10 Best Downtowns



Stamford, CT

Downtown Stamford, CT

PHOTO CREDIT: Photo: Ross Neugeboren

Highlights of the turnaround in downtown Stamford, CT, include new apartments, condos, restaurants and festivals, all amenities drawing people back to an area already graced with several arts attractions.

Basics: In 2008, the transformation of the old City Hall building into an incubator for startup businesses helped spark interest in downtown. The new Stamford Innovation Center helped land the city on an Entrepreneur.com list of 9 Cities You Wouldn't Think Are Hubs for Tech Startups. In October 2012, Charter Communications, the fourth-largest cable company in the nation, announced plans to move its headquarters to downtown Stamford, adding about 200 jobs.

Details: Downtown's retail market has an occupancy rate of 91 percent, which includes approximately 85 restaurants and clubs, a Fairway Market, Target Super Center and more, according to the Stamford Downtown Special Services District. Office vacancy is at 13.2 percent, which is considerably lower than the citywide office vacancy rate of 21 percent and a sign that downtown Stamford is showing economic recovery over other parts of the city. Further, community leaders are working to diversify downtown's tenant base from nine-to-five offices to 24/7 mixed use, a strategy that will complement the more than 6,000 housing units, three movie theaters, four art galleries and three performing arts venues. In addition, students attend classes downtown at The Stamford Campus of the University of Connecticut.

Don't Miss: UBS Parade Spectacular on Nov. 18, Tigin Irish Pub for drinks, Avon Theatre Film Center for flicks.

Photo courtesy of Ross Neugeboren.

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