Central Connecticut Regional Planning AgencyCT

CEDS Projects

In addition to an overall strategic action plan, the Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) also proposes specific economic development projects that invest in the region’s infrastructure. These projects are designed to leverage available federal, state, local, and private funds to improve and maintain the physical and human capital of the region. Projects range from cleaning up brownfield sites to assembling a critical mass of entrepreneurial and business assistance resources. They are each intended to address specific goals and objectives of this plan and have been proposed, evaluated, and prioritized in a cooperative manner.

Project Descriptions

Bristol: Brownfields Site Remediation 3

A site adjoining a linear city park would be added to the city’s Memorial Boulevard Park. This former trucking site is located on Route 72 on the Pequabuck River. The property adjoins the park, Veterans Memorial Drive and the historic Downes Street Cemetery. It is in an important gateway that could contribute to the revitalization of the downtown area if it were made more attractive. Based upon zoning, the property would be used for recreational purposes, possibly a linear multi-use trail and enhanced river access for anglers and handicapped persons; the property would be added to the existing park.

Bristol: Brownfield Site Remediation 2

This property is located on State Route 229 across from ESPN at the entrance to the 229 Technology Park. It is on an important gateway to the City. Based upon zoning, it could be used for light industry or office use. Some substantial contamination is assumed due to the nature of the work performed on the site with electrical transformers and car batteries and salvage but it has not been characterized. There is a possible re-user for the site. Other environmental concerns include wetlands and high voltage line rights-of-way.

Bristol: Brownfield Site Remediation 1

This historic multistory “Mill” building is located on Route 72, Riverside Avenue. It is near the Pequabuck River and can be combined with the former Hubbard Florist/Hostess Outlet Site if the combination improves the usability/marketability of the site. It is located in an important gateway that could contribute to the revitalization of the downtown area if it were made more attractive to private investment. Based upon zoning, the property could support multiple uses including housing development as well as retail and office development. The building may offer business incubator potential.

Bristol: Downtown Street Grid

This project would provide 2,300 linear feet of road and associated infrastructure. Streets are needed to reestablish the street grid pattern for redevelopment of storefronts and a downtown neighborhood. It will also support housing development. The infrastructure will also consider including geothermal and steam interconnections (piping) for high energy efficiency and sustainability.

All of the downtown Bristol CEDS projects may be seen as interrelated. Bristol’s downtown is located at the junction of State Routes 6, 72 and 69 joining east and west and north and south through the Central Connecticut region. These projects are located in an enterprise zone and will thus positively impact a disadvantaged community. They will also leverage private investment by improving conditions surrounding an important 17 acre site being redeveloped by Renaissance Downtowns.

Bristol: Downtown Streetscapes

Sidewalks will contribute to the revitalization of the downtown area by making it more pedestrian friendly and encouraging private investment. It will support housing development as well as retail and office development. Traffic calming measures will be implemented as well as pedestrian friendly design.

Bristol: Downtown Structured Parking

The project will construct structured parking facilities for 1,541 cars on three sites to allow for high density development of housing and transportation.  It will also accommodate City Hall, retail, library and other users. Structured parking will contribute to the revitalization of the downtown area by making this area more pedestrian-friendly and encouraging private investment. “Park and walk” behavior will be encouraged. Structured parking will be required for public transit, especially a transit center (train station). It will also support housing development as well as retail and office development.

Bristol: West End Streetscape

This is a neighborhood revitalization project close to downtown and the junction of State Routes 6, 72 and 69. Sidewalks and crosswalks will contribute to the revitalization of the area by making it more pedestrian friendly and encouraging private investment. Public investment will support redevelopment. The project will involve the installation of 2,250 linear feet of streetscape to include granite curbing, crosswalks, pedestrian lighting, planting, brick banding, new concrete, handicapped access, and street furniture. Traffic calming measures and pedestrian-friendly design features are planned.

Bristol: Downtown Intermodal Transportation Center

A building is planned to allow train and bus users to interchange and get out of weather waiting for service. Train and intercity and interstate buses will contribute to the revitalization of the downtown area by increasing access and encouraging private investment. Transit will support housing as well as retail and office development.

