1. Developments Raise Profile of Great Barrington - BusinessWest

    Developments Raise Profile of Great Barrington - BusinessWest

    Jennifer Tabakin is a believer in using public investment to spur private investment. After six years as Great Barrington’s town manager — she’s stepping down in June — she has seen plenty of evidence to back up that philosophy.  “We’ve talked a lot about the investments we’ve made in Bridge Street, which is one of our side streets off Main Street,” she told BusinessWest. “Over the years, the public money put into it has been significant, and we’ve been able to see private development come along in response to it.”

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    1. It's literally steps from Main Street — exactly where new development should be.
    2. It's a geographic area with not only plenty of cultural venues and things to do — like the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center and Saint James Place as performing-arts venues — but it's kind of a hub of supporting businesses and people.
    3. It's kind of an organizational effort, a marketing effort for the downtown.
    4. It's a strategy to make sure our downtown has the highest-speed broadband and can be competitive with our neighbors in the area, so people can locate here and take advantage of that higher speed.
    5. We have a private company covering all the development cost and infrastructure cost to bring fiber to downtown, and we'll eventually start moving out to the rest of the community.
    6. For the past four years, we've supported eight large solar projects with a combined value of $16 million.
    7. They opened to long lines, which should level off as they get more competition.
    8. Several years ago, we were warned we had a number of people approaching retirement age.
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