In 2014, Waterbury received a historic TIGER Grant. With plans already underway to improve the Waterbury rail branch, this $14.4 million federal grant will enhance mass transit in our City while highlighting the beauty and viability of our Downtown. A City contribution brings the total to $19 million.
The TIGER Grant and the rollout of Waterbury NEXT will transform our City. Waterbury NEXT represents a separate, almost $20 Million public-private investment in our Downtown. It includes renovations to historic buildings to create many new Downtown apartments that will attract young professionals. We are already moving forward with the Brown Building and Rose Hill in Downtown and this year will see the next steps in redeveloping the historic Howland Hughes building. Up to $5 million in state housing funds were designated for the Brown Building. Additionally, several out-of-town investors have recently visited Waterbury and expressed a real interest in our Downtown.
Summer of 2015 will see Waterbury begin implementation of its Green and Downtown Streetscape Projects. This will enhance the use of existing sidewalks along the streets that radiate from the Green by making them more walkable and widening them to allow sidewalk dining outside restaurants. The plan also calls for the installation of free WiFi to draw people to the Green.
Another Downtown improvement is the scheduled demolition of the decrepit Prospect Street parking garage this summer. The Rectory Building restoration will be done this fall in preparation for UCONN students using that space.
We are truly restoring the legacy of our Downtown.