This project will be part of larger transportation network that will likely include Plainville and Plymouth and have connections in Waterbury through to Metro-North’s Waterbury Branch. It will likely have transit connections to Hartford, New Britain and Berlin as well.

Bristol: Middle Street Dam Removal

This project would remove the Middle Street Dam, which is located along the Pequabuck River in Bristol. The dam impedes the migration of aquatic species. The structure serves no useful purpose and has negatively impacted the riverine habitat of the Pequabuck River by preventing upstream passage of all fish species other than American eels. Programs to reintroduce Atlantic Salmon upstream of this area are hindered by the dam since those fish cannot return. Movement of American Shad, River Herring, and Sea Lamprey into the Pequabuck River is severely hampered by the existence of the dam. All non-anadromous species will benefit from an uninterrupted habitat. Additionally, enhancement of this area for fish passage through dam removal will allow for the reintroduction of streamside vegetative buffers, as well establishment of environmentally sensitive river access.

Bristol: Tech/Bioscience Incubator

In 2012, the Central Connecticut Chambers of Commerce submitted a proposal to start a business accelerator. Unlike many of the State’s incubators, this business accelerator would target companies in specific industries. First, it will target companies that are involved in the research and development of media technology. With a goal of attracting and creating off-shoot businesses that are tangential to the environment created by ESPN, a company that that is developing a new method compression for video transmission or data encryption to protect media content would be an example of a primary target. ESPN, the region’s largest private employer, has continued to expand, creating a unique opportunity to support compatible companies.

Second, the accelerator will make use of the bio-science enterprise zone that was designated for the city center area as well as the presence of Bristol Hospital to target bio-science and biomechanical start-ups. This not only leverages the specific enterprise zone definition but also takes into account the traditional manufacturing base this city and region have had for many years.

Lastly, the accelerator will be open to any and all developers of new information technology. Whether their efforts are on software, hardware or some new form of social media or the use of the Internet to further electronic commerce, these firms that are in a stage one status will be potential clients for the BACC.

New Britain: Central Connecticut University Center

This project would coordinate existing resources at CCSU and CCSU's Institute of Technology and Business Development to provide support services to businesses and entrepreneurs throughout the region. It would focus resources to help the region grapple with changing economic and demographic conditions by supporting women and minority-owned businesses, and targeting growing sectors of the economy such as health care, advanced manufacturing (including biomedical), banking and finance, and entertainment.

UPDATE: As this plan was being finalized, ITBD and the University of Connecticut formed a partnership to apply for an EDA University Center grant.

New Britain and Plainville: Hospital of Central Connecticut Cancer Center and Medical Arts Building

This development would take place on a 28 acre, abandoned quarry site that is situated on the New Britain - Plainville town line. It would entail the development of a regional cancer treatment center under the auspices of the Hospital of Central Connecticut on the New Britain portion of the site with a three-story 70,000 square foot medical office building on the Plainville portion. The municipalities involved are in discussion regarding an innovative tax revenue sharing agreement that would benefit the region as a whole.

This project fulfills a growing regional need for accessible, modern, high-quality cancer treatment and medical office space. It makes use of an abandoned quarry that is centrally located within the state, with good access and visibility from I-84. New Britain is designated as a "regional center' in the State Plan of Conservation and Development and is an economically distressed municipality with chronically high unemployment. In addition to serving a growing medical service need for the region, the jobs created would be within one of our identified industry clusters and would be higher quality, higher wage jobs. The project is consistent with "smart growth" policies, since the site is previously developed, situated with good access to both the interstate highway system and to city bus routes, and has direct access to nearby utility systems.

New Britain: Pinnacle Business Park

Development of a 63 acre business park on this excessed housing authority property has been a priority project for the City of New Britain for the past several years. The City acquired the property from the state in 2006, formulated and adopted appropriate technology park zoning in 2007, and demolished the vacated buildings in 2008 and 2009. Project plans for the subdivision and development of infrastructure were developed; the subdivision plan was approved in late 2010. Current planning for infrastructure is now underway. The City has begun discussions with at least one prospective buyer for purchase and development later in 2011-2012.

