The Bristol Downtown Development Corporation, a committee of the City of Bristol held its November meeting on Monday.
It was the last meeting of Chairperson, Frank Johnson who wants to remain a member of the board.
Jennifer Arasimowicz will take the helm in this powerful front line committee in Bristol’s downtown future.
Thomas Cosgrove Jr. is also stepping down as vice chair. John Lodovico will replace that position.
Arasimowicz said “I have large shoes to fill, if Bristol had a handful of people like Johnson, Bristol would be a Utopian community with people like Frank.”
The Bristol Downtown Development Corporation is the first line for anything related to the redevelopment of the former mall site. Once anything is approved by the committee, it has to go through standard bureaucracy procedures.
Ryan Porter, VP with Renaissance Downtowns said “We are excited to take the next step.”
Porter mostly spoke of the achievements of its marketing and public relations spin-off called Bristol Rising. Porter and the commission both agreed the efforts of Renaissance Downtowns promoting downtown Bristol, not including the former site was very successful.
Porter mentioned the Bristol Press building, the former Chic Miller building, the West End and new businesses to the Cities center.
Porter also spoke about a community garden for the next planting season.
After Porter’s update on their successes with existing current business efforts unrelated to the former mall site Porter said. ” Financing with City parties are down to a couple options, I would say thirty to sixty days you can review the plan, we are getting there, it has not been an easy one for me. You folks will know every step of the way.”
New Council member Councilor, Henri Martin asked if there was a “Plan B” if Renaissance Downtowns could not meet the deadline.
A committee member said “It’s not moving fast enough for me. Hopefully the financing package will come together.”
The committee said if Renaissance Downtowns could not meet the deadline, they would consider a new option for the former mall site.