Waterbury Mayor Plans to Revitalize Downtown District

By Ilana Gold
|  Friday, Feb 7, 2014  |  Updated 8:10 PM EDT
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The Mayor says fixing up downtown Waterbury is one of his top priorities this year  his goal is to fill the vacant buildings and bring in apartments and stores to make this place a destination for thousands

The Mayor says fixing up downtown Waterbury is one of his top priorities this year his goal is to fill the vacant buildings and bring in apartments and stores to make this place a destination for thousands

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Downtown Waterbury could get a complete overhaul.

The city been struggling economically for years now, and the mayor is coming up with a plan to make it thrive.

It's a top priority in 2014, and for good reason. Walking through downtown Waterbury, it's to miss all the vacancies.

“There’s no reason to come downtown,” said Waterbury resident Lou Rodriguez. “Downtown isn’t what it used to be."

Mayor Neil O’Leary is working with an urban planning company to revitalize the downtown area.

He admitted he’s hit some roadblocks along the way, and wouldn’t get into specifics as to what the plan will include.

O'Leary, did say, however that he hopes to put apartments in the top level of empty buildings and entice new businesses to move in downstairs.

"It’s very important," said Dorothy Sperry, who owns Dottie's 2 Diner on Grand Street. "The businesses down here could use more help."

Sperry said the downtown area should be a destination for visitors.

“There’s some shopping, but not enough to keep people busy,” she explained, adding that her diner could use some additional business.

Sperry said she'd like to see “little cute places with little boutiques and eateries, something of interest that would bring people down.”

The mayor said change could be coming in a matter of months. 

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