Partnering for Waterville’s Future

Members of the community from all sectors of the city have joined together to make catalytic investments and revitalize a beautiful, historic downtown.

News and Updates

From Colby Magazine: Jumpstart

May 24, 2017

Colby-led collaboration is revitalizing Waterville’s Main Street and shaping the city and the College for the future

Businessman Charlie Giguere has always been optimistic about the future of downtown Waterville. So optimistic that he’s literally bet on that optimism, purchasing and renovating several Main Street properties, including Silver Street Tavern.

But bullish on the city as he is, Giguere, a Waterville native whose father ran a downtown supermarket, didn’t imagine he’d see the city’s historic core infused with as much as $50 million, as Colby, the Harold Alfond Foundation, and other private investors join to lift the downtown from its economic malaise. “I never thought I’d see this in my lifetime,” Giguere said. “It’s like Waterville won the lottery.”

The winning revitalization “ticket” has dramatically changed the prospects for the downtown, the city, and the region. Colby and the Alfond Foundation pledged $10 million each as Colby purchased five downtown properties, announced plans for a Main Street hotel and mixed-use development, including student apartments, and began renovations of a building that will house a regional center for CGI, a tech company planning to provide 200 jobs.

It’s a bold plan, spearheaded by President David A. Greene and endorsed by the Board of Trustees. Progress is visible and change is coming, with the CGI building undergoing extensive renovations and expected to be occupied this summer, and the hotel and mixed-use development underway expected to open in 2018.

Continue Reading at Colby Magazine

Key Initiatives

Planning Principles

These principles were agreed upon through collaboration with the City of Waterville and the members of the stakeholder workshops. They are a work in progress and meant to guide development while being subject to continual discussion and refinement. These principles reflect the framework for revitalization city council adopted in February 2016.
Head of Falls Rendering

Leverage Existing Strengths

Build upon existing arts programming, create public art in key locations, strengthen connections to the waterfront, connect Main Street to Hathaway Creative Center

Attract More Visitors and Residents

Build a student residence downtown, public realm improvements for visitors, welcoming gateway improvements, parking strategy

Increase Economic Activity

Create new generators such as a hotel and student residence, address vacant space downtown, attract investment by others, target key businesses to downtown

Create a Sense of Place

Improve streetscape and pedestrian experience, attract strategic retailers, build upon existing programs

Organize Around a Plan

Create consensus and continue a process of public engagement, collaboration, and implementation
Waterville Map

Road Map for Action

An effort to achieve many of the goals laid out in the planning principles is already underway. The road map outlined below includes a series of short- and long-term actionable items that both independently and in conjunction will begin to radically improve areas of downtown Waterville. Many stakeholders and community members have been engaged in developing this list of actionable items and refining the aspirational vision for downtown.

  1. Transform the gateway to downtown
  2. Convert traffic to two-way, improve streetscape and sidewalk design
  3. Increase retail activity/economic development
  4. Increase residential density to stimulate economic activity
  5. Explore a comprehensive parking strategy
  6. Relocate the Farmers Market
  7. Bring a hotel to Main Street
  8. Integrate the arts
  9. Develop programming capacity
  10. Connect to the waterfront