On Saturday, Dec. 4, during the well-attended Windsor Wonderland event, a handbill disseminating false information was distributed by parties unaffiliated with the Town of Windsor and the Windsor Downtown Development Authority (DDA) regarding a long-planned development project.
The handbill was also posted to various social media platforms stating, “Per order of the Downtown Development Authority (DDA) starting next summer lake access will be limited to small gatherings. Large community gatherings for events such as the Harvest Festival, 4th of July, Labor and Memorial Days, and other will not be permitted. The construction of 250 condominiums will displace public access to the lake.” It also read, “Stop the theft of our lake!”
Perceptibly, the false information was in reference to a downtown Windsor development project which encompasses DDA and town-owned vacant land adjacent to the railroad tracks, south of Windsor Lake.
The project contemplates up to 15,000 square feet of restaurant and retail space, with planned residential units. Tribe Development Group was selected in early 2021 as the preferred developer after a competitive interview and selection process.
“First and foremost, we want to dispel any notion that the park or access thereto is going to be limited in any way,” said Town Manager Shane Hale late Saturday night. As part of planning process for the new development, parking will be required to accommodate the site’s new uses.
According to DDA Director Matt Ashby, “The DDA is committed to promoting Windsor’s downtown to attract new businesses and drive more customers to our local shops and restaurants. Each of our projects are targeted at improving Windsor’s overall business environment.”
Since the establishment of the DDA in 2011, the district has experienced a 179% increase in property values, a 52% Increase in sales tax generation through new businesses and shopper foot-traffic, and it received $880,000 in grants to help small business, improve safety, and enhance the atmosphere of Windsor's downtown.
For several years, the DDA has partnered with the Town of Windsor to bring new development to downtown Windsor. Starting as far back as 2012, meetings were held and efforts made to attract new investment, including those for residential and commercial development.
As examples to these collaborative efforts, in November, COMN FARE restaurant opened in the Windsor Mill and last week MoBetta Gumbo contracted to occupy the long-vacant Ricky B’s space. The DDA recently completed its alleyway improvement project adjacent to the 408 Exchange.
Tribe Development is also in the process of recruiting tenants for the vacant building at 215-217 4th St., all of which will provide downtown with additional new business opportunities.
Specific to parking, since March 2020, both the Town of Windsor and DDA have been working on a comprehensive downtown parking study and Windsor’s Town Board approved $1 million in the 2022 town budget to acquire additional nearby parking.
While the handbill said the project starts next summer, a timeline for the project has yet to be determined. “Tribe is still working on schematics and that could take several months,” said Ashby.
"The Windsor DDA in partnership with the Town of Windsor are committed to the betterment of this place we love. We are excited about possibilities on the horizon for new restaurants, shops and residences coming to downtown Windsor, and we’re committed to embracing the lakefront that sets Windsor apart. With careful planning and a dedicated board of volunteers, we look forward to a bright future downtown,” said DDA Board Chair Dan Stauss, who also owns Memory Lane Antiques.
For more information about Windsor’s downtown parking study, visit windsorprojectconnect.com. For more information about the Downtown Development Authority, visit windsordda.com