January 11, 2010

Stortz: Let's do downtown right

Former Mayor William Stortz just sent this email to the head of the Bristol Downtown Development Corp., Frank Johnson:

Hopefully the council will approve the tentative developer on Tuesday, and then the ball is back in your (BDDC) court. While both developers could do the job, I think you made the right choice. However, the ultimate results are now up to the city. We control, or should control, what happens from here on.

As I said at the workshop, I support the idea of housing DOWNTOWN. The easiest way to get people DOWNTON is to have some of them live there. Jane Jacobs said, “People are downtown”. But, that doesn’t necessarily mean that they all live on the mall site.

A few questions, food for thought. How can, how does the city propose to assure that there will be no subsidized or low-income housing on the site? As you may recall, many of the comments made last week revolved around the housing issues, on the Hill, in the West End, etc. I realize that those are outside the scope of the BDDC, but the mall site isn’t, at least at this time. As I talk with many people, that is one of the biggest concerns, for those possibly interested in moving DOWNTOWN, as well as other people in the city.

If there are large numbers of housing units on the site, how much space will be left to provide the amenities: services, businesses etc that the people living downtown want and expect? Logically, there should be some concentration of those so that if people walk 1,2, 3 blocks to get downtown, most of what they want will right there. On the other hand, people will probably not want to walk to 4,5.6 other sites to meet their needs.

Also, while economic times are bad, they will improve: how does the BDDC plan to address realistic construction and completion schedules?

I realize that we are dealing with a concept for the mall site at this time. Maybe the City should be looking at a concept for DOWNTOWN, which would support and supplement what could be done on the mall site. Done at the same time, working together with the developer might make for a win-win situation. The role of the BDDC is limited, at this time. Maybe it could be expanded, or maybe the city could step up. Maybe even the developer might provide some support with this effort. I have included as a P.S., a letter I sent to the mayor and the Chamber some months ago.

Next, Parking. While a study may be in the works, I find it hard to see how one can be done without some reasonable idea as to what is going on the site and DOWNTOWN. Hopefully it will address the potential of the whole DOWNTOWN area. People will only walk just so far and safety and security are major concerns. Will this be the city’s responsibility, the responsibility of the developer, or logically, some combination of the two? Other nearby sites might be considered as they become, or are made, available, to compliment the whole picture.

Lastly, as the BDDC goes forward with workshops and public hearings, I would ask that they make the conditions for those that want to speak, a little more comfortable. At the last workshop, the acoustics were poor and less than comfortable for those that chose to take part.

Frank, like many others, I have followed the saga of Bristol’s DOWNTOWN for a number of years. Did some research, talked and listened to many people. I am excited, as many others are too, that we might be gong forward in creating a better Bristol. But as I indicated, there are concerns that do exist. I am confident that collectively we will do everything that can be done to do what is right for Bristol.

We deserve it.


Copyright 2010. All rights reserved.
Contact Steve Collins at scollins@bristolpress.com


Anonymous said...

J-F-C, stop babbling and bickering and posturing and let the developer do his thing already.

I'm sick of hearing about this s___.

Anonymous said...

So Stortz is basically saying "Make it like it was before we tore it all down"?


stortz for stortz said...

notice that stortz always prints stuff that leaves him in the middle without saying anything at all? similar to the way the chamber president is beginning to sound like.

Anonymous said...

Time to hang it up Mr. Stortz..

Anonymous said...

Thanks your so helpfull .

Anonymous said...

As usual, Bill's a day late and a dollar short. This guy has had two different opportunities to help re-shape downtown Bristol; his track record both times is spotty at best.

And maybe someone should tell Bill that the city already has a plan for downtown Bristol; in the city's 2000 Plan of Development, there's an entire chapter devoted to downtown Bristol that lays out a conceptual framework for future redevelopment efforts there.

Anonymous said...

The only man to be Mayor and snub the people who helped him get in office. Your all done Stortz no one cares what you have to say or do. We dont care for your input.

Anonymous said...

Bill did you forget how you treated people when you were in office?. AWFUL thats saying it mildley. You and stalin have a lot in common.

Anonymous said...


And what has been done with that 2000 plan?

Keep in mind, he was only asking for asurance that NO MORE subsidized and low income housing be part of the plan, and that as people are invited to provide input, that conditions are better than at the workshop, and that other opportunities, many which were not on teh table in 2000 be taken into consideration.

Not too much to ask as far as I am concerned.

Anonymous said...


I was involved with the Town committee when Stortz was Mayor, and if I remember correctly, when he left office we had about 20 of our members on various boards, mainly due to his efforts. He surely did all he could to get people involved, but some sought appointments that they were just not appropriate for.

As far as others, if he didn't help the rich who felt that hey could buy him with dinations, then my respect for him goes up even more. I know that he felt that he could not "give away" what wasnot his to give, i.e. city resources, etc.

Too bad, because the republicans have lost the involvement of a good man.

Jean Letourneau said...

You may not agree with Bill Stortz, but at least he has the decency to put his name to his comments.metinte

Anonymous said...


Guess Senator Dodd din't have that problem, did he?

Anonymous said...

Maybe if the City assured us that theer would be no more lo-income and assured us and the developer that they would work to clean up the hill and west end, then maybe people wouldn't have to ask for that assurance.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like money talks, and big money talks loudly.

Anonymous said...

Now we know why Barns didn't approach stortz to be on the BOF

Anonymous said...

Bill is comenting for himselfhe has no friends.

Anonymous said...

Bill is trying to control the Down town . Some one should tell him he had his chance and he screwed up. HE TAUGHT HE WAS BETTER THEN EVERYONE. BILL WILL NEVER CHANGE. His problem is his EGO. Bill likes to write about himself on here saying he works for everyone. You work for your self and you will never change.In the history of bristol no Mayors house needed police protection. He must have gotten some one mad.

Anonymous said...

Steve, do you have a copy of the letter that was referred to?

What did it say?

truth be said said...

It will be done right if Bill stays out of it.

Anonymous said...

Bill stay home keep quiet thats the best thing you could do for Bristol. YOU RUINED YOUR BUISNESS DONT MESS WITH OUR CITY THESE LEADERS CAN GET THE JOB DONE WITH OUT YOUR BULL SHIT.

Anonymous said...


Why don't you sign your name?
Stortz did!

Anonymous said...

Bill the only praise on here for you comes from you. THE PEOPLE CANT HANDLE THE MAN WITH TWO FACES ANYMORE.

Anonymous said...

No Landlord with rental apartment units can refuse someone on Section 8.It's called discrimination.Don't put apartments there.Look at the tall apartment buildings in New Britain,Hartford and Waterbury.6 story projects.We're looking at nothing but trouble.

Anonymous said...

I repeat my question: why don't you afix your name like Stortz does?

As far as business goes, who did succeed in the Mall, other than Ocean State?

And how did Ward fair with his business? Isn't he the one that is dragging the city into debt?

I do not blame Stortz for not responding to nameless, faceless unsubstantiated charges made by a person or persons that are bitter because THEY didn't get their way.

Hang in there Bill.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad Bill brought up the lo income and subsidized apartment issue.

It needs to be addressed!!!

Thanks Bill

Anonymous said...

4:35 You are Stortz nice try.

Anonymous said...


IF you think you have the ability to "see behind the wall", and know who is posting, let me suggest that you do not use that "talent" at the casino.

You'll go broke.