Market (Middletown) Main Street Market is a Hit
Middletown has long been thinking about how to plan growth -- in 1931,
it established one of the first planning commissions in the nation. This tradition of good
planning has been largely kept up, and local planners continue to carefully balance
commercial and residential growth while protecting open space.
But even a well-planned town can sometimes need help. In the case of Middletown, a
faded but historic downtown was languishing in the heart of the community. Making the area
pedestrian-friendly helped turn this once-barren shopping center into a thriving main
street. Over 30 new businesses have opened in what is now called the Main Street Market,
and a new 12-screen movie theater is planned for the heart of the town.
Hills Mall (Hartford) Mall Expansion Gobbles Up Farms and Forest
Call it the "malling" of Eastern Connecticut. The rapid spread
of retail outlets in recent years has had a huge impact on the Hartford area. Disappearing
open space and growing traffic congestion are becoming commonplace in once-bucolic towns.
The developers of the Buckland Hills Mall are adding to these problems by creating the
biggest retail area in Connecticut. Their plans will turn a 232-acre site of farms and
forest into one sprawling mass, doubling the size of the current mall.
Not surprisingly, a local economist argues that this type of development has already
shut down a number of nearby mom-and-pop stores. And the auto-based mall expansion will
add more pollution to Connecticut's air. Continued mall development means continued costs
to Hartford and its inner suburbs.