Page 11 - BusinessWest March 17, 2021
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 ing that the city has always considered itself at the crossroads of this region
— I-91 and the turnpike connect there, and Route 5 runs through it as well. This location has long been a huge asset, one that paved the way, if you will, for major retailers and car dealers alike to populate Riverdale Street and Memorial Avenue. It has also brought visitors to the community not only for the Big E and shows on its grounds, but for myriad other tourism- and business-related functions, from leaf peeping to the semiannual EASTEC trade show.
The ongoing goal is to continually take advantage of this asset, build on the foundation that’s been laid, and try to spread the vibrancy to other areas of the city.
Which brings us back to Elm Street, Town Common, and the huge ‘Under New Management’ banner now adorn-
ing it.
As he gave BusinessWest a tour, Saremi point-
ed out the spot where Tandem Bagel would go, then did the same with the restaurant. Venturing to the second floor, much of which is now occu- pied by Saremi LLP, he showed where a number of smaller spaces, individual offices, and even co- working space might be carved out.
Later, he pointed out one of the huge windows to the traffic — specifically, the juncture of Route 20 and Elm Street.
“This intersection has so much traffic ... we need to get people to stop here in downtown West Side, get out, walk around, go to some
shops, get something to eat — that’s how I see it,” he noted, adding that there are already some attractions there, including the Celery Stalk res- taurant, a legendary luncheon stop; as well as bNapoli restaurant and the Majestic Theater. The broad goal is to build on that critical mass, he said, noting that clusters of eateries and enter- tainment venues have been the formula for suc-
walkable, more friendly, and more inviting so we can complement the business investment that’s happening there.
cess in Northampton, West Hartford, and other communities.
Reichelt concurred, and told BusinessWest the city is always striving to build on its already- impressive portfolio of retail- and hospitality- related businesses — and also fill in some spots that are less vibrant than others.
As an example, he pointed to Riverdale Street, which actually has two distinct sections, if you will. There’s the one south of I-91, which is thriv- ing and always has, said the mayor, who worked at the Donut Dip on that throughfare in his youth and thus speaks from experience. Then there’s the stretch north of the highway, which,
West Springfield
Continued on page 13
We want to make it more
  Gene Cassidy says a sparsely attended Big E is better than none at all, and he’s moving forward with planning after having to cancel the 2020 fair.
cal concerns.
Obviously, that didn’t happen in 2020, he went
on, adding that a project that was due to be com- pleted this summer will now be done by spring.
“The work is way ahead of schedule,” he said. “Without the Big E, they probably gained a month of working time, and that will certainly help out on the back end.”
The broad mission moving forward is to get more people to travel over that bridge and other thoroughfares into West Side, said Reichelt, add-
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