also established Jenkins as the “
brand keeper,”with
final say on whether a program or communication was consistent with our brand strategy. In
addition, we sought buy-in at every step of the way from BID board and other key stakeholders,
such as the city manager and key property owners.
2. Assess the current situation.
The next step in our process was to assess how customers use the BID’
s offerings and
determine how Downtown Boulder was perceived by core customer segments, including
stakeholders. We reviewed our research, as well as information gathered by other parties such
as the daily newspaper, talked with customers from all segments, spoke with merchants and
other stakeholders, and determined if there was a need for any additional research.
We also tried to get a handle on what Boulder is not. This can be just as illuminating as what the
district is. We found that we have three key customer segments, and each group uses our
product differently: residents of Boulder and Boulder County (frequent users); Denver metro
residents (experience seekers with periodic frequency); and visitors from Denver area hotels
(experience seekers as part of their visit to Colorado).
We also came to the conclusion that Flatiron Crossing was going to be a formidable competitor
for the experience seeker as well as the average shopper, that our customers and stakeholders
are very opinionated, and that our product is inconsistent. We also determined what we are not:
our product is not contrived, not wholesome, and not for everyone.
3. Develop the brand promise. The goal here is to identify and reach a consensus about what
the brand stands for and what it offers your targeted customers. You will have to answer such
questions as:




What business are we really in?
What do we provide?
What differentiates our product from the competition?
What do we do better than anyone else?
From this, you can develop your brand promises. In Boulder, we answered the questions as
follows:
 What business are we in? Creating an entertaining retail/shopping destination that offers
“
a sense of place”that is unsurpassed in the region and that is realized through physical
attributes and our mix of stores and restaurants.
 What do we provide? An experience that is real, not a contrived sterile environment.
 What differentiates our product from the competition? Independent businesses, outdoor
lifestyle, ice rink (seasonal), and a pedestrian-friendly environment.
 What do we deliver in a superior fashion? An outdoor shopping and dining experience
that is supplemented by the physical and environmental factors that are distinct to
Boulder--i.e., the Flatiron Mountains, the Pearl Street Mall, etc.
Finally, take those promises and express them as though your targeted customer groups are
doing the talking. The following are three examples from our plan, one for each of our targeted
customer segments.
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 Boulder resident: “
As a resident of Boulder, I love going down to the mall. It’
s the center
point of life here in Boulder. I run into friends and family there, the kids love to play on
the rocks, I find things I’
d never find at the mall, and it’
s great to be outside.”
 Denver resident: “
We went up to Boulder last Sunday just for the afternoon. It was great.
You know, they have stores I don’
t see anywhere else, like Peppercorn. It was great to
be outside and enjoy the Colorado weather. Yeah, there are some different types of
people hanging out on the mall, but hey, that’
s Boulder.”
 Visitor to the metro area: “
I’
m so glad the concierge suggested we go up to Boulder
while we were in Denver. There’
s nothing like it at home--great stores, great outdoor
cafes. You should go there next summer. Quite a different experience from shopping at
the local mall.”
4. Create the brand communications plan.
This is the part where you get to decide how consumers and stakeholders will view your brand.
Developing a powerful logo and identity program is the first step and can be a difficult process.
Remember, you want your communications to bring your brand personality to life. Once you’
ve
created the logo, other graphics should follow, including a graphic standards manual, color
palette, and the development of an advertising campaign and collateral materials for your
district.
One mistake some people make is to think that all advertising must look exactly the same. We
disagree with this approach. We believe that your advertising campaign elements, including
radio copy and television spots, must be consistent with your brand promise. While they must
convey the brand’
s personality, the actual look may vary. As long as you are strategically
consistent, there is no problem making some shifts in approach along the way. In Boulder, our
first radio spot was for the holiday season. The spot was soft, ephemeral, and gentle--a
reminder of simpler holiday seasons in days gone by. Our second radio commercial was edgy,
offbeat, and funny. Both of these spots did a wonderful job of conveying what was right for the
targeted market (Denver daytrippers) at that particular season. Both reflected the personality of
Downtown Boulder, yet they sounded decidedly different. And because they were consistent
with our brand personality, that difference was welcomed.
Another good example of bringing the brand to life is our new web site,
www.boulderdowntown.com. As mentioned earlier, Boulder’
s customer is high-tech driven and
well educated. It was critical that our new site be as technologically advanced as possible for a
downtown district while having the visual and textual flair of Downtown Boulder’
s personality.
The site has many features and components, but one of the most valuable is the itinerarybuilding function that we call “
My Itinerary.”It allows customers to build their own personalized
itineraries of Downtown Boulder shops, eating establishments, galleries, and service
businesses; print them out; and take them on their shopping excursions. That functionality, too,
represents our intention to manage our customers’
perceptions of our brand.
5. Build the brand for stakeholders.
Equally important is the process of building the program’
s brand for your stakeholders. You
want them to have a positive image of the organization and to know everything you are doing on
their behalf. In Downtown Boulder, we do this through constant communication and by keeping
our logo front and center at all times--on our staff uniforms, on our memos, on equipment, etc.
We want the BID to represent energy and efficiency, and we do this by staying in touch with our
stakeholders on a weekly and sometimes a daily basis. Building your organization’
s brand
internally is just as important as building it externally.
The Next Frontier
Once you’
ve completed your consumer and stakeholder branding program, you can begin to
adopt and live the brand at every level of your organization. You have to audit all areas of
performance and ask yourself if you are performing to the level of the brand promise. Is your
operations program up to speed? Do your staff members understand the brand you are trying to
create? What is their role in taking the brand to its next level? From there, you can begin to
leverage your brand for additional income and visibility through economic development
programming, sponsorship development, and creation of new events.
Measuring Your Brand’
s Performance
Whether it’
s through planned market research studies, customer feedback, informal focus
groups, feedback from stakeholders, or other sources of research, you must continuously
measure your brand’
s performance. In Downtown Boulder, our efforts have helped us minimize
the loss of businesses over the last year; in fact, we actually increased sales over the previous
year’
s holiday season. Moreover, the weakened national and local economies, as well as
competitive forces in our market, have not stopped us from having a successful summer
season, partially as a result of our summer advertising campaign.
Our ability to weather an economic storm stems not only from our outstanding product, but more
importantly, from the brand image we’
ve been able to build in the hearts and minds of our
targeted customers.
Jeff Cohn, a former regional marketing director for the Rouse Company, is the principal and managing partner of the
Cohn Marketing Group (CMG). Based in Denver, Colorado, CMG offers comprehensive marketing and web site
services to individual businesses, downtown organizations, and economic development authorities.
