Alfond Foundation, Colby College injecting $20 million into downtown Waterville revitalization
WATERVILLE, Maine — The Harold Alfond Foundation and Colby College will invest $20 million in the ongoing revitalization of downtown Waterville. The transformative funding includes a $10-million grant from the foundation and a matching investment by Colby.
Greg Powell, board chairman of the Harold Alfond Foundation, and David A. Greene, president of Colby, announced the funding at a celebration Oct. 18 in the heart of downtown Waterville at Castonguay Square.
“When this community steps forward and rolls up its sleeves,” Powell said, citing the teamwork behind revitalization plans, “the Foundation will step up to match your efforts.”
Speaking before a crowd representing business, city government, Colby, and the arts, he declared that “Waterville’s future is all about teamwork and the leadership on display tonight.” The funds will support efforts to jumpstart and sustain development at both ends of Waterville’s Main Street. These initiatives include five properties purchased by Colby in the past year and slated for redevelopment, as well as a planned student apartment complex.
Greene lauded the partnership between the community and the Harold Alfond Foundation and the momentum it has created. “A year ago we talked about what was possible,” he said. “Today we get to talk about what is going to become real.”
Tuesday’s announcement caps months of good news for downtown and the area as ongoing collaboration by Colby, the city, and downtown business leaders has resulted in a comprehensive plan for rejuvenation of the city center. It calls for opening of offices for a tech firm, Collaborative Consulting, at the soon-to-be renovated 173 Main St., construction of the student housing complex and retail space in a portion of The Concourse parking lot, and building of a hotel and restaurant at the south end of the street. Traffic pattern and parking changes are also being considered as part of the effort to bring investment and new energy to the downtown.
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