Construction of a new building on the former mall site at the corner of Main Street and Riverside Ave.

Downtowns are more than just a place; they are the symbolic public face of a city.

When a downtown struggles, the entire city’s status, and reputation often takes the hit.

While many big cities are experiencing downtown development booms, the downtowns of many small and midsized cities continue to struggle to meet the challenges.

However, after more than a decade of false promises from previous administrations and developers not worth mentioning, it appears Bristol has finally won the challenge.

Currently, underway is a 60,000 square foot two-story building that will house an Ambulatory Care Center on the corner of Riverside Avenue and Main Street.

The building is expected to employ dozens of medical professionals while servicing thousands of patients downtown.

After so many years of failed crowdsourcing attempts and Bristol Rising propaganda, it appears Bristol finally has the first piece of the puzzle in place.

The fancy slideshows and pop-up piazzas are gone.

We now have a new foundation to start with.

Dividing the former mall site into smaller lots and with the construction of the new road may prove to be the catalyst for revitalization.

Nearing completion, the new road will be about 1,000 feet long and contain many streetscape components including trees, brick pavers, a center median made of “stamped asphalt,” decorative lights, landscaping, granite curbing, and a new bus stop location already in place.

Downtown means so much for Bristol.

No matter how you interpret it, downtown symbolizes so much of who we were and are as a community.

The revitalization of downtown Bristol has begun. Did you notice?

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