Jane Jenkins is the executive director of the Downtown Boulder Business Improvement District. A former employee of
the National Trust, Jane has more than 16 years’
experience in downtown management.
© 2005 National Trust for Historic Preservation. All Rights Reserved.
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EVENT M ATRICES
EVENT EVALUATION FORM
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PARKING PROMOTION SAMPLES
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APPENDIX E: ORGANIZATION
E1: Partnerships Abound!...........................................................................139
E2: Main Street Committee Basics……………………………………………140
E3: Phases of Program Development…………………………………….…..145
E4: Board Governance Committee Job Description………………………...146
E5: “
Ultimate Work Planning”
……………………………………………….….147
E6: Best Practices of Great Nonprofit Boards………………………………..152
E7: Benefits for Each Donor Market Segment…………………………….….153
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APPENDIX E1:
PARTNERSHIPS ABOUND!
Following is a partial list of entities that WVRA must partner with to ensure the success of
Westville Village:
 Southern CT State & Yale Universities
 City of New Haven staff & elected officials:
o Office of the Mayor, District Aldermen, City Plan, Economic Development,
Cultural Affairs, Public Safety (Building, Fire, Police, etc.), Board of Education,
Parks, Public Works, Transportation, Traffic & Parking
 EDC New Haven & other neighborhood revitalization programs
 West Hills Community Management Team
 City Seed
 Friends of Edgewood Park
 Hopkins School and other parochial and independent schools
 Neighborhood Associations & Civic Organizations
 Hospitals, Health Facilities, Social Services
 Religious Community
 Business Owners, Property Owners
 Transit Agencies & Services
 State & Local Legislators
 State and regional agencies: DECD, CT Commission on Culture & Tourism,
CONNDOT, CDA, CHFA, SCRCOG
 Youth groups and agencies, Seniors
 Event producers throughout New Haven region
 Visual, Performing Arts and Cultural Community
 Preservation Community, New Haven Preservation Trust, CT Trust
 Greater New Haven Chamber of Commerce
 Museums, Restaurants, Hotels
 Banks, Realtors, Corporations, Manufacturing
 Mitchell Library
 Media
 Westville Village employees
APPENDIX E2: MAIN STREET
COMMITTEE BASICS
Initial Activities for all Committees:
 Attend appropriate Downtown Revitalization Institute Workshops, presented by CMSC
 Carefully review the National Main Street Committee Handbook and review the attached one-page overview for
each committee
 Recruit a diverse group of members for each committee, including key municipal staff as appropriate
 Determine your committee chair or co-chairs (the board of directors will determine how chairs are to be selected)
 Review the National Main Street Center’
s (NMSC) catalogue to purchase the most appropriate publications
 The local Main Street organization may find that it is fairly easy to get a one-time grant for $2,000 in
order to purchase many items in the NMSC catalogue
 Consider partnering with your library to create a downtown revitalization section in the library and keep
these publications there (your library may also have some budget money to help purchase these items)
 Each committee should do a walking tour of your district
 Start collecting photographs from places you visit to create a journal of good ideas
 Start exploring the Internet for resources beginning with the National and Connecticut Main Street Centers’
websites (www.mainstreet.org & www.ctmainstreet.org). Each has a number of links to related and useful
websites
Candidates for Committee Membership:
Consider these sources in your own community for committee members:
Design
Design professionals: architects, landscape
architects, etc.
Municipal Depts: Public Works, Planning
Historic Preservation organizations
Garden Club, Beautification Committee
Local College programs: Design, Engineering, Art,
Urban Planning, Public Administration, Fashion
Merchandising
Economic Restructuring
Chamber of Commerce
Banks
Small Business Specialists or SBDC
Library
Municipal Depts: Economic or Community
Development, Economic Development Commission
Local College programs: Business, Marketing,
Economics, Urban Planning, Public Administration
Promotion
Retail business owners / Merchants Association
Library
Media
Public Relations, Graphic Design, or Advertising
Firms
Chamber of Commerce
Municipal Depts: Public Information Officer,
Recreation
Local College programs: Marketing, Advertising,
Graphic Design, Performing and/or Fine Arts
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T HE P L ACE M AK ING & D ES IG N C O MMITT EE
Historically, Main Street was a physically engaging place. Buildings and signs communicated
style and detail. Sidewalks, lighting and public spaces created a comfortable, attractive
streetscape. Main Street emphasized pedestrian activity but accommodated vehicular traffic.
Over the past thirty years, however, Main Street’
s physical environment has deteriorated:
buildings have been poorly maintained and/or inappropriately remodeled; streetscape elements
have been neglected; and cars have displaced pedestrians. As its character has diminished,
Main Street has been become less inviting and, therefore, less competitive.
Placemaking & Design is about restoring Main Street’
s character and identity as the foundation
for restoring the district’
s commercial competitiveness, because these physical qualities are
what differentiate downtown from all other commercial districts. Ultimately, Main Street’
s
marketability depends on its unique “
sense of place.”
The Placemaking & Design Committee’
s job is:
 Educating yourselves and others about - “
what is good design and why is it important?”
 Planning the district’
s future development - guiding growth and reshaping regulations
 Providing good design advice
 Motivating others to make changes - creating incentives, providing tools and targeting key
projects
Activities (* Denotes activities to be done first.)
Field Trips to Learn/Photo “
Best Practices”*
Design Audit*
Photo inventory: historic, present day
Building inventory
Audit categories:
 General appearance
 Public spaces
 Traffic & parking
 Pedestrian environment
 Gateways
 Streetscape
 Signage
 Wayfinding
 Built environment
o Architectural/historical significance
o Orientation to the street
o Interiors and exteriors
Design Education & Awareness*
Act as a resource referral*
Hold workshops and information sessions*
Ordinances, guidelines, plans
Review and revise, or develop
zoning and design tools
Design incentives
Façade grant programs
Signage grant programs
Historic District establishment (if applicable)
Certified Local Government application
Tracking measures of success*
T HE E CO NO MIC D EVELOPME NT C OMMIT T EE
Main Street’
s competitiveness has diminished over the past thirty years. As Main Street has
become less competitive, business activity has slowed. Many businesses have closed or
moved, creating vacancies. Rents have decreased and property owners have invested less in
upkeep. In this downward spiral, diminishing business activity and decreasing property values
have fed on each other until downtown’
s economy has stagnated.
Economic Development is about restoring the district’
s economic health. Initially, this process
focuses on assisting existing businesses –helping them improve management, marketing and
customer services. In the long run, “
restructuring”Main Street’
s economy means reconfiguring
the mix of goods and services so that the district is economically balanced, adaptable and
competitive. At the same time, Economic Development focuses on working with property
owners to reinvest in their buildings to enhance the marketability (and value) of Main Street real
estate.
