Downtown Revitalization

Brightwood Development Corporation, Springfield, MA

needed gap financing to package for its innovative Plaza del Mercado commercial complex. Community Investments obtained and packaged financing to complete this 20,000 sf project.

The City of Lynn, MA

has suffered severe loss of downtown retailers. To nurture retail uses, Community Investments assists with the development of a retail incubator, including market surveys, space layout, lease negotiation, and a financial plan.

The City of Lynn, MA

, wished to nurture downtown business growth. Community Investments identified needs, and planned activities and the budget for a Business Assistance Center to provide technical assistance, training, and ombudsman services.

The City of Newburyport, MA

, the home of a charming, historically redeveloped downtown, sought to recast a problem - inadequate parking - into a solution - a waterfront development parcel. Community Investment, in concert with C&C Consulting Engineers, assisted the city to analyze potential income from new on-street metering and a new parking garage, and to generate financial and development plans for an on-street and garage system that would make an under-utilized waterfront parcel available for development.

Commonwealth of Massachusetts

- Ms. Britt managed the State Main Street Program, providing assistance with projects and organizational development. The program funded Main Street communities and offered a variety of technical assistance programs, including "Tools for Downtown Development" and "Organizing for Economic Development."

Financier, inner city commercial projects

- Mr. Schaaf supervised the lead lender's financing of 6 projects assisted to achieve commercial revitalization, including JP Plaza (21,000 sf retail), Mid-Town Plaza (24,000 sf retail), Lithgow Block (18,000 sf retail/ office), Dimock Youth Center (28,000 social service), and Beaver Block (13,000 sf office/residential); and secondary lenders financing of 2 additional projects, including the Bon Marche Building in Lowell (100,000 sf of retail/office)

The Ipswich Downtown Partnership

could use the river to make the downtown more attractive. Ms. Britt wrote a proposal for funding a feasibility study for a riverwalk, and has chaired the committee to build a pedestrian bridge, and develop a riverwalk.

Lynn Arts Center

, the Lynn Community Minority Cultural Center, and the Lynn Historical Society needed gap financing to relocate and expand operations. Community Investments packaged real estate financing, seeding Lynn's Arts and Cultural District.

Priority Development Fund and Smart Growth Technical Assistance

grant funds were secured for the towns of Maynard and Rockport respectively to change downtown area zoning to allow mixed business and residential uses in buildings to enhance the economic viability of downtown real estate and to provide an ongoing customer base for downtown businesses.

The Rockport Planning Board

was seeking help with development of a performing arts center. Ms. Britt worked with the board on the site plan review of the $20 million development of the Shalin Liu Performance Center located in densely-settled downtown Rockport. Shared parking was allowed for new construction for the first time. The Center opened in June 2010.

The Strafford Regional Planning Commission and the New Hampshire Highway Department

were concerned about the viability of several downtowns due to their one-way street patterns. Ms. Britt provided an evaluation of the economies and building uses in each of three downtowns to determine how they may be impacted by the one-way street pattern and to suggest options for improving economic function of the downtown based on the recommended street patterns.

The Town of Essex

was completing the preparation of a plan entitled The Village Initiative that addressed community development targets in the downtown area. Ms. Britt assisted them in developing implementation targets, identifying potential sources of funding, and preparing the groundwork for securing funding for some of the projects.

The Town of Maynard

wanted major improvements in Maynard Center to take advantage of growth in Town. Ms. Britt secured approximately $2.0 million in funding for roads, sidewalks, and amenities; created an Advisory Committee which has been certified by DHCD; oversaw evaluation of buildings, infrastructure, zoning, design guidelines, and historic properties; and presented a slide show of downtown signs and sign by-laws.

The Town of Maynard

, despite significant public and private investment, has had a sluggish real estate market in the town center. Ms. Britt prepared a market study of Maynard Center to provide basic market information for potential small business tenants.

The Town of Wellesley

needed detail development documents, including a fundraising plan and organizational documents for a Wellesley Square Partnership. Ms. Britt led a team that worked with the Town, businesses, and residents, to develop these tools.