Local leaders discuss the future of downtown Springfield

Hampden County

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Thursday, Springfield city leaders held a virtual meeting on the future of its downtown.

Springfield knows its downtown needs work, and they laid out a plan to bring in more businesses and make it more attractive for visitors. Springfield’s consultant Tim Brangle led the discussion on Zoom Thursday.

His presentation focused on the blocks around the Convention Center, where there have been foreclosures, empty storefronts, and underutilized properties. Brangle is envisioning a comprehensive downtown district, and this needs to be a priority for the city.

“Some of the key properties that were bars and restaurants before are languishing are sitting vacant today,” said Brangle. “This whole combined effect is creating a development market that is fairly depressed. Without assistance or proactive push from the city, the market won’t correct it.”

They also looked at MGM Springfield and how to better use that property to Springfield’s advantage. The Phase one initiative to improve downtown includes redeveloping Court Square, the Mass Mutual Convention complex, and the main street corridor.

Brangle also revealed how a new civic center parking garage will fit into the downtown’s future.

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