BRISTOL - Discussion of incentive programs to draw business to the cityâ€™s downtown started in the Bristol Development Authority Downtown Committee meeting last Thursday and carried over into Mondayâ€™s BDA regular meeting.
â€śThe BDA is trying to establish various incentive programs that get involved in downtown development,â€ť said Justin Malley, executive director at the BDA. â€śThe BDA also wants to look at areas around Centre Square for development.â€ť
There has been talk of tax abatement programs to attract development to the downtown area, â€śbut it is still in the discussion phase,â€ť said Malley.
â€śI submitted some ideas to the Downtown Committee of what tax incentive programs would look like. Itâ€™s a starting point to give them ideas,â€ť he added.
Updates of the two brownfield projects that are currently being worked through were also brought up during the meeting.
A brownfield site is the expansion, redevelopment, or reuse of property that with the presence or potential presence of hazardous substances, pollutants, contaminants, controlled substances, petroleum products, or is mine-scarred land.
The two sites are currently located at 894 Middle St., across from ESPN, and the abandoned Sessions Factory on Riverside Avenue.
â€śThe city received state grants to clean up the properties and they are being assessed for levels of contamination,â€ť Malley said. â€śThe projects are being worked through.â€ť
The idea to continue the Downtown-West End Facade Improvement Program was also discussed at the meeting.
Recently, the final project of the program finished and closed out the program. The project involved improvements to the exterior of the old Bristol Press building at 99 Main St.
â€śWe are discussing the idea to see if there is any appetite for the BDA to request city funds to continue the program,â€ť Malley said. â€śItâ€™s just to get some thoughts. We thought the program was successful and it falls in line with downtown incentives.â€ť
Lorenzo Burgio can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.