NORWICH, Conn. (WTNH)-- Downtown Norwich could get a real shot in the arm economically if an historic building could be re-developed.
The new incentive may make a difference because it comes in the form of more than a million dollars in money from the city.
It's a very important part of the streetscape.
The Reid & Hughes Building is actually two Main Street buildings which have been vacant for more than 25 years and has become somewhat of an eyesore, but the Norwich Community Development Corporation sees potential.
"We think it's a great opportunity for mixed use. We're retail or office space on the first floor, we prefer retail and housing above. The back the back floors have water views over the Shetucket River which is a state Greenway," said Jason Vincent, NCDC.
NCDC needs an interested developer and is now turning to social media like Facebook and twitter to find one.
The storefront and the entire building has not been used since the Reid & Hughes department store closed in the 80's. Since then there have been other efforts to develop this building so what makes this time different?
"I think we've tried to increase the marketing strategy due to the outreach aspect and the other part is the city commitment," said Vincent.
That city commitment comes in the form of $1.4 million dollars to help with the expected $6 million renovation it needs. The "Preferred Developer" will be picked through a point system - the more the developer shares the city's vision for use and maintaining historic integrity... the more points.
"It's an open invitation to anybody but we will be targeting very specific developers that we know in the marketplace that can take on a project this size," said Robert Mills, NCDC.
These RFP's are due by January 10th at 4:00. For more information, go to http://www.askncdc.com/.
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