Mayor Adam Salina and House Majority Leader Joe Aresimowicz (D-Berlin) announced that Berlin will receive a $500,000 STEAP award for facade and landscape upgrades for town businesses, to improve street appearance, to stabilize and increase property values, and to help retain existing merchants and attract new businesses to the area. An estimated 50 jobs will be created or sustained.
“We thank Governor Malloy and the Berlin delegation, Rep. Aresimowicz, Rep. Abercrombie and Senator Gerratana, for their work to secure this important funding,” said Mayor Adam Salina. “Berlin is committed to economic growth and bringing jobs to town—this STEAP grant will greatly assist our efforts.”
“I wish to extend my thanks to Governor Malloy and the Berlin delegation who worked with me to secure this funding, which will help us promote economic growth and bring jobs to Berlin—my top priority," said Rep. Aresimowicz.
The façade and landscape grant program is included in the Town’s Capital Improvement Program and the Plan of Conservation and Development Implementation Plan. Its purpose is to assist in improving landscaping and facades of private properties in the Town’s main commercial area radiating from the Berlin Train Station including New Britain Road and parts of Farmington Avenue, Main Street and Mill Street. This program will be an important part of the Town’s comprehensive revitalization strategy for the commercial area centered on nodes at the Train Station and Legion Square/Veterans Park. Upgrade of existing building facades and landscaping will complement improvements to this area being made through private development projects and public investments (including the new Police Station and renovation of the Train Station).
In keeping with the intent to complement the redevelopment of the Berlin Train Station area in anticipation of start of the New Haven, Hartford, Springfield commuter rail service in 2016, half of the funds are planned to be used for projects located within ½ mile of the Berlin Train Station. Program Policies and Procedures will be adopted by the Economic Development Commission and the Town Council and applications for assistance will be submitted to the Economic Development Commission. The plan is to provide matching grants of up to $50,000 for projects that improve a building façade or site landscaping areas of the building or property that are visible from the street. Projects will be required to follow the Town’s commercial area design guidelines.
"By assisting in improving the appearance of properties along the Town’s local commercial shopping district it will create a more pleasant environment for shoppers and an environment that will help to retain and attract new businesses. Farmington Avenue, Main Street, New Britain Road and nearby streets are collectively make up the primary local shopping area. As such they are the face of the community and therefore it is critical that buildings in these areas be improved,” said Mayor Salina.