The Economic Development committee’
s job is:
 Learning about your district’
s current economic condition and identifying opportunities for
market growth
 Strengthening existing businesses and attracting new ones
 Finding new, or more appropriate, economic uses for under-performing or vacant buildings
and vacant lots
 Developing financial incentives and capital for building rehabilitation and business
development
Activities (* Denotes activities to be done first.)
Main Street Assessment
Building inventory (see Design)*
Business inventory (see Promotion)*
Base data collection:*
Vacancies, rental rates*
Past surveys, plans*
Downtown tax base, employee base
Review/create zoning map/regs*
Review business permitting process*
Conduct market analysis
Business Retention/Expansion
Develop relationship with CT Small Business
Development Specialist*
Block captain program*
Educational seminars & workshops*
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Business Attraction
Create new business owners orientation
packet w/ info on downtown
Determine feasibility of attraction program
Develop incentive package
Real Estate Development
Adaptive reuse, historic preservation
In-fill (new buildings)
Community Initiated Development
Develop incentive package
Tracking Measures of Success*
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T HE M ARKET ING & P RO MOT IO N C O MMIT T EE
In its heyday, Main Street served a clearly defined local market, so promotional activities were
relatively simple –the occasional sale, ads in the local paper, etc. For the most part, individual
businesses “
marketed”themselves.
However, the retail marketplace has changed dramatically. Consumers are now offered
increasing choice –not only in what to buy but in how to buy it. The volume of commercial
“
noise”has increased to the point at which the average consumer is subjected to thousands of
advertising messages per day.
This dynamic environment has rendered traditional promotional practices obsolete. Businesses
can no longer afford to promote themselves individually. In order to stay competitive, Main
Street must collectively rethink how it defines, attracts and keeps its customers. This process,
called Marketing & Promotion, focuses on developing and implementing a clearly articulated
strategy for marketing Main Street in much the same fashion as major retailers or shopping
malls market themselves.
The Marketing & Promotion Committee’
s job is:
 To understand the changing market –current and potential shoppers and your competition
 To identify district assets –including people, buildings, heritage and institutions
 To define your market niche(s) - your unique position in the marketplace
 To create new image campaigns, retail promotions and special events to lure people to the
district
Activities (* Denotes activities to be done first.)
Pubic Relations/Communications
Identify Main Street assets*:
 refer to SWOT analysis*
 refer to design photo inventory*
Create a downtown business directory,
including special attractions (see ED)*
Coordinate “
welcome”program for new and
expanding businesses (w/ED)
Image Development
Develop position statement based on market
analysis provided by ED Committee
Develop district graphics program:
 Logo and tag line*
 Banners and signage
 Merchandising opportunities
 Collateral materials*
Events
Develop inventory of existing events*
(potential calendar outgrowth)
Self education*
Examine purpose, goals & results of
existing events*
Determine appropriate new events to
consider/implement (i.e. holiday/4th
quarter retail activities
Advertising
Develop campaign for Main Street & support
events/promotions
Track Measures of Success *
T HE O RG ANIZ AT IO N C O MMIT T EE / B OAR D
OF
D IRECT ORS *
*Note: Many local Main Street programs use their Board as the Organization Committee, rather than
setting up a separate committee for this purpose.
In most communities, Main Street revitalization has been undertaken not as a cohesive
endeavor but as a series of singular, unrelated projects, i.e. specific organizations trying to
achieve their own objectives. These projects have been limited in scope and duration because
no single project (or group of projects) can address the full range of issues associated with Main
Street revitalization.
To be effective, Main Street revitalization requires collaboration, focus and continuity.
Organization is about bringing these qualities to a community’
s revitalization efforts by
integrating diverse interests in the community and focusing them on a shared, long-term agenda
for restoring Main Street’
s physical beauty and economic viability.
The Organization Committee’
s job is:
 Public Relations & Communication: promoting the work of the Main Street organization
 Advocacy & Education: educating the community on the Main Street Four Point
Approach and the need for a comprehensive management program for revitalizing
downtown
 Outreach & Partnership Development: developing active partners and an increasingly
engaged volunteer base
Activities (* Denotes activities to be done first.)
Communication/Education
Create a mailing list of potential stakeholders*
Public relations (see Promotion):
Develop press list and contacts*
Media kits*
Newspaper column
Press releases*
Publish and distribute newsletter (see Promotion)*
Publish and distribute a program brochure
Speakers bureau/slide show*
Regular updates to elected officials and town staff*
Promote workplans*
Website (see Promotion)
Main Street mixers
Plan annual meeting
Produce annual report
Downtown revitalization library
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Volunteer/Partnership Development
Implement membership campaign*
Recruitment*
Orientation*
Training*
Retention/recognition & thanks*
Tracking Measures of Success*
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APPENDIX E3: PHASES OF PROGRAM DEVELOPMENT IN M AIN STREET PROGRAMS
Phase & Duration
CATALYST: Years 1 - 3
GROWTH: Years 4 - 15
Primary Tasks
•Learning basic skills
•Building partnerships & a strong
volunteer base
•Achieving some highly visible
successes
•Developing & implementing a
comprehensive economic &
community development strategy
•Raising capital necessary to
complete major projects
•Identifying & overcoming
regulatory, financial & perceptual
barriers
Work Plans
•Basic
•Crisis / project oriented
•Strategic
•Long-term
•Broad in scope
Board of Directors
•Founders dominate board
•Directors who represent
constituencies
•Lack of clear expectations
•Often personality-driven
•Lack of future vision
•Modest or no expectation for board
to raise funds
•Operate as a committee of the
whole
•Involved in day to day operations
and program delivery
•Directors chosen on merit,
background, skills. Functioning &
ongoing nominating procedure
•Clear, enforced expectations
•Staff-driven programs
•Focused future vision
•Primary responsibilities: fund
development, stewardship,
advocacy
•Effective standing committees,
task forces
•Focuses on critical issues
Funding
•Short-term
•Limited sources, based on initial
pledges:
Local government
Property & business owners
Financial Institutions
Corporations
Private individuals
•Based on good faith & commitment
to vision
•Diversified, based on:
Commitment to well-defined
program goals & objectives
Track record
Demonstrated return on
investment
•Stabilized annual revenue
projections
•Multiple funding sources
•Some sustainable funding
patterns begin to develop
Sources:
Kennedy Lawson Smith, “
Raising Money for Revitalization”
, Main Street News, March 1998
Chuck Loring, “
Best Practices of Nonprofit Boards”
, presented by Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, 2008
Connecticut Main Street Center, 2009
APPENDIX E4: GOVERNANCE COMMITTEE JOB DESCRIPTION
The governance committee is responsible for ongoing review and recommendations to enhance
the quality and future viability of the board. The focus of the committee revolves around the
following five major areas:
1. Help create board role and responsibilities
 Lead the board in regularly reviewing and updating the board’
s statement of its role and
areas of responsibility, and the expectations of individual board members.
