“e more people that you have com-ing to the city expands opportunitiesfor those kinds of retail markets to grow.Businesses will follow the people; that’salways been the case,” Nystrom said. Withsolid pieces in place, including BrownPark, the Marina at American Wharf andthe “hotbed” of shing, Nystrom said,“I think people are reawakening to theaccess that is there.”Nystrom compared the potential of the Norwich project to that of Hartford’sRiverfront Recapture, although he saidreinventing Norwich’s waterfront wouldnot include the $25 million price tag Hartford’s plan is estimated to cost.“at was a very expensive proposi-tion. It works, but this should be a timeof scal austerity and if we can comeup with other remedies that aren’t asexpensive, we should look at those rst,”Nystrom said.e city is counting on a partnership with state and federal agencies to fundthe harbor improvements, and city of-cials have been meeting with representa-tives from those various agencies to pitchthe plan.Currently, an environmental site assess-ment is underway at the Shipping Street property, which is a former industrialarea. Results of the assessment are expect-ed in about six months. e assessmentis an important step in moving forward with securing state and federal support.“Once we have those tests, we’ll havea better handle on specically what weare asking the state and federal agenciesfor,” said Jason Vincent, vice presidentof Norwich Community DevelopmentCorp. NCDC is a local partner in thedevelopment eort.
Norwich Harbor,then and now
A rich history ripples through NorwichHarbor. From the time of the Revolution-ary War to the Civil War, the harbor wasa bustling hub of clipper ship commerce,shipbuilding and wartime supply. e19th century brought shipping andsteamship activity with Norwich as aregular stop between New York andBoston. e textile mills boomed withthe maritime industry’s decline, and thendied post-World War II, but before that,Norwich’s waterfront was industrial, notrecreational.Few towns are fortunate enough tohave a scenic harbor as a centerpiece. Tenmiles of waterfront along the ames,Yantic and Shetucket rivers provide forabundant shing and boating opportu-nities. e city hopes to add to existing walking trails, promote biking and draw visitors to the downtown area throughdevelopment and expansion with a nodto historical integrity. e goal is to addNorwich to the list of popular EasternConnecticut tourist destinations, suchas the casinos and Mystic. Experts alsoacknowledge that the abundance of shspecies, from bass and blues to shad,reect the harbor’s healthy eco-system.ere are even a couple of harbor seals.“I think that there are probably hundreds of thousands of communities
C o u r t e s y M a r i n a a t A m e r i c a n W h a r f
The Marina at American Wharf. Right, reworks over the harbor.
NorMag_May_Master.indd 464/4/13 9:21 AM