In the spring of 1993, the Planning and Zoning Commission formed a Downtown Planning Subcommittee. This committee was charged with the responsibility of evaluating current plans and then formulating a comprehensive plan for the downtown.
The committee immediately recognized that most revitalization efforts in Middletown have been piecemeal and uncoordinated. While in the short term this approach did show some results, there has never been a truly comprehensive plan for the future of downtown Middletown.
For the purposes of this plan the downtown is generally bounded on the east by the Connecticut River, on the west by Pearl and Broad Streets, on the south by the South Congregational Church and on the north by St. Johns Church. The plan also recognizes the existence of major employers, important residential areas, and Wesleyan University on the outskirts of the downtown. This plan provides a strategy to keep the area a vital mixed-use district. The plan builds upon the strengths that exist in the downtown.
The plan will:
- Help maintain a very important segment of the City’s tax base
- Allow the downtown to provide needed goods and services for residents
- Maintain an attractive business and investment climate which will encourage investment in retail and commercial areas without infringing on the surrounding and very important residential neighborhoods
- Provide a direct physical and visual connection to the river
The goal of the plan is quite simple: to attract more people and investment to the downtown.
The plan is an attempt to articulate and prioritize the issues and opportunities facing Middletown’s downtown. Recognizing a need for general policy, site specific recommendations, and a very clear implementation strategy, the plan is divided into three phases.
The first phase is the overall conceptual plan. This phase articulates the general policy and direction of the downtown.
The second phase outlines recommendations for each of the seven sub-districts in the downtown.
The third and final phase is the implementation strategy. This third phase identifies the key players, funding sources and a step-by-step strategy to begin the gradual progression towards achieving the plans goal and vision.
Finally, it is recognized that circumstances change and therefore this plan is not set in stone. Constant evaluation will be necessary, amendments may be required but the overall framework for the revitalization of the downtown is now in place.