The overall goal is to create a stronger sense of place, and strengthen downtown Manchester’s position as a prime location for business, as an urban residential area, and increasingly as a destination for the creative and tourism economy in New England. To that end, the report identified four overarching priorities:
Develop & implement a multi-year branding and marketing initiative, to strengthen the identity of downtown (and the city as a whole) throughout the region and within the city
Increase residential density downtown, including a range of market-rate housing options from affordable to luxury units (an increased retail presence will follow an increase in residential population downtown)
Before the new guiding plan for downtown is released, some of the things envisioned at February’s Next Steps Summit are coming to fruition. The summit, attended by over 100 people, sought community input as Intown Manchester prepares to draft a plan to guide the growth of downtown in the coming years. Housing was touted as a catalyst for future growth downtown, and for helping the area grow beyond its dining, nightlife and entertainment base.
As one of the city’s major developers, Arthur Sullivan of Brady Sullivan, said: “Once more people start living downtown again, you are going to see a downtown renaissance, and it won’t just be restaurants.”
As part of LivableMHT’s Envisioning series, we’re beginning to look at the Corey Square neighborhood, and specifically the square itself, at the intersection of Maple, Lowell and Nashua Streets. We’ll be looking at how the neighborhood might be enhanced with amenities for pedestrians, bicyclists and hopefully transit users in the future, how the streetscape might be beautified, how to encourage investment in buildings and facade improvements similar to those downtown and in Rimmon Heights, and especially how the square itself might be made friendlier to local residents and visitors, and become the vibrant heart of this diverse neighborhood.
Corey Square, sometimes called Janeville, comprises the area roughly between Union and Ashland Streets to the east and west, and Pearl and Manchester Streets to the north and south. The neighborhood includes the major intersections of Maple and Beech Streets with Hanover and Bridge Streets, as well as such landmarks as the Ash Street School, Central High School, Bronstein Park, and the Boys and Girls Club. It is the smallest city neighborhood by land area, but it is densely populated, fully developed, and extremely walkable. In addition to enjoying close proximity to downtown, NHIA, the City Library and the Currier, Corey Square is located along the two major eastern gateways into the city along Hanover and Bridge Streets. The area once known as Janeville is a warren of narrow, meandering lanes that unlike almost all others in the city center were not built according to a grid of some sort, and the actual square at the center of the neighborhood is located where one of these lanes (Nashua Street) meets the grid at Lowell and Maple Streets.
The new Elliot at River’s Edge, an ambulatory care facility, is about to open on the old Jac-Pac site along Queen City Ave and–you guessed it–the river’s edge. The project has been many years in the making, and its completion represents the last major project begun before the economic downturn. Unlike Carthagina in the middle of the Merrimack just to the south, though, the Elliot at River’s Edge is not an island.