With Intown Manchester’s 20 year anniversary this year, we thought it would be fun to replace 20 weeks worth of our typical Throwback Thursday posts with #Intowns20th versions! Each post of this series will focus on something great that happened that year! Whether it be the construction of a Downtown staple, or the inception of a popular event, we’ll cover it all! For the first post we take you 1996, Intown Manchester’s creation!
1996: Intown Manchester was Incorporated
Based on recommendations from a six-month long downtown development study in 1993 titled the ‘Intown Manchester Development Plan’, a Business Improvement District (BID) was formed in Manchester in 1996; the first and only BID in the state to this day. The BID is run by Intown Manchester which is contracted by the City to do so. The plan was a “comprehensive urban design report, providing feasibility studies, financial recommendations, and essential information to all with a practical interest in downtown redevelopment.” This study outlined a “road map” of sorts from 1993 to 2013. The study stated, “the vision is of a city alive with opportunity: for business, recreation, and learning, for carving out a place in life for oneself and one’ family where there is an atmosphere of economic stability and social quality, of freedom to draw upon the rich resources of a community moving ahead with the times.”
We like to break Intown’s mission into three words: Communication, Beautification, and Promotion.
Our website http://www.intownmanchester.com is a great resource for all those wanting to explore Downtown. It includes: a community event calendar in which people an organizations can submit events, a restaurant, retail, and housing guide, and a full Intown event guide. Intown works every single day to communicate with the Downtown community. We update our Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages daily to reflect Downtown happenings. Additionally, we publish a quarterly print newsletter, a bi-weekly email newsletter, and a blog. We are happy to always have our office doors open to those wanting to come in to say hello.
Intown Manchester has an outdoor maintenance staff that provides enhanced public services such as litter removal, sidewalk, and alley sweeping, graffiti removal, and plant maintenance. We also design, purchase, install, and maintain flower beds and planters. Other enhancements include decorating Downtown for the holidays, limited snow removal, and working collaboratively with City Departments to keep Downtown looking spotless. When you spot our amazing team of Nancy, Pepe, and Edwin out and about in Downtown, please wave hello! We are proud to also run the banner program throughout Downtown in the Millyard, Granite Street, Hanover Street, and Elm Street. This program enlivens the Downtown streetscape, all while displaying the amazing artwork of a NHIA student.
Closely tied to our communication efforts are our promotion efforts. We aim to promote downtown’s attractiveness as a dynamic mixed-use center for the benefit of the community. Our means of promotion vary from our traditional social media channels and publications and our blog series Throwback Thursday, #foodiefriday, and Weekend Watching. We also host around 20 events throughout the year to promote all that is bustling and thriving in Downtown. We host our annual food event The Taste of Downtown every September, our annual Summer Fest in July and August which includes concerts, festivals, and movies–all free of charge, the Manchester Christmas Parade and Downtown Holiday Market in December, the Downtown Manchester Zombie Walk in October, Adopt-A-Block in April, among many more! These events aim to draw people downtown for some fun, have them patronize our downtown businesses, all while contributing to the amazing sense of community here in Downtown.
The Intown Manchester Development Plan was a bold vision that helped transition Manchester into a 21st century arts, entertainment, and knowledge-based economy. Many of the elements outlined in this plan have successfully been achieved, and today downtown Manchester can boast of a civic arena, market-rate housing stock, including lofts and condominiums, a medical facility, several advanced educational institutions, revitalized mills featuring productive knowledge-based industries, improved access from I 293, a full service grocery store, two professional sports teams, and a superb dining and entertainment culture. It’s been an amazing 20 years, but we have only just begun! We hope you’ll join us in 2016 for an event or two, to continue celebrating all that is great about Downtown!