Middletown, CT Mayor Ben Florsheim said that the city has made a selection to move forward in the development of a master plan for riverfront redevelopment. After reviewing 21 applications – the largest level of interest in a city project in recent history – the city has elected to hire a team of partners led by architecture and urban design firm Cooper Robertson. The team will also include Langan, an engineering and environmental services firms, and Karp Strategies, a firm dedicated to community-driven economic development strategy.
“I am thrilled to be getting the riverfront master plan underway, and so excited for the work this community is going to do together with Cooper Robertson and team,” Florsheim said. “The level of talent, vision, and experience that they bring to the table matches the extraordinary potential and opportunity that exists on our riverfront, and their strong focus on community engagement will ensure that this will be a people-driven process leading to the outcome we all want: a riverfront that has something for everyone.”
Florsheim said, “I would like to thank the selection committee for the time and effort they put in to help ensure we made the right choice: councilwoman Jeanette Blackwell, Planning and Zoning Commission chairman Stephen Devoto, Middlesex Chamber president Larry McHugh, and longtime riverfront advocate Elaine Bank. All five of us are confident that Cooper Robertson will serve our community well in this new partnership.”
“Cooper Robertson is honored to have been selected by the city to support this transformational project, and we are excited to begin working with the Middletown community to develop an inclusive vision for the riverfront,” said Mike Aziz, Cooper Robertson’s project director. “Cooper Robertson understands the importance of putting the public and community at the center of the planning process, and we look forward to working together with residents and city staff to develop a riverfront plan that is sustainable in the broadest sense of the word – environmentally, socially and economically.” Cooper Robertson managing partner Donald Clinton said, “This plan promises to be a powerful next step in realizing the potential of the riverfront to become a vibrant and accessible district, with major new open spaces and a broad mix of uses.”
“We look forward to working with Cooper Robertson on the riverfront master plan in the city of Middletown,” said Larry McHugh, president of the Middlesex County Chamber of Commerce. “I would like to thank mayor Florsheim for doing a great job leading this process which began with over 20 interested outstanding companies. I support the mayor’s choice, and our chamber looks forward to being a constructive partner as this important process of finally transforming our riverfront moves ahead.”
In the coming weeks, the city will announce the beginning of the public engagement initiative to introduce the riverfront master planning team to the community at large, establish a time-frame and budget, and start the process of creating an action-oriented plan for the future of Middletown’s riverfront.