Down­town de­vel­op­ment study fully funded

The Compass - - FRONT PAGE - BY AN­DREW ROBIN­SON editor@cb­n­com­pass.ca

Car­bon­ear wel­comed Ru­ral De­vel­op­ment Min­is­ter Christo­pher Mitchel­more to an­nounce de­tails about a new down­town de­vel­op­ment study the prov­ince is fund­ing along­side the town and the fed­eral gov­ern­ment. It’s hoped the study will aid eco­nomic op­por­tu­ni­ties for the area in the years ahead.

As a boy grow­ing up in Heart’s De­light-Is­ling­ton, Steve Crocker re­mem­bers trav­el­ling to down­town Car­bon­ear with his fam­ily to pur­chase var­i­ous items to bring back home.

“I can re­mem­ber my first pad­dle bike came from Ayre’s just up right here,” he said last Fri­day on the top floor of The Stone Jug on Wa­ter Street. “I can re­mem­ber Udell’s and I can re­mem­ber Up­stein’s when it was on Wa­ter Street.

“And the slo­gan for Car­bon­ear to­day is ‘You’re Wel­come.’ I can re­mem­ber when the slo­gan was. ‘The Hub of the Bay,’ and I truly be­lieve that Car­bon­ear is still the hub of the bay — Trin­ity and Con­cep­tion Bay.”

With that in mind, the town hopes work un­der­taken by Tract Con­sult­ing Inc. and its part­ners to cre­ate a Car­bon­ear Down­town De­vel­op­ment Plan will iden­tify a long-term vi­sion for the area and fur­ther re­vi­tal­ize it.

Mul­ti­ple peo­ple who spoke at the launch event for the project ac­knowl­edged they were stand­ing in­side a prop­erty that will hope­fully serve as a cor­ner­stone for down­town Car­bon­ear’s bright fu­ture. The Stone Jug opened late last year and has at­tracted plenty of peo­ple to the down­town area with its food, bev­er­ages and end­less ren­o­va­tions.

“As any vis­i­tor to this town can at­test, the history and her­itage of this com­mu­nity are uniquely ev­i­dent as you drive by at­trac­tions like the Rail­way Sta­tion Mu­seum, the old post of­fice build­ing, and of course the Rorke premises,” said Avalon MP Ken McDon­ald. “And this build­ing (The Stone Jug), it’s the first time I was in here is to­day, and the job of restor­ing this his­tor­i­cal build­ing is ab­so­lutely fan­tas­tic. Bar none, it is prob­a­bly the best I’ve seen, and I’ve been in a lot of build­ings.”

The At­lantic Canada Op­por­tu­ni­ties Agency and De­part­ment of Busi­ness, Tourism, Cul­ture and Ru­ral De­vel­op­ment each con­trib­uted $45,000 to the project, with the Town of Car­bon­ear kick­ing in $10,000 for the $100,000 ini­tia­tive.

“Part­ner­ships are re­ally key to mak­ing big things hap­pen and grow­ing our re­gion and grow­ing the op­por­tu­ni­ties,” said pro­vin­cial Ru­ral De­vel­op­ment Min­is­ter Christo­pher Mitchel­more.

Kim Blan­chard, a se­nior plan­ner with Tract Con­sult­ing, said Car­bon­ear has a lovely am­biance al­ready, and a project such there’s will build on com­mu­nity and her­itage as­sets to fur­ther the town’s eco­nomic po­ten­tial.

“We’re so ex­cited to en­gage on this project,” she said.

Mayor Ge­orge Butt Jr. ex­pects the de­vel­op­ment plan will help at­tract pri­vate in­vestors down the road. He also an­tic­i­pates it will bring the com­mu­nity to­gether.

“I know some of ye don’t know the busi­nesses on Wa­ter Street, but if you take a look around the room, a lot of them are young peo­ple, and that’s an­other rea­son why this is go­ing to work,” he said.

AN­DREW ROBIN­SON/THE COM­PASS

Natalie Austin, centre, owns DozenOdd Gal­leries on Wa­ter Street in Car­bon­ear and re­cently at­tended a G7 event in Ja­pan. She chat­ted with spe­cial guests at last Wed­nes­day’s of­fi­cial an­nounce­ment for a new Car­bon­ear Down­town De­vel­op­ment Plan. Pic­tured are, from the left, MHA Steve Crocker, Mayor Ge­orge Butt Jr., Ru­ral De­vel­op­ment Min­is­ter Christo­pher Mitchel­more, and Avalon MP Ken McDon­ald.

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