 Assist the board in periodically updating and clarifying the primary areas of focus for the
board and help shape the board’
s agenda for the next year or two, based on the strategic
plan.
2. Pay attention to board Composition
 Lead in assessing current and anticipated needs for board composition, determining the
board’
s knowledge, attributes, skills, abilities, influence, and access the board will need to
consider in order to accomplish future work of the board.
 Develop a profile of the board as it should evolve over time.
 Lead the process of establishing a pool of candidates for board membership (identify
potential candidates, present them as possibilities, and explore interest and availability).
 Nominate individuals to be elected as members of the board.
 Review the board member expectations statement with all board members annually.
 In cooperation with the board chair, meet annually with each board member to assess his or
her continuing interest in board membership and term of service. Work with each board
member to identify what he or she might be able to contribute to the organization.
3. Encourage board development
 Design and oversee a process of board orientation, including information prior to election as
a board member and information needed during the first cycle of board activity for new
board members.
 Design and implement an ongoing program of board information and education for all board
members.
4. Board Effectiveness
 Initiate the periodic assessment of the board’
s performance. Propose, as appropriate,
changes in board structure, roles, and responsibilities.
 Provide ongoing counsel to the board chair and other board leaders on steps they might
take to enhance board effectiveness.
 Regularly review the board’
s practices regarding member involvement and engagement,
conflict of interest, confidentiality, etc., and suggest improvements as needed.
 Periodically review and update the board’
s policy guidelines and practices, articles of
incorporation and by-laws and recommend changes as appropriate.
5. Board Leadership
 Take the lead in succession planning, taking steps to recruit and prepare for future board
leadership.
 Nominate board members for election as board officers.
Adapted from The Nonprofit Policy Sampler, Second Edition by Barbara Lawrence and Outi Flynn and
Transforming Board Structure by Marla Bobowick, Sandra Hughes and Berit Lakey, both of which are BoardSource
publications.
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APPENDIX E5: ULTIMATE WORK PLANNING:
THE HIGH-PERFORMANCE ORGANIZATIONAL TOOL FOR THE NEXT DECADE
by Kennedy Smith
Reprint from: Main Street News, Volume 160, December 1999
MEET TWO MAIN STREET REVITALIZATION PROGRAMS:
Program A has been active for about five years. With about 80 active volunteers, an annual budget of
around $75,000, and a full-time staff member, it focuses on a commercial district serving about 25,000
people in an economically depressed region. In its five years, the program has organized 30 promotional
events; helped 10 businesses expand and recruited a couple of dozen others; encouraged 5 people to turn
vacant upper-story spaces into apartments; and played a role in the rehabilitation of 20 buildings. People
in town will tell you that they’
re pretty happy with the program’
s success so far.
Program B has also been active for about five years and also focuses on a district with a market area of
about 25,000 people in an economically depressed region. But, it has about 800 active volunteers, three
full-time staffers, and an annual budget somewhere north of $250,000. In its five years, Program B has
brought more than 125 promotional activities to the main street area; helped 50 businesses expand and
recruited 65 others (including a 180-employee computer assembly facility); created 40 apartments,
including 10 that the Main Street program manages for a tidy $40,000 in annual net income; spearheaded
the conversion of 5 vacant warehouses into offices and small industrial spaces; and put together a package
of financial incentives, including a façade improvement incentive grant program, a small business
development loan program, and a loan guarantee pool and grant program to cover predevelopment costs
for building rehabs. People in town will tell you that the program is the best thing that’
s ever happened
there, that it’
s changed their lives and pulled the community together in a way no one would ever have
dreamed five years ago.
What’
s the difference? No it’
s not their toothpaste or their laundry detergent. It’
s their work plans.
Program A’
s work plan is—and always has been—a rather mundane, straightforward thing that inches the
revitalization program forward year by year. But Program B’
s work plan, based on dynamic partnerships
and maximum organizational leverage, leapfrogs the revitalization effort in giant steps. Program B’
s
blazing work plan is the result of ultimate work planning. And your organization can do it too.
THE FUNDAMENTALS
Three fundamental principles underlie the ultimate work planning process. You have to understand and
master these three principles in order for your ultimate work plan to succeed.
First, the “
four points”of the Main Street approach design, organization, promotion, and economic
restructuring —are an integrated, Zen-like package, not four separate categories into which activities are
arbitrarily assigned. The overarching strategies the revitalization program adopts must cut across all four
areas. This gives the program balance and ensures that activities in each part of the organization are
tightly integrated with all the other parts.
Second, the revitalization organization’
s role is to coordinate a community-wide agenda, carried out by
dozens of other organizations, rather than to single-handedly tackle the revitalization effort on its own.
The revitalization organization focuses on the agenda for improving the commercial district, not on the
agenda for the revitalization organization itself. It’
s a subtle, but important, distinction. In essence, it
means that the revitalization of the commercial district could, theoretically, be carried out completely by
existing groups working in close concert, with the revitalization organization serving as a framework for
pulling these groups together. This also means that, when carefully implemented, the ultimate work plan
eliminates turf battles, since it’
s the entire community—not the revitalization program—that is improving
the commercial district.
Finally, ultimate work planning relies on continuing feedback and thorough communication among
committees and task forces, at all levels of the organization.
GETTING STARTED
Start your ultimate work plan with a clear list of your organization’
s three or four primary strategies.
What’
s a strategy, you ask? It’
s a major directive describing one of the fundamental changes your
organization plans to accomplish in your commercial district.
Ideally, each strategy should be market-focused, meaning that (1) it is based on a fundamental
understanding of the district’
s best economic opportunities; and (2) reflects the community’
s vision for
the commercial district’
s future. Obviously, developing strategies is not a task to be taken lightly:
reaching the point where you can put together realistic, achievable strategies means that your program’
s
participants have already done a significant amount of legwork in both market analysis and consensus
building.
The fact that a strategy is market based is, in essence, what distinguishes it from a goal. A program might
have a “
goal”of reducing crime, but, unless the program wants to reduce crime for an explicit, stated
economic reason, it’
sa“
goal,”not a “
strategy.”Here are some examples of strategies:
•Make the Main Street district the premier arts district in the region.
•Create a vibrant residential community downtown, with housing available at all price levels and a
good range of nearby jobs, activities, and services for the district’
s residents.
•Develop the region’
s highest concentration of minority-owned, ethnic specialty businesses.
•Create a cluster of small-scale, high-tech telecommunications and small-manufacturing industries
that will bring at least 500 new jobs to the district and utilize 250,000 square feet of currently unused
space.
PLUG IN POTENTIAL PARTNERS
Next, develop a diagram of a generic Main Street program (See diagram 2). Even if your organization is
not a Main Street organization per se, the four points of the Main Street approach provide an ideal
framework for organizing revitalization activity. Draw your diagram really big, because you’
re going to
be plugging lots of information into it, and it’
s going to take a lot of space. At a minimum, your diagram
should include a box or heading for each of Main Street’
s four points—design, organization, promotion,
and economic restructuring—and the following subcategories:
•Under Design, put subcategories for building renovation, new construction, streetscape
improvements, planning and zoning, parking and transportation, and graphics.
•Under Organization, put subcategories for partnerships, volunteer development, and funding.
•Under Promotion, put subcategories for special events and festivals, retail promotion, and image
development.
•Under Economic Restructuring, put subcategories for business assistance, business recruitment,
finance and financial incentives, and new economic uses (housing, industry, etc.)
If there are other major categories important to your commercial district, include these also. This will
become your activity chart.
Now, make a list of every single community organization, agency, club, and constituency that might
conceivably be involved in revitalizing the commercial district. Think really, really broadly. Your list
should go far beyond the “
usual suspects,”encompassing every public agency, civic group, school
organization, religious group, business association, and development authority you can think of. Consider
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informal groups as well—golf foursomes, social clubs at retirement homes, high school clubs, whatever.
Be creative in making your list. Invite others in the community—people who know people other than
those you and your organization’
s current leaders know—to help identify potential partners.
Next, think about each of these organizations, agencies, clubs, and constituencies and about their
respective goals. For each group, try to think of a potential link between its activities and mission and the
revitalization of the commercial district. Do any of these groups perform community service activities?
Do they (or their members) have special expertise in business development, marketing, or historic
preservation? Do any of them organize festivals? Do their members manage successful businesses? Do
they have access to information or financial resources that might benefit the revitalization effort? Do they
simply have time on their hands and the willingness to do something to help?
Whenever you find a potential match, add them to the activity chart next to the appropriate activity. Some
of the matches will be obvious: a chamber of commerce that organizes retail promotions, for example, or
a small business development program that offers small business loans and counseling. Others might not
be as obvious, but there are endless possibilities. Need some ideas to get you going? Here are a few:
•Is there a historic preservation organization or historical society that could research the history of
buildings in your district? Or that could dig out interesting information about people who used to own
businesses or buildings in the district or about past events that could form the basis for some
interesting special events?
•Is there a church group that might take on the job of producing the program’
s monthly newsletter?
•Is there a school group that might update information about the value or ownership of main street
buildings from public records and, in the process, learn something about local government and
property development?
•Is there a local investment club that could identify and begin tracking the performance of national
franchises that might be good additions to the commercial district?
•Is there an industrial development commission that might be persuaded to look beyond the
community’
s industrial park and treat upper-floor spaces and empty downtown warehouses as
potential sites for small-scale industries?
•Is there a golfing group whose members are successful business managers who might become
mentors for young entrepreneurs?
•Is there a garden club that might plant and/or take care of trees and flowers in the district?
•Is there a veterans organization that might remove graffiti or clean up a parking lot or public park?
•Is there a community development corporation that has expertise in financing low- and moderateincome housing and that might be able to finance business development and expansion?
Once you’
ve listed as many organizations, agencies, and constituencies as you can think of, it’
s time to
enlist their support. Here, as with many other aspects of successful revitalization programs, the maxim to
keep in mind is that people usually support organizations because they are asked to do so by someone
they know. There are, of course, exceptions—but if someone you know and respect asks you to
participate in a worthy cause, you are much more likely to do so. Again, if your program has done its
legwork, many of these organizations, agencies, and individuals may already be involved—but for
ultimate work planning, you need to stretch the boundaries and enlist as many partners as possible.
Assign someone to meet with each group you’
ve identified and to discuss common goals. Stress that
you’
re looking for win-win projects on which to collaborate—projects that meet both your needs and
those of the potential partner. Share your activity map with them. Brainstorm ways in which one or more
of the partner group’
s ongoing activities might plug into your map. Remember, you are looking for winwin activities—activities that meet both organizations’goals and leverage their respective skills,
networks, and resources as completely as possible.
OUTLINE ACTIVITIES
In many instances, you will already know about specific activities that need to take place in order to fulfill
your objectives and achieve your strategies. Other times, you may not be sure what specific activities
need to take place. But, hey, your new partners probably have some great ideas; after all, they will have
specific knowledge about the objectives you’
re trying to fulfill.
After enlisting your partners’support, engage them in discussions to outline activities that need to be
accomplished. Better yet, invite all of the groups with expertise in each objective to a meeting and
develop a game plan. For example, if one of your objectives is to enliven the district’
s physical
environment (see sidebar “
Strategies, Goals, Objectives, and Activities”on page 3), and you have
identified a civic club, arts association, professional landscape organization, arts instructors, professional
metal workers, and the city’
s public works department as potential partners, invite representatives from all
of these groups to take part in planning the activities. Again, look for areas of overlap—tasks that not only
meet your needs but also meet theirs.
COMMUNICATE!
Many discussions later, your detailed list of activities—organized by strategy and cutting across the four
broad areas of the Main Street approach—will be completed. If you’
re successful, your activity chart will
be crammed with groups and agencies that have agreed to complete one or more tasks for you. And since
many of these are activities they would have done anyway, their budgets will often foot the bill.
Your final challenge is to be sure that everyone stays in close communication. Meet often with your
partners to see how their activities are progressing and keep them up to speed on activities being done by
other partners and by the revitalization organization itself. A growing number of Main Street
organizations produce newsletters specifically for the revitalization initiative’
s volunteers and partners;
these publications provide updates on activities and track the program’
s overall progress in pursuing its
major strategies.
Over time, your partners will begin to see their ongoing work not as their work alone but as part of a
unified continuum of activities which, together, strengthen and transform the historic commercial district.
The revitalization organization itself becomes the framework for a matrix through which community
groups and agencies collaborate. You’
ve brought about systemic change in your community. That’
s
ultimate work planning.
SIDEBAR: STRATEGIES, GOALS, OBJECTIVES, AND ACTIVITIES
•A strategy is a major program directive that describes a fundamental change your organization plans to
bring about.
•An objective describes a category of activities that need to occur in order to fulfill a strategy.
•An activity is a specific task that needs to take place to accomplish an objective.
Here’
s an example:
Strategy: Make the Main Street district the premier arts district within the region.
Objectives:
•Convert warehouse and school into artist studios and instructional space.
•Provide business development assistance and business financing targeted to artists.
•Launch a comprehensive, ongoing, year-round calendar of promotional activities highlighting the arts.
•Enliven the district’
s physical environment with unique, whimsical, high-quality public art, and public
spaces.
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Activities:
Objective 1: Convert warehouse and school into artist studios and instructional space.
•Prepare measured drawings and engineering reports on the warehouse and school.
•Negotiate long-term, $1-per-year lease with the school district for the school.
•Acquire the warehouse from the railroad company in exchange for a tax-deductible, charitable
contribution.
•Develop detailed building rehabilitation plans.
•Create a non-profit subsidiary organization to develop and operate the arts properties.
•Put together development financing (including tax credit syndication).
•Complete construction.
Kennedy Lawson Smith is the former director of the National Trust Main Street Center.
APPENDIX E6: THE
BEST PRACTICES OF GREAT NONPROFIT BOARDS
1) A shared VISION
- as expressed by the strategic plan
2) Clear, individual board member EXPECTATIONS
- enforced and evaluated
3) Board RECRUITMENT is done strategically
- monthly & year-round
4) Board SELF-ASSESSMENTS are conducted
- every two to three years
5) Orientation and EDUCATION are valued
- all year long
- the Board stays current
6) CHANGE is embraced
- Mission is reviewed annually
7) STAFF is valued and rewarded
- role delineation is clear
8) RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT is viewed as a primary board responsibility
- the entire board, not a committee
9) GOVERNANCE is taken seriously
- documents and policies are updated
10) The Board is FOCUSED on critical issues
11) Board members have FUN
- they enjoy each other and find service rewarding
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APPENDIX E7: BENEFITS FOR EACH DONOR MARKET SEGMENT
Main Street Revitalization
Benefits for Each Donor Market Segment
Local Residents/Consumers
•enhanced marketplace (better shopping and the benefits of shopping locally)
•sense of pride in one’
s neighborhood business district
•social/cultural activities
•opportunities to keep kids in town
•sense of hometown community
•historical awareness (preservation of architecture and human history)
•tax dollars stay in the community
•opportunity to participate/volunteer
•better communication (newsletter)
•political advocate
•home values increase
Property Owners
•increased occupancy rates
•rent stability
•increased property values
•reduced vandalism/crime deterrent
•assistance with tax credits, grants, loan programs, design, and co-op maintenance
•communication medium with other property owners
•better image
•new uses, especially on upper floors
Municipal Government
•increased tax base and jobs in downtown which, collectively, is one of the municipality’
s
largest tax payers and employers
•more tourism
•increased property values
•better goals and vision
•healthy economy
•better services available
•positive perception of the downtown and community
•better relations between municipality and the private sector
•increased volunteer base for downtown
•industrial recruitment
•impetus for public improvements and grant dollars
•education resources for district leaders (officials) on planning and economic
development
Retail Business Owners
•increased sales
•improved image
•increased value of business
•coordinated efforts between local business and franchises
•quality of business life
•educational opportunities (seminars and workshops)
•increased traffic
•district marketing strategies (promotion and advertising)
•better business mix
•community pride
•have needs/issues addressed
Service Business Owners
•image building/improvement
•new/renewed/repeated exposure
•increased variety of services
•healthier economy generates new/more businesses
•increased competition means more aggressive business styles
•increased population, new customers
•improved image, creates new market
Financial Institutions
•potential for loans, deposits, and other services (bank cards, financial services)
•improved image and good will
•survival of community critical to bank success and economic stability
•central location more cost effective
Preservationists
•Main Street Approach reinforces common goal of preservation
•increases coalition
•increased awareness and credibility
•education of public and group
•improved public image
•improved economic feasibility of preservation
Utility Companies
•additional business
•longer business hours
•more employees
•healthy businesses feel freer to increase utility usage
•healthy economy causes community to grow
•enhance market image
•quality in main street public improvement
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APPENDIX F: CT MAIN STREET CENTER AND THE MAIN STREET APPROACH
CONNECTICUT MAIN STREET CENTER
CT Main Street Center is the state's leading resource for cities and towns seeking to
comprehensively revitalize their "main street" districts. We provide solutions to help
Connecticut's main streets once more become thriving centers of commercial and social activity.
A member of the respected National Main Street network which has been in place for over 25
years, CT Main Street Center is a nonprofit organization committed to bringing Connecticut’
s
downtown commercial districts back to life.
A healthy downtown is key to the viability of the entire community surrounding it. However,
reviving a commercial district is a complex, long-term process. A collaborative effort is needed
combining the skills and advantages of both public and private sectors. A successful Main
Street program is created by leaders who understand its purpose, develop realistic goals,
establish priorities and assess its progress.
CT Main Street Center understands this process. We help communities analyze core issues
and set attainable objectives. We provide training workshops, technical assistance, and
advocacy. Our organized yet flexible approach allows communities to identify and develop their
unique assets in an integrated and comprehensive way.
To learn more about CT Main Street Center, contact us at:
CT Main Street Center
PO Box 261595
Hartford, CT 06126
860-280-2337
[email protected]
www.ctmainstreet.org
THE MAIN STREET FOUR POINT APPROACH™
What happened to Main Street?
Main Street’
s problems stem from profound changes in the retailing industry over the past four
decades—changes that are the result of transportation and land use patterns as well as an
unprecedented boom in commercial overbuilding. Dramatic suburban commercial growth and
the development of major discount retailers on the periphery of communities have drawn
customers and investors away from the central business district. A vast oversupply of retail
space has undermined Main Street’
s traditional role as a retail center. Tremendous stocks of
high-quality historic commercial buildings need financing to insure they will be enjoyed, and
used, by future generations. Local permit processes need revamping to encourage
entrepreneurial investment in building rehabilitation and business ventures. Outmoded business
practices of long-term merchants and the inexperience of new small business owners have
constrained traditional business districts from reaching their full market potential.
Why is Main Street important?
City governments and businesses commonly ask Main Street advocates, “
Why should we invest
in downtown?”In response, here are a few reasons why your downtown or neighborhood
commercial district is an important and worthwhile investment in the economic health and
quality of life in your community:
 Main Street is a symbol of community economic health, local quality of life, pride, and

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



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community history. These are all factors in industrial, commercial and professional
recruitment.
A vital Main Street retains and creates jobs, which also means a stronger tax base. Longterm revitalization establishes capable businesses that use public services and provide tax
revenues for the community.
Main Street is also a good incubator for new small businesses—the building blocks of a
healthy economy. Strip centers and malls are often too expensive for new entrepreneurs.
A vital Main Street area reduces sprawl by concentrating retail in one area and uses
community resources wisely, such as infrastructure, tax dollars and land.
A healthy Main Street core protects property values in surrounding residential
neighborhoods.
The traditional commercial district is an ideal location for independent businesses, which, in
turn, keep profits in town (chain businesses send profits out of town). The district also
supports local families with family-owned businesses, local community projects, such as ball
teams and schools and provides an extremely stable economic foundation, as opposed to a
few large businesses and chains with no ties to stay in the community.
A revitalized Main Street increases the community’
s options for goods and services: whether
for basic staples like clothing, food and professional services or less traditional functions
such as housing and entertainment.
Main Street provides an important civic forum, where members of the community can
congregate. Parades, special events and celebrations held there reinforce a sense of
community. Private developments like malls can and do restrict free speech and access.
Many Main Street districts become tourist attractions by virtue of the character of buildings,
location, selection of unique businesses, and events held there.
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What is the Main Street Approach to Revitalization?
The Main Street Approach to downtown and neighborhood commercial district revitalization was
developed by the National Main Street Center, a program of the National Trust for Historic
Preservation. The approach is based on four points and relies on eight principles to increase the
value of traditional commercial business districts.
FOUR POINTS
1. Organization: increasing the civic value of downtown by building consensus and
cooperation among groups that play a role in the downtown. The Four Point Approach
builds a framework for sensible volunteer-driven programming that matches the
community’
s assets and potential.
2. Promotion: increasing the social value of downtown through branding (creating a
positive image of downtown), retail promotions and special events.
3. Design: increasing the physical value of downtown through both new and rehabilitation
construction and through the design of public spaces that will attract more people to walk
and gather on a regular basis.
4. Economic Restructuring / Business Improvement: increasing the economic value of
downtown by diversifying it with an appropriate mix of current and new businesses
suitable for the given marketplace.
EIGHT GUIDING PRINCIPLES
1. The Main Street Approach is a comprehensive approach to revitalization. Unlike
many revitalization strategies that have been tried in the past, the Main Street Approach
is comprehensive, addressing all areas in which action must take place. In the past,
districts have covered entire blocks of building facades with aluminum slipcovers or
demolished portions of the district in hopes of attracting a developer to build something
new. Design improvements alone will not bring about meaningful change; effective
marketing, a strong organizational base and solid economic development strategies are
all necessary to reverse the cycle of decay and sustain preservation activity.
2. The Main Street Approach relies on quality. A district’
s architecture tells the history of
a community and reflects the pride past generations felt. These buildings embody quality
in construction, craft and style that cannot be replicated today. The quality inherent in its
commercial architecture and in the services offered by its businesses make a district
unique in the marketplace and gives it many marketing advantages. The projects
undertaken by the local Main Street program should reflect this high level of quality to
reinforce the district’
s special characteristics.
3. A public-private partnership is needed to make meaningful, long-term
revitalization possible. To make a revitalization program successful, both public and
private entities must be involved, as neither can bring about change alone. Each sector
has unique skills and particular areas in which it works most effectively; combining the
talents of both groups brings together all the skills necessary for revitalization to occur in
a unified program.
4. The Main Street Approach involves changing attitudes. The economic changes
experienced by traditional commercial districts in recent decades have made shoppers
and investors skeptical about the district’
s ability to regain economic viability. Because of
5.
6.
7.
8.
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its physical decay, many people have forgotten how important a community’
s historic
commercial buildings are to shaping its identity and explaining its unique history.
Changing people’
s attitudes—demonstrating that positive change is taking place—is
central to a successful revitalization program.
The Main Street Approach focuses on existing assets. Each community is unique
and has special characteristics that set it apart from all others. By creating a strong
revitalization effort based on the district’
s unique heritage, a local Main Street program
creates an organizational structure that builds on its own specific opportunities. In this
way, the Main Street program is adaptable.
Main Street is a self-help program. Without the will to succeed and the desire to work
hard to create change, no revitalization program will flourish. Grant programs can help
fund pieces of the work plan and consultants can provide guidance, but without local
initiative, the Main Street Approach will not work.
The Main Street Approach is incremental in nature. Traditional commercial districts
did not lose their economic strength overnight; it happened over years, with small
declines leading to a severe downward spiral. Improvement must be gradual as well.
Cataclysmic changes, like those brought about by urban renewal’
s large-scale land
clearance programs, have rarely created long-term economic growth. The Main Street
Approach relies on a series of small improvements that begin to change public attitudes
about the district, making the area’
s investment climate more favorable. Gradually, the
small changes build to larger ones as the local revitalization organization gains strength
and becomes efficient in mobilizing resources for revival.
The Main Street Approach is implementation oriented. By identifying and prioritizing
the major issues that a district must confront, revitalization organizations can develop
work plans that break down the large issues into smaller tasks.
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APPENDIX G: RESOURCE TEAM CONSULTANT PROFILES
KENT J. BURNES
BURNES CONSULTING
Kent has over 25 years of experience in the field of economic development and small business training
and consulting. To recognize Kent's 25+ years as a professional consultant the Management Consulting
Institute awarded him the distinction of Certified Professional Consultant to Management. This distinction
has been awarded to less than 300 consultants in the United States. He received a degree in finance
from Memphis State University and is certified in the area of Economic Development Finance by the
National Development Council.
Kent was recognized for his work with disaster recovery programs in California by being honored with the
SBA's coveted Phoenix Award and the California Community College Economic Development Network's
Outstanding Economic Development Program Award.
Mr. Burnes is the author of “
Competing with National Discounters”
,“
Facing the Warehouse Home Center
Challenge”
,“
7 Secrets to Small Business Success”
,“
Secrets to Small Business Success”and the audio
book “
More Secrets to Small Business Success”
. The workshop “
Sharpening Your Competitive Edge”
,
has been recognized nationally and internationally by receiving Silver Appy and Mercury awards. Kent’
s
workshop “
Making Money with Visual Merchandising”has been featured in Visual Merchandising and
Store Design Magazine. Kent is an active contributor to magazines and newsletters nationally and
internationally.
