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4/21/2015 - Meeting on Downtown Plan set for tonight at City Hall


They heard from Waterbury residents, merchants and other stakeholders. They studied the history and analyzed the numbers – all with an eye on the future.

And now the experts from the urban design firm of Sasaki Associates Inc., will present their vision for a new Waterbury – a Downtown Master Plan – on April 22 at 6 p.m. in City Hall.

Sasaki is seeking public input on its plan.

“I ask every resident and person interested in our great City to attend this meeting,” Mayor Neil M. O’Leary said. “This is a great opportunity for our future.”


Sasaki Associates, a Watertown, Mass-based firm, will present its long-term plan for Downtown Waterbury as part of a $20 million public-private partnership called Waterbury NEXT.

The firm focused on six specific areas it believes will help transform Downtown Waterbury – employment, transportation, infrastructure, attractions, activities and housing – then devised specific strategies for each area.

Fred Merrill of Sasaki Associates will present and discuss his firm’s findings and proposals at the April 22 session. The meeting is a follow-up to a February meeting at the Palace Theater where about 75 civic and educational leaders, Downtown landlords, merchants and others shared their opinions and hopes for the future of Downtown.

The Waterbury NEXT Partnership is designed to build on the momentum of the City’s revitalization over the past few years with the redevelopment of the Palace Theater, the growth and success of the UConn Waterbury campus, and ongoing reductions in blight and crime.

The City recently secured a $19 million federal TIGER grant that will enhance Waterbury’s river/rail corridor and its Downtown through transportation and other improvements. The TIGER grant, coupled with Waterbury NEXT, will transform Waterbury.

Mayor O’Leary is especially thankful to Gov. Dannel Malloy, whose administration is funding a large portion of Waterbury NEXT. The Mayor and the Governor believe the enhanced streetscape and public open space will make Downtown Waterbury more appealing to employers and residents. They also believe it will attract significant private investment to Waterbury and, in turn, lead to additional opportunities for economic growth and job creation.

The April 22 meeting at 6 p.m. will be held at Veterans Memorial Hall on the second floor of City Hall.