Waterville Stakeholder Meetings Conclude: Greene Updates College

In March, Colby joined with the Town of Waterville to re-energize and revitalize the downtown economy and the College’s relationship with the greater Waterville community. Involved in this collaboration was the College’s purchase of three storefronts on Main Street. President of the College David A. Greene hopes that this new presence downtown can help create local job opportunities and attract new businesses to Waterville.

On Tuesday, September 29, 2015, Greene wrote an email to the Colby community with an update on the development and allocation of these spaces and reiterated their importance to the Town of Waterville and the College’s relationship with its greater community.

He writes, “Last week the stakeholder group concluded its meetings. There was a broad consensus from this group about a set of strategies to increase residential, commercial, and arts activity on Main Street. We have been considering how the College’s own investments downtown can have an immediate impact that will encourage additional economic growth and create job opportunities in the area.” The stakeholder discussions concluded on September 22, 2015 after six months of meetings.

Though Greene writes that no definite decisions have been made as to the uses of the three Main Street properties, considerations include “the visibility of student and faculty housing on Main Street to increase residential density and the development of a boutique character hotel to create new demand to support shops, retailers, and restaurants.”

Conclusions from the stakeholder discussions include Main Street beautifications such as increasing sidewalk width, adding greenery, and improving building aesthetics to promote a more enjoyable pedestrian experience and to increase time and money spent by students and Waterville residents in downtown.

Meetings with the stakeholders, the Colby community, and the larger Waterville community will continue throughout the development process, and Greene will speak at the Waterville City Council meeting next week. For more information on the development of the downtown properties and the Waterville partnership visit http://www.colby.edu/downtown/.