Wilton looks to get more people downtown with new plan

An aerial view of Wilton Center, the area of town that is the focus of a master plan process set to be completed in the fall of 2022.

An aerial view of Wilton Center, the area of town that is the focus of a master plan process set to be completed in the fall of 2022.

Bryan Haeffele / Hearst Connecticut Media

WILTON — The Economic Development Commission is working on how to get more people to Wilton Center, including residents and people from out of town.

The group has been asked to submit a list of “top considerations” to the subcommittee tasked with drafting regulations during the ongoing Wilton Center Master Plan process,

Marty Avallone, a member of the EDC, said the group intends to review and approve the list of considerations at its next meeting on May 11, though a special meeting might be held before then. This would give the Wilton Center Master Plan subcommittee enough time to review their suggestions ahead of an anticipated October completion date.

Avallone said it’s important to get more local residents to town center, but the EDC will also focus on bringing non-Wilton residents to shop and dine in Wilton’s premier downtown location.

“We were invited to provide input to the consultant a few weeks ago and four of us on the EDC attended that (meeting) and provided a variety of input,” Avallone said regarding a recent subcommittee meeting with BFJ Planning, the company contracted to carry out the studies and construction of the adopted plan. “Those were opinions of members and had not been deliberated by the EDC.”

The focus is now on forming a more collaborative idea of what the commission wants incorporated in future plans.

A major focus during the redevelopment plans of Wilton’s downtown has been to brainstorm ways to make business more sustainable, whether it be attracting more potential customers or bringing business to town center.

Last year, Avallone and the EDC proposed adding shared workspaces in the greater Wilