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Our mission is to be the catalyst that ignites Connecticut's Main Streets as the cornerstone of thriving communities.
We had a lot to celebrate at our Awards of Excellence celebration last month, which was made possible by the generous support of our sponsors. Sponsorships enable us to host events and activities that educate, engage and excite people about the success of Connecticut's downtowns and Main Streets. We consider ourselves honored to have so many wonderful sponsors, and thank each of them for investing in us and our downtowns. 
Governor Malloy & Mayor Stewart Praise Downtowns, Award Winners  

Despite the heat, there was a terrific turnout for our Vibrant Main Streets awards event on May 18th, showcasing our Awards of Excellence winners. Governor Dannel Malloy and New Britain Mayor Erin Stewart each offered comments on the importance of downtowns in transforming and sustaining our communities and economy. Mayor Stewart spoke proudly of the many accomplishments in New Britain, and also acknowledged the State's support on major initiatives like CTfastrak, while Governor Malloy spoke passionately about the need to invest in our downtowns and downtown housing as a means to attract young people and talent. 
When accepting the CT Main Street Founder's Award, presented by Eversource, John Simone spoke about CMSC's recent findings that there is 187 million square feet of vacant and underutilized space located collectively in our downtowns. Fully occupying and developing this space could generate $1 billion dollars in tax revenue, while creating 88,000 new housing units and 20,000 new businesses
Click to view pictures from our event or to learn more about our Award winners
CT Brownfield Land Bank Legislation Passes, Provides New Tool to Municipalities
Gary B. O'Connor, an attorney at Pullman & Comley and co-chair of the Connecticut Brownfield's Working Group, writes about the passage of Connecticut's new Brownfield Land Bank, noting that it creates a viable remediation alternative for municipalities. His article describes how the recently passed legislation will provide the state with a new tool for addressing brownfields, and may be particularly useful to municipalities who are reluctant or unable to acquire and redevelop brownfield sites. 
New CMSC TIF Guidebook Available
CMSC is pleased to share its new Tax Increment Financing Guidebook. This beginner's guide to using TIFs outlines the process to create a TIF district and plan, what the monies can be used for, and offers tip for how municipalities can take advantage of this valuable tool in their downtowns.
The new TIF Guidebook is the latest in a series of educational resources on TIF offered by CMSC.  In April, CMSC hosted Patrick McMahon and Michael Andreana for a webinar overview of TIF, and CMSC held a workshop, BeauTIFul Beginnings, on the new financing tool. 
Re-Mains of the Day
CT Housing Alliance Housing Tour  
-- T he Southeastern Connecticut Housing Alliance is offering a Housing Tour on June 28th.  This year's tour will visit two properties in the Pawcatuck area of Stonington that have opened for residency in the last year- Spruce Meadows (100 South Broad Street) and Threadmill Apartments (5 Clark Street), which have collectively added over 100 new market-rate and affordable rental apartments to the region's rental housing inventory. The event includes the proptery tour, lunch in Westerly with some of Stonington's elected officials, municipal staff, and community members about how they worked over several years to enable the construction of new housing options in their community. Click for more info. 
AARP Offers Pop-Up Planner 
Temporary "pop-up" demonstration projects (otherwise known
as "tactical urbanism") such as temporary bike lanes, protected intersections, crosswalks, parklets, and benches can lead to permanent change as community members work together to bring attention to overlooked spaces and address neighborhood issues.  The AARP Pop-Up Demonstration Tool Kit offers a guideline for getting started, organizing and engaging the community, and examples of pop-up projects.
Learn more here.
Spotlight on CMSC Networking Events -
An Opportunity to Shine 
CMSC partners with CEDAS, the CT Economic Developers Association, to hold community-hosted peer networking events at least twice a year.

The Bridgeport Downtown Special Services District hosted over 60 attendees our recent April event, generously sponsored by Pullman & Comley LLC. Guests were treated to a welcome by Bridgeport Mayor Joseph Ganim, a panel discussion on downtown Bridgeport's renaissance as a creative economy hub, followed by walking tours of the downtown and a reception at Bijou Theatre. 
View pictures from this event here.
Connecticut Main Street Center