By Renato Ghio
He’s only been on the job for a few months, but Danbury native P. J. Prunty is hitting the ground running as the new executive director of CityCenter Danbury.
In addition to all the fun events put on by CityCenter, P. J. is focusing his efforts on business development. “Downtown Danbury is beginning to see a direct economic impact as a result of the near 100 million dollars of investments ranging from the north end of Main Street to the south end. Local businesses are beginning to see the opportunities to either relocate their existing business, or invest in new startups on Main Street,” he said.
While big projects like the expansion of Naugatuck Valley Community College, the construction of the Connecticut Institute For Communities headquarters and health clinic and the Kennedy Flats apartment complex are getting all the headlines, P. J. enthusiastically points out that downtown small businesses are making strides too. La Mitad del Mundo, a popular spot for lunch on West Street, has relocated to a larger space, at the highly visible corner of Main Street and Post Office Walk, to continue serving up its highly rated Ecuadorian fare. Brazilia’s Boutique, featuring high quality women’s clothing from the best of Brazilian labels, has moved from the Danbury Fair Mall to Main Street and turned an empty storefront into an elegant store. And, Hat City Clothing, though not on Main Street, has begun a rebirth of Ives Street with its Danbury-inspired line of leisure wear.
“It’s evident that the market in Downtown Danbury presents a prime opportunity for local investors to get in on the ground floor and build on the positive momentum here on Main Street. With up to 1,000 new residents in the near future with disposable income calling our downtown home, and more sure to come, there is certainly no better time to invest in Downtown Danbury,” said P. J., adding that he foresees a “positive domino effect” in the very near future: “This will be seen after one success follows another, whether it be a new restaurant opening its doors, or a new mom-and-pop store relocating to downtown or a significant investment in commercial property.”
As a small business that relocated to downtown only a few years ago, we have to say it was a great decision. We’ve connected with creative community members and it has opened us up to lots of new business. We certainly think it’s an exciting time to be a part of downtown and P. J. certainly mirrors our enthusiasm. The opportunity is here, so for any urban enthusiasts, fellow small business owners or motivated entrepreneurs out there, we say you need to be a part of downtown Danbury. Learn more about the heart of the Hat City at citycenterdanbury.com.