In the fall of 2007 Kent and his wife Lisette opened Blue Bahia Resort (www.bluebahiaresort.com) on
Roatan in the Bay Islands of the Caribbean. The resort features lodging, SCUBA diving, fishing, as well
as food and beverage service. Kent resides full time in the Western Caribbean.
DAN CARMODY
CARMODY CONSULTING
Benefiting from a schizophrenic youth split between the west side of Chicago and the loess hills of
western Iowa, Carmody developed a keen appreciation for the distinctiveness of both central cities and
Main Streets. Schooled as a city planner in the Midwest and the North of England, Carmody is a devoted
urbanist with special interest in the regenerating depressed local economies. Educated as a tavern
keeper, Carmody understands the needs of independent business owners and the importance of
conviviality in successful downtown revitalization.
From 1988 until November of 2005, Carmody led Renaissance Rock Island (IL), a consortium of not-forprofits, helping to revive that community which had lost 40% of its tax base. Starting with a budget of
$70,000 and a staff of 1.5 people, Renaissance Rock Island grew to a staff of 14 with an annual budget
exceeding $3,000,000.
From 2005 until 2007 Carmody served as the President of the Downtown Improvement District in Fort
Wayne, (IN). In each organization Dan sought to build success upon thorough knowledge of local market
conditions, profound partnerships with public and private partners, and an incremental approach to
improving the climate for business and real estate development.
In November 2007 Carmody was hired as President of the Eastern Market Corporation where he has
been charge with operating the region’
s premier public market, renovating and enhancing the market
campus, revitalizing the business district around the market, re-building a robust local food system, and
leveraging a revitalized Eastern Market District to regenerate adjacent neighborhoods.
Since the mid-1990’
s Carmody has also served as a consultant to more than 30 community development
programs, served on the board of directors of the International Downtown Association, and is a frequent
presenter at state and national economic development conferences.
KIMBERLEY PARSONS-WHITAKER
CONNECTICUT MAIN STREET CENTER
Kim has been the Associate Director of the Connecticut Main Street Center since 2000 where she
oversees the Member Services and Public Relations & Communications programs. During her tenure at
CMSC she has developed the quarterly newsletter, Main Street Navigator; the website
ctmainstreet.org; the CMSC Awards of Excellence in Downtown Revitalization; the social networking
series HobNob on Main Street!, and was instrumental in the success of Main Street SOLUTIONS,
Connecticut’
s Annual Commercial District Revitalization Conference, from 2002 - 2005. She was a key
participant in the development and launching of CMSC’
s Member Community program and the Downtown
Revitalization Institute. Formerly the Director of Membership & Development of the Connecticut Chapter
of The American Institute of Architects, Kim has experience in nonprofit organizational and leadership
development, volunteer coordination, membership activities, public relations and marketing and has
produced a variety of special events, trade shows, conventions and conferences.
A professional opera and concert singer, Kim holds a Bachelor of Music with Distinction from New
England Conservatory of Music and a Master’
s Degree from Boston University, where she was a Dean’
s
Scholar. She has performed extensively throughout North America and the Far East and continues her
performing career, though closer to home. In 1994 she co-founded The Connecticut Vocal Ensemble, an
organization whose mission was to provide highly trained, young professional singers with experience in
preparing and performing roles in full-length operas in intimate settings. Former residents of New Haven,
Kim, her husband Bill Whitaker, a Broadway musician, and their daughter Daley now reside in West
Hartford, Connecticut.
JOHN SIMONE
CONNECTICUT MAIN STREET CENTER
John Simone, President & CEO, has been with the Connecticut Main Street Center since 2000. Under
his leadership, CMSC has grown in many directions. The number of Connecticut Main Street member
communities has grown from 6 to 39. In 2005, John oversaw the launching of two new programs –the
CT Main Street Member Community Program and the Downtown Revitalization Institute (DRI). The
member community program provides more opportunities, at various levels of commitment, to
communities that want to benefit from learning how to implement a comprehensive revitalization program.
DRI offers quarterly seminars that, collectively, will provide a comprehensive training experience for
municipalities, organizations and individuals in all aspects of downtown revitalization.
To support this growth, John built the staff from two to four professionals. He is also responsible for
developing the team of regional and national experts and partners to complement CMSC staff’
s expertise
and provide a wide spectrum of resources and services in downtown revitalization. In 2005 he was
elected by his peer statewide Main Street directors to serve on the first national executive committee to
advance national advocacy issues. In 2006 he was invited by Dick Moe, President of the National Trust
for Historic Preservation, to participate on a national task force to develop a strategic plan for the National
Trust Main Street Center.
John’
s Main Street career began in 1996 when he became the first executive director for First Town
Downtown, Windsor Center’
s Main Street program. In the first three years of this program 30,000 square
feet of vacant space was filled with retail and restaurants representing over $5 million of investment.
Prior to this, he worked for the Hartford Ballet for over 20 years. He was a founding member of its
professional dance company serving 15 years as managing and then executive director. He was a
contributing author to the anthology entitled, “
Market the Arts”published by the Foundation for the
Effective Development of American Professional Theater (FEDAPT) and he has served on numerous
grants panels and awards juries.
He lives in West Hartford with his wife and two children.
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DAVID SOUSA, R.L.A., A.I.C.P.
CLOUGH, HARBOUR & ASSOCIATES, LLP
Mr. Sousa has 26 years experience in landscape architecture and urban planning. He is a disciple of
Smart Growth and Traditional Neighborhood Development, and has focused his career on creating more
livable, sustainable and attractive communities. He is a licensed landscape architect and member of the
American Society of Landscape Architects, American Institute of Certified Planners, and the American
Planning Association. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Landscape Architecture from the
University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
Mr. Sousa has managed the design and construction administration of large-scale projects for corporate,
institutional and governmental clients. He is responsible for urban design, land use planning,
environmental permitting, and comprehensive master planning projects for Clough, Harbour &
Associates, LLP.
Mr. Sousa’
s urban design, downtown revitalization and Brownfield redevelopment experience includes
projects in the Connecticut cities of New Haven, New London, Norwich, Hartford, Waterbury, Danbury,
Bridgeport, Groton, Milford, Middletown, and Willimantic, as well as Pittsfield and New Bedford,
Massachusetts, Keene, New Hampshire, Providence, Rhode Island, and Stony Point, New York. He has
also assisted Connecticut Main Street Center and the National Park Service on a Main Street Resource
Team and National Historic Landmark Charrette for the town of Portland, Connecticut, and assisted the
Town of Hebron, Connecticut in the planning of the New Village Green District.
The Main Street Resource Team for Westville Village is generously supported by