In 2014, the State of Connecticut awarded a multi-million dollar grant to the City of Waterbury for furthering its Waterbury NEXT strategy. The plan consists of six comprehensive initiatives to further revitalize Downtown through public/private partnerships – including mass transit improvements, building renovations, apartment creation and infrastructure modernizations.
Several of the initiatives have already led to successful economic development projects.
The largest commercial building in Downtown Waterbury was reimagined by Post University as its new Online Education Hub. The five-story structure that was once the famous Howland-Hughes Department Store has brought 500 University Associates downtown. The massive lobby of the Howland-Hughes is a great community gathering space – holding events like local artist exhibitions and holiday extravaganzas.
The University of Connecticut has a branch location in Downtown Waterbury – with students living in the historic, recently-renovated Brown Building.
With permanent American art collections, rotating exhibitions, special events and family programming, the Mattatuck Museum has added 6,000 square feet for new exhibition spaces and a rooftop lounge. The project, completed in February 2021, is estimated to bring an additional $1 million annually to the local economy.
Downtown Waterbury has food options of all kinds – from grab-and-go to fine dining, from Italian to Latin American – and several dozen restaurants call the Central Business District home.
Recently, world-class chef Michone Arrington brought his culinary artistry to Downtown Waterbury. Along with fellow chefs Donte Jones and James Thompson, their restaurant – The Art of Yum – crafts unique American fusion in unexpectedly delicious ways, as he has done for celebrities including Drake, Kevin Hart, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Matt Damon and Odell Beckham Jr.
Downtown Waterbury offers several dining options that, when coupled with a performance at the Palace Theater or a visit to the Mattatuck Museum, make for a relaxing and memorable experience.