Thread City Development awarded $12,500 grant!
Thread City Development, Inc. the downtown Willimantic revitalization and economic development nonprofit, has been awarded a $12,500 Preservation of Place Grant through Connecticut Main Street Center for the development of a downtown themed website.
The comprehensive digital gateway to the downtown will act as definitive source to connect and promote the business and cultural assets within the downtown district. This site will include tourism information for downtown visitors as well as resources to potential and existing businesses and downtown investors.
The website will serve as a visible indicator of community pride and be a 21st century way to promote and attract development to downtown. For the visitor, the site will include downtown events and information, a shopping and dining directory, museum and historic site information, parking information and interactive maps. Businesses and developers will have access to real estate availabilities, downtown studies and reports and a directory of contact and funding resources for setting up or expanding a downtown business.
“Putting downtown online is essential in attracting area students and residents to their downtown,” said Andrew Gutt, President of Thread City Development and owner of Cafémantic. “Continued downtown revitalization efforts will depend upon the downtown’s improved public image and connecting our businesses and cultural resources to customers, and to one another.”
The need for a website devoted to downtown was first suggested in 2006 when Thread City Development in partnership with the WindhamARTS Collaborative hosted several “Let’s Make It Happen” community forums to address the rebirth of Main Street. Although there has been much progress in creating clean, safe and friendly downtown since the forums, the goal to put downtown online was never realized. The project is expected to be completed in the fall of 2012.
Thread City Development, Inc.
Thread City Development is a partnership of business, government, education representatives, property owners and community driven volunteers. Collectively, they have committed to revitalizing and managing Willimantic’s downtown utilizing the Main Street Approach established by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. It is the primary goal of Thread City Development for downtown Willimantic be a nationally designated Main Street community.
Preservation of Place grant program
The Preservation of Place grant program provides Connecticut communities with targeted resources to increase their capacity to plan for preservation and revitalization initiatives in their downtowns and neighborhood commercial districts. The program provides a source of funding for new initiatives that can be integrated into, and leverage more, comprehensive Main Street preservation and revitalization programs.
2012 Preservation of Place grant recipients include Main Street Waterbury, the Town of Suffield, the City of Torrington, Thread City Development Corporation, the City of West Haven, and the Northwestern Connecticut Regional Planning Collaborative – on behalf of the towns of Cornwall, Kent, Norfolk, Sharon, Salisbury, Falls Village and Goshen.
Connecticut Main Street Center
The mission of CT Main Street Center is to help build economically vibrant, traditional main streets as a foundation for healthy communities by providing training to its network of public and private partners and by advocating for positive change. CT Main Street Center is dedicated to community and economic development within the context of historic preservation, and is committed to bringing Connecticut’s commercial districts back to life socially and economically.
CMSC is supported by its Founding Sponsors, the State of Connecticut Department of Economic & Community Development and The Connecticut Light and Power Company and by its Growth Sponsors, The United Illuminating Company and the State Historic Preservation Office.