Connecticut Main Street Center Announces 2018 Award of Excellence Winners

Hartford, CT – A hybrid business incubator that provides unique opportunities for collaboration between schools and business to increase college and career readiness while expanding downtown Wallingford business, and a CT Trust for Historic Preservation website that is a point of entry for those seeking to spur redevelopment of Connecticut's historic mill buildings are just two of this year's Awards of Excellence winners being recognized by the Connecticut Main Street Center (CMSC). 
In total, seven initiatives have been selected to receive the prestigious awards, including organizations and initiatives from Danbury, Hartford, New London, Wallingford, and Windsor, as well as the CT Trust for Historic Preservation and the State of Connecticut. The other winning entries include:
  • Collective efforts in bringing more people to Hartford through creative placemaking; 
  • A block-by-block initiative to create a positive perception of downtown New London by working with store owners to install LED lights inside storefront windows; 
  • A young professionals' initiative to highlight the diverse culture in downtown Danbury through weekly food truck events; 
  • A multi-year deliberate and incremental effort to redevelop Windsor Center with residential and office use around transit; 
  • And the State of Connecticut's coordinated approach to improve the economy and quality of life through investments in development around transit.
CT Main Street Founder's Award
In addition to its Awards of Excellence, CMSC also named the recipient of its 2018 Founder's Award, presented by Eversource. R. David Genovese, CEO of Baywater Properties, was selected to receive the Founder's Award for his over 10 years of working closely with the community to redevelop key sites in downtown Darien. Genovese is leading a multi-disciplinary team of architects, civil engineers, landscape architects, retail consultants and legal advisors in creating Your Downtown Darien, otherwise known as the Corbin Development - a comprehensive downtown mixed-use development initiative comprised of retail, offices, and luxury residences.
"CT Main Street Center and Eversource recognize the challenges of creating new-urbanist development: pedestrian-friendly, with a collection of attractive buildings set around beautifully-designed and well-maintained public spaces in the heart of downtown - with the right mix of curated retail, restaurants and other businesses, and the addition of residential housing and office use," said Patrick McMahon, CEO of CT Main Street Center. "David Genovese and his team have committed themselves to this transformational project in Darien, remaining thoughtful, creative, flexible, innovative, and respectful of the community."
Jack Shannahan Award for Public Service
CT Main Street Center also selected Andrea Pereira, Executive Director of Local Initiatives Support Corporation-Hartford (LISC) to receive the 2018 Jack Shannahan Award for Public Service. Established in honor of Jack Shannahan, the former director of the Connecticut Historical Commission and State Historic Preservation Officer, the Shannahan Award recognizes public or private sector individuals and organizations that exemplify a high standard of leadership with a deep commitment to the success of Connecticut's Main Streets. 
Ms. Pereira is an accomplished community development professional who has led LISC for over 20 years, having previously served as the Director of Urban Revitalization & Investment at the State of CT Department of Economic & Community Development. As a national community development organization, LISC equips communities with the capital, strategy and know-how to become places where people can thrive. With residents and partners, LISC forges resilient and inclusive communities of opportunity across America - great places to live, work, visit, do business and raise families.
Guided by Ms. Pereira, LISC Connecticut provides financial and technical resources to over 60 local housing and community development organizations each year. LISC also offers predevelopment, acquisition, bridge and/or construction financing for affordable housing and other community development projects. The Connecticut Transit-Oriented Development Fund, managed by LISC, is a $15 million loan fund for site acquisition and predevelopment to support transit oriented development along CTfastrak and commuter rail corridors.
"This year's winners represent a culture of inclusivity in ensuring that Main Street belongs to everyone," said CMSC Associate Director Kimberley Parsons-Whitaker. "From enlivening our public spaces with ethnic cuisine and multi-cultural entertainment, to redeveloping formerly abandoned mills and blighted areas around bus and train stations with residential and commercial options for people of all background and incomes, our 2018 award recipients are leading their communities and our state in improving the quality of life and our economy."
Created in 2003 to recognize outstanding projects, individuals and community efforts to bring traditional downtowns and neighborhood commercial districts back to life, socially and economically, the Awards of Excellence are presented annually. This year's awards will be presented at CMSC's VIBRANT MAIN STREETS event on June 4th in Downtown Danbury. 
Below is the full list of 2018 Awards of Excellence winners:
2018 Connecticut Main Street Awards of Excellence
  • Great Placemaking in Hartford (including Know Good Market, Riverfront Recapture, One World Market at CTfastrak Station in Parkville, Hartford BID Bicycle Roadside Assistance Program, Pratt Street Patio, and Winterfest) 
    • Recipients: Breakfast Lunch & Dinner, Riverfront Recapture, International Hartford, Hartford BID, and iQuilt Partnership. 
  • Light Up New London - Recipient: New London Main Street. Partners: Dominion Foundation, National Main Street Center.
  • Downtown Chow-Down, Danbury - Recipients: CityCenter Danbury, City of Danbury. Partners: Get Downtown Danbury, Greater Danbury Chapter of CT Young Professionals.
  • HUBCAP Wallingford - Recipients: Wallingford Center, Inc., Town of Wallingford Board of Education, Wallingford Economic Development Commission.
  • Setting the Stage for TOD in Windsor Center - Recipient: Town of Windsor. Partners: CIL Development, Lexington Partners, LLC.
  • Mills: Making Places of Connecticut - Recipient: CT Trust for Historic Preservation. Partner: Connecticut State Historic Preservation Office.
  • Coordinated Approach to Responsible Growth and Transit Oriented Development - Recipient: State of Connecticut.
Sponsors of the VIBRANT MAIN STREETS: 2018 CT Main Street Awards presentation include Fuss & O'Neill and Express Strategies.
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About Connecticut Main Street Center
CMSC's mission is to be the catalyst that ignites Connecticut's Main Streets as the cornerstone of thriving communities. CMSC is dedicated to community and economic development within the context of historic preservation, and is committed to bringing Connecticut's commercial districts back to life socially and economically.
CMSC is supported by its Founding Sponsors, the CT Department of Economic & Community Development (DECD) and Eversource Energy. CMSC is also supported by its Growth Sponsors, UIL Holdings Corp.  and the State Historic Preservation Office. More information is available at