'Pressure on brick and mortar:' Selectmen back first-floor retail, if landlords join in

The selectmen voted to kick in $6,000 of taxpayers’ money — if it is matched with $6,000 from village landlords — to support the “first-floor retail” incentive program put together by the Economic and Community Development Commission (ECDC). “I think it’s more palatable if everybody puts a little skin in the game,” Selectwoman Maureen Kozlark said. The economic commission had … read more

First-floor retail: ‘Service businesses’ could have upside on Main Street

Will “e-tailing” erode commerce at brick-and-mortar stores in ways that change the face of Ridgefield’s Main Street? Is it shortsighted to view “service businesses,” like salons and studios, as problematic because they aren’t traditional retailers? The value of “first-floor retail” tenants to Main Street has long been a widely accepted article of faith among town officials. Many seek ways to … read more

Selectmen to look at first-floor retail ‘incentive fund’ Wednesday

A proposal to create a “first floor retail incentive fund” for the village district is expected to be made by the Economic and Community Development Commission at next week’s Board of Selectmen meeting. “The proposal will request funding through tax abatements,” said John Devine of the Economic and Community Development Commission, or ECDC. The tax abatement incentives are designed to … read more

Tax breaks for first-floor retail? Finance board debates, differs

Tax breaks for landlords — is that the way to encourage first-floor retail shops in the village? The Board of Finance has mixed feelings. “I’m in favor of tax abatements,” said board member Marty Heiser. “We want to be a business-friendly town.” “I don’t like my tax dollars subsiding landlords,” Finance Board Chairman Dave Ulmer said. “I don’t like subsidizing … read more

First-floor retail: Selectmen review incentive package for Main Street retailers

An incentive package to encourage retailers to set up shop on Main Street storefronts — including tax abatements, fee waivers, and discounts to other town businesses — is in the works. The Economic Development Commission (ECDC) presented its plan to the Board of Selectmen at its June 12 meeting. “What we’ve basically developed is a strategy that’s more the carrot … read more

First-floor retail: Incentives, not regulations

A thriving village with shoppers, families milling around, and convenient parking — the dream for a small retailer looking to set up shop. But is that what Ridgefield is currently offering? According to downtown landlords, not exactly. “By putting in a regulation forcing people [landlords] to try to find people [retail renters], I think it’s counterproductive,” said Wayne Biddle, owner … read more

First-floor retail rule: Finding the carrot, not the stick

Many Ridgefield residents would rather go to Westport or New Canaan to spend an afternoon shopping and dining, and that, said landlords, is why retail space in the downtown is not in high demand. That was one of the main takeaways from Tuesday night’s Planning and Zoning Commission meeting, where 50 people — selectmen, landlords, residents, and retailers — spoke … read more

First-floor retail rule: Commission wants to hear town’s reaction Tuesday

A “first-floor retail” rule — the idea that the town should limit property owners’ ability to rent ground-floor commercial space for offices or other uses that aren’t attractive to shoppers — is again being considered by the Planning and Zoning Commission. An informal public hearing — Commission Chairwoman Rebecca Mucchetti described it as an “open mic night” — on the … read more

Zoning commission to host first-floor retail discussion Feb. 21

There’s been some discussion of a “first-floor retail” in town. There are some empty storefronts on Main Street. It might be harder to find tenants in the short run, but the theory is that allowing only stores on the ground floor would serve the long-term health of the shopping district. —Macklin Reid photo

The Planning and Zoning Commission will be holding a discussion of first-floor retail uses in the central business district Tuesday, February 21, 2017 at 7:30 p.m. The CBD Zone generally encompasses the following streets: East side of Main Street between Governor Street and Prospect Street. West side of Main Street from north of St. Stephen’s Church up to (but not including) … read more

Pin It on Pinterest