City officials are working to revitalize downtown New Britain with a new $58 million redevelopment project complete with restaurants, apartments and stores.
Plans are in the works to create what will be known as Columbus Commons. The project would be completed along the 2-acre site at 125 Columbus Blvd. It used to be the home of the New Britain Police Department and across the street from CTFastrak.
The architectural site plan shows that the development components would include office space, retail stores restaurants, 168 apartments, a possible daycare center and green space.
The two L-shaped buildings frame an inner courtyard. The hope of the project is to make downtown more walkable and inviting to more people.
"I really do believe that this is going to be the catalyst project that takes off the redevelopment of downtown New Britain,” Mayor Erin Stewart said.
The new concept is resonating well with people who live in New Britain.
"I'm always welcome to ideas that bring in business because if you don't have any business there's no reason for people to stay in the town that they live in,” Michael Samuels, of New Britain, said.
"I think New Britain needs to bring in more things so that people downtown will have places to go,” Linda Obright, of New Britain, said.
This project would be the largest private development New Britain has seen in decades and Stewart said she thinks it will revitalize the city for decades to come.
"We want people to live, work and play in downtown Britain,” Stewart said.
The common council will vote on the project on Wednesday.
If it gains approval, a sale price will need to be negotiated. The land is currently appraised at about $200,000.
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