This project has numerous benefits for the city. It is a brownfield site that is currently underutilized. It is situated on a municipal arterial with good access to the both interstate highway system and to city bus routes, and has direct access to existing utility systems. The office, technology and ancillary jobs that are anticipated are higher quality, higher wage jobs than the current city median, and the opportunity to achieve an increase in tax base is important, given the city’s lack of developable land and the percentage land currently state-owned or otherwise tax-exempt.

Berlin: Berlin Train Station Redevelopment Project

There are four major projects in process in the immediate vicinity of the Berlin Train Station. Funds are requested for the environmental clean-up of 889 Farmington Avenue to prepare it for redevelopment as a mixed use, pedestrian friendly transit oriented development. EPA has funded investigations of 889 Farmington Avenue, most recently a supplemental phase III and RAP through CRCOG's brownfields assessment grant, so the site is ready to move forward to the remediation phase. The Town has two adjacent properties to the east (903 and 913 Farmington Avenue) under contract to purchase. The plan entails replacement of the existing buildings with a new Police Department headquarters. The Town also has a grant under the Enhancement Component of the Surface Transportation Program and matching STEAP grants to renovate the Berlin Train Station and parking lot. Project consultant Michael Baker Engineering is preparing plans and specifications to bid the project. The construction budget is approximately $1.8 million. The fourth major project underway is station and parking area improvements related to the New Haven Springfield high-speed/intercity rail project. This project will include raised platforms, an up and over to accommodate new double tracking and expansion to the train station parking lot. DOT is in the environmental assessment process for the commuter rail project. It is expected that their parking lot expansion will be done primarily to the east of the station and that it will connect to the Towns 889, 903 and 913 Farmington Avenue projects, and remove some existing incompatible or blighted properties.

Plainville: New Britain Avenue Brownfield Remediation

The project entails remediation of a brownfield site on New Britain Avenue in Plainville, CT. Eventual use of the site will be retail developed by a private party. The property is approximately 9.5 acres and may be combined with adjacent vacant parcels to total as much as 22.98 acres. This will complement existing adjacent retail/commercial centers. For the purposes of this project, jobs created are for remediation only, and not actual site construction or eventual tenant fit out; permanent full time jobs created will be significantly higher. The property owner is currently seeking State and/or Federal assistance to help with brownfield remediation.

The project involves the re-use of badly degraded land.  Removal of contamination is only the first benefit realized.  Quality site design will create a sense of place that has never existed on this site.  In fact, the site has been an eyesore for several decades.  Removal of contamination in such close proximity to both the headwaters of the heavily-impaired Quinnipiac River (.4 miles) and the Level "A" ground water drinking wells (1.2miles) represents substantial benefits to the community. Utilization of a brownfield site in such close proximity to existing goods and services serves to reduce vehicle trips and gas expenditure.

Plainville: Downtown Beautification/Streetscape - Phase III

Plainville is a small community (less than 10 square miles) with a well-defined downtown area.  The central business district is a focal point that is an economic driver for the entire community.  Recent improvements have added economic vitality to sections of the district, but more work needs to be done.  The downtown is seen as key to the function and character of the community as a whole.  The wellbeing of the community, both economic and social, is tied to its downtown.  As other cities in the region enjoy the benefits of downtown improvement, so too should smaller, non-entitlement towns whose contribution to the overall economic health of the region cannot be discounted.

Phase III of Plainville's Downtown Beautification is estimated at $750,000.00 and will complete this project. Approximately $1,850,000.00 has been expended thus far. The project involves the completion of sidewalk treatments including pavers, planters and street furniture along portions of East Main Street and West Main Street. Wayfinding, signage and definition of public spaces are all elements of the plan. Plainville's demographic makeup does not allow for the utilization of CDBG funds for this project so State and Federal funds are fundamental to its success and completion.

Plainville: Strawberry Fields Industrial Park

Extending streets within this existing industrial park will result in access to new industrial land designated as a Contiguous Municipality Zone (Enterprise Zone). Assistance is sought to provide needed infrastructure to open up small to medium size lots over a 35 acre site. Water and sewer are available and would be extended from an existing industrial cul-de-sac. The Town of Plainville will offer tax abatements to qualifying manufacturing firms through the State Contiguous Municipality Program, while non-manufacturing firms will be offered standard tax abatements based on economic benefit. The US EDA will be asked to provide 50% of costs associated with the provision of infrastructure including road, water and sewer extensions.

The development will take advantage of numerous regional assets. It is located in a contiguous municipality zone (enterprise zone). The development will be required to use low-impact development techniques to minimize environmental degradation. The Town will also ask the developer to segregate required open space in a manner that benefits an approved multi-use trail plan.

Plainville: West Main Street Mixed Use Development

The West Main Street Mixed Use Development project is envisioned on a 15 acre parcel located directly within downtown Plainville. The property would be rezoned to allow for mixed use development including residential, retail, restaurant and office and parking. The site will support many combinations of uses, but for the purpose of planning, we have estimated 50 residential units, 30,000 square feet of office space and 20,000 square feet of retail space with as much as 10,000 square feet being devoted to a restaurant.  More density is possible.

Plymouth: Industrial Park- Infrastructure

For the past several years, Phases 1 and 2 of the Industrial Park in the Town of Plymouth have experienced major problems with existing utility wiring for cable, phone, and electricity. Underground conduit problems have caused many service interruptions, creating severe difficulties for business owners in the industrial park. In many cases, power has gone out in the middle of manufacturing processes. Many piecemeal repairs have occurred, but a total upgrade of the entire wiring system is needed to fix the problem. 

Plymouth: Terryville Trust Site

This significant property is within the Terryville downtown area and is the former location of the Terryville Trust Company. The building is one of the defining structures in the downtown area but currently sits vacant, unutilized and in a state of deterioration due to the lack of maintenance over the years. Its successful reuse as commercial and/or office space would represent a signal of economic resurgence in the downtown area. It would be one of the main contributors to the revitalization of the downtown area.

Plymouth: Waterwheel Park Redevelopment

This redevelopment site is in the center of the Town of Plymouth’s Main Street and Downtown area. The redevelopment of this site will transform an underutilized contaminated site into a historic and recreational Waterwheel Park, which will be a focal point of the Downtown area and the community. There has been a lot of community support and activism behind the redevelopment of the site. In recent years, the Town has made several strides toward achieving the goals of the Plan for the Waterwheel Park. 

When complete, the Waterwheel Park will feature a historic museum with walking trails, picnic areas and the Eli Terry, Jr. Waterwheel as the centerpiece. Recognized on the National Register of Historic Properties, the Eli Terry, Jr. Waterwheel exemplifies the heritage of this community. Not only will this cultural park present a passive recreational opportunity for the residents of Plymouth, but it will also create a tourist destination where people from the region can come to visit the museum, see the waterwheel and enjoy the park-like settings and tranquil surroundings.

Plymouth: Terryville Business District/Downtown Revitalization

Over the years, Downtown Terryville has lost much of its identity as the mercantile center of Plymouth, while still retaining many of its historical resources. Terryville has been the subject of land use studies, historic preservation studies, traffic studies and economic development studies. Unfortunately, the resources for implementation have not yet been marshaled and Terryville continues to decline. The problem has only exacerbated with the decline in the state and national economy. The goal is to reinvigorate the downtown area and encourage private investment dollars to come back to Terryville. This project is linked to the Route 6 Streetscape Project described at right.

Plymouth: Plymouth Business Park/Phase IV

This project is for the final phase of the Plymouth Business Park.  The parcel has the highest elevation within the industrial area.  Its visibility calls for a high-end business/office park use. Project development would include road linkage with Phase III, utilities, engineering, permits and inspection services. This project would be a public/private partnership with the use of local, state, and national funds, in addition to private investment by a developer. 

This project would bring more business into the region.  A high end business/office park would support other businesses in the region and provide jobs for the residents of neighboring towns. This would help to make the region more economically viable and competitive.

Plymouth: Route 6 Streetscape

The streetscape area extends from Benedict Street (Near the Waterwheel), easterly to Allen Street. This project will serve to beautify the heavily traveled Main Street area. A new streetscape will create a more pedestrian-friendly environment that will help develop a sense of place for the main downtown area. Improvements will include new 5 foot wide sidewalks with 3 ft wide brick ribbons, granite curbing, pedestrian crossings, street trees, and pedestrian lighting and signage. 

Grant funding has enabled the Town to reach several milestones with this project to date. Existing Conditions mapping was produced, which identifies project needs. A concept design plan has been created for the entire 3100 linear feet of project area. The Town had several public informational meetings to encourage involvement from the residents and business owners of the project area and the community at large, including a Mayor’s Breakfast and Site Walk for the business owners and residents included in Phase 1 of the project area. A Development Design Plan and construction documents for Phase 1 of the project area have already been created.

Farmstead Flood Mitigation Improvement Project

This project will involve excavating a portion of 25 acres of town owned land to provide for flood storage, north of the Southington Downtown Business District, to lessen the impact of flooding to the business area and allow for redevelopment.  Additionally, it will add significant landscape improvements to enhance forage for wildlife and passive recreation.

This project will assist with the mitigation of potential disastrous flooding events that limit central business district development, cause significant business interruption and damage. Existing flooding conditions cause roadblocks which limit emergency vehicular traffic, which may cause timely delays during fire and police emergencies. This project will aid in the redevelopment and density of the downtown business district while preserving green space (25 acres), valuable sensitive wetland areas and simultaneously providing passive recreation for the periphery. 

Region-wide: Transit Signal Prioritization

When new bus route configurations are put into place, traffic signals should be modified to provide priority for buses. As buses near strategic corridors (such as the new Route 72 extension), a signal would be sent to traffic lights so that the bus receives a coordinated series of green lights. The project would involve the installation of receiver stations along corridors and transmittal devices on buses.

Region-wide: High Speed Internet

State-of-the-art, internationally competitive Internet access is an essential ingredient for the emergence and growth of a high-tech sector. This project would identify priority areas to extend next-generation (high-speed, low-latency, and high-reliability) network connections. Locations would be chosen to support emerging high tech clusters, such as bioscience, broadcasting, medical technology, and information technology. Existing users of such services may include ESPN, the region’s hospitals (for both data transmission and robotic surgery), and bioscience startups.

Region-wide: Farmington Canal Heritage Corridor

This project will develop an action plan to transform the Farmington Canal Trail into a heritage corridor. The trail, which runs from New Haven to Northampton, Massachusetts, has a storied past and passes by numerous historic and cultural assets but fails to emphasize or fully utilize these assets. As a result, the trail’s potential to revitalize our towns to blossom into a linear historic community has not been realized.

All towns and cities along the route will be stakeholders in the project. In addition to the Towns of Plainville and Southington, the City of New Haven and the Towns of Hamden, Cheshire, Farmington, Avon, Canton, Simsbury, East Granby, Granby, and Suffield will be invited to take part as stakeholders. Local historic districts in these municipalities as well as the Farmington Canal Rail-to-Trail Association, the Plainville Greenway Alliance, the Farmington Valley Trails Council, the State Historic Preservation Office, the State Archeologist, and the Department of Transportation Archeologist will also be invited.

Region-wide: Pequabuck flood mitigation plan

Bristol proposes to partner with the Town of Plainville and the Town of Plymouth on a plan concerning persistent flooding from the Pequabuck River and said flooding's effect on local businesses. Specifically, the communities propose to seek an federal and/or State of Connecticut grant funding to help fund a comprehensive study of Pequabuck River flooding within the three communities. This study is the first step in developing construction projects that will effectively mitigate flooding and improve economic conditions near the river.  Flooding from the Pequabuck River devastated local businesses in the three communities during Tropical Storm Irene. In addition, costly flooding has occurred during less severe rainstorms in the past. Bristol, Plainville, and Plymouth are committed to working together to address costly and dangerous flooding originating at the Pequabuck River.

Disaster Resiliency Planning

Following Hurricane Irene, much of the Region’s transportation infrastructure was disabled or severely damaged. To help the Region recover, and mitigate future impacts from storms, CCRPA applied for an EDA grant to create a disaster resiliency/recovery plan. This plan will help the Region better prepare for, and recover from, severe weather events.