$7 million investment
Goldring could help New Milford take next step in downtown revitalization
Published 4:22 pm, Wednesday, December 5, 2012
New Milford's downtown has received a healthy shot in the arm with the recent acquisition of prime Main Street business property by Sherman entrepreneur Gary Goldring.
Goldring, whose highest-profile downtown property is the Bank Street Theater, has been purchasing sizeable chunks of space on Main and Bank streets and is now the dominant stakeholder in the village center.
His most recent acquisition is the 27 Main St. building, the former longtime home of Barton's Department Store and now the site of seven retail tenant spaces, including Main Moon and La Piccolina restaurants.
Earlier this year, Goldring purchased 2 Bank St. (the former pharmacy at the corner of Main and Bank) and property around the corner on Bank Street. He had earlier bought 20 Bank St. (Spruce Home & Garden) and the business locations from 51 Bank St. (Lucia's Ristorante) to 59 Bank restaurant.
All told, according to the assessor's office, Goldring has invested more than $7 million in acquiring 61,221 square feet of business space on Main and Bank streets.
There could be drawbacks to having one landlord control so much property right in the heart of the downtown business section.
But such does not to appear to be the case with Goldring.
He has restored or is currently renovating most of his downtown properties, and he has shown a passion for improving the village center business district. It would appear that his arrival on the New Milford scene will prove fortuitous for the town.
Goldring's efforts dovetail nicely with New Milford's ongoing downtown revitalization, which has been a work in progress for nearly two decades.
New Milford's village center is truly a special place, with its beautiful Village Green, magnificent buildings on the east side of the Green, some wonderful architecture on Main, Bank and Railroad streets, its restored railroad station and its proximity to the Housatonic River.
The town has done a good job of polishing its jewel of a downtown -- burying utility wires, installing new sidewalks and curbs, repaving the streets, putting out park benches and getting significant building improvements done by property owners and merchants.
New Milford takes good advantage of its Green by hosting numerous events year-round, although it could always do more in the way of downtown activities and certainly could take more advantage of Bank Street as a calling-card pedestrian business district, even if on a limited basis.
What the town has not yet been able to accomplish is to attract the proper mix of shops and restaurants to make downtown New Milford a truly must-visit destination for residents and non-residents alike and a place whose brand is easily marketable.
Goldring is in a great position to assist in that regard, and we are hoping that he, Mayor Pat Murphy, other town officials and organizations, and the business community will work hand-in-glove to help New Milford realize its tremendous potential.