Berlin had a large amount of businesses open in town over the past year and Chris Edge, director of economic development for the town, talked about that progress during a webinar hosted by the Greater New Britain Chamber of Commerce.
The town held roughly 15 ribbon cuttings and groundbreakings for new businesses since August, including MC Barber, Roosters and Complete Sheet Metal.
The first of the town’s large developments was Turnpike Ridge, however. This was the town’s first project under the Berlin Turnpike Development Zone, which allows mixed use housing and retail.
“The apartments should be started in a couple months and the expectation is that in December 2021 or early 2022 we will see occupancy on those apartments,” Edge said. “The existing building is leased except for one spot. This is a $13-14 million investment.”
The Steele Center at Farmington Avenue project is another that will bring housing to residents.
“The project we as a community are most proud of is Steele Center at Farmington Avenue,” Edge said. “The first building will be starting construction in February.”
Located next to the train station it will consist of apartments, commercial space and medical office space.
Economic development projects in 2021 include Coles Road Brewing
“I know they had worked very closely with our two wonderful New Britain breweries, Alvarium and Five Churches, to help them get up and running,” Edge said.
The town’s second locally owned coffee shop, Provision State Coffee, will have a ribbon cutting Friday. Also, The Pho Bar should be opening in the next 30-60 days.
“What we realized in 2020, one of the key pieces, is finding ways to partner with folks within town on the municipal side and also the private sector,” Edge said.
They partnered with the Berlin Library Children’s Department and local businesses on different programs to help the businesses continue to thrive and benefit the community as well.