The Mansfield Downtown Partnership is pleased to announce that the CT Main Street Center today named the Mansfield Downtown Partnership, along with the Town of Mansfield, UConn, LeylandAlliance, and the citizens of Mansfield, as the winner of the 2015 Award of Excellence in Planning.
The Partnership has received the award in recognition of its efforts to create Storrs Center. In 2001, the Town of Mansfield and UConn formed the Mansfield Downtown Partnership to oversee the revitalization of Storrs Center. The Partnership embarked on what would become a decade long process of gathering community input; building public support; acquiring requisite approvals; developing a master plan and then a municipal development plan; and creating new zoning for a downtown to match the community’s vision of a welcoming place to live, to work, and to gather.
Just three short years after celebrating the ground-breaking of Phase 1A of Storrs Center, the Partnership hosted its annual Celebrate Mansfield Festival on the Town Square for the first time. Thousands of residents and friends gathered to celebrate the community with music, food, and fun activities for all ages. After so many years of planning and discussing what could be, Mansfield residents were able to enjoy their downtown as a community.
While there are still two phases in the construction and planning stages, Storrs Center has reached some remarkable milestones already:
The Oaks on the Square (rental apartment homes) has enjoyed 100% leasing rates since the first buildings opened in 2012.
The commercial spaces in the Town Square neighborhood (Phases 1A, 1B, and 1C) are 100% leased with thirty-two businesses serving the greater Mansfield community.
Four of the five commercial properties in Phase 4 are leased, with the final space in negotiations. Phase 4 is the Market Area, home to Price Chopper.
The businesses in Storrs Center have created over 200 new full and part-time jobs.
For Fiscal Year 2015/2016, property taxes from Storrs Center are estimated to total $2,351,470. After a temporary tax abatement and the Town's costs for Storrs Center related operations, the Town is expected to have a net gain of $1,103,370 in tax revenue.
As Governor Dannel P. Malloy commented upon the announcement of this year’s Awards of Excellence recipients, “Our downtowns and town centers represent what’s unique about Connecticut – combining historic charm and stalwart character with the modern amenities that will help us thrive into the future. I applaud the award winners for how they’re embracing that challenge – involving the community in the success of their downtowns through patronage of local businesses, acting as community leaders and building places for us to live, work and raise our families. The people behind these winning initiatives know that when we strive together, we thrive together – not just today, but for years to come.”
“This award is truly a recognition of the years of effort put forth by not only the Partnership Board and Committees, but also the residents of Mansfield who have attended hundreds of public meetings, provided input, guided the design, and are now supporting the businesses and living downtown.” said Cynthia van Zelm, Executive Director of the Mansfield Downtown Partnership. “As Governor Malloy noted, this project has been built not just for today, but for future generations of Mansfield residents to live and work, learn and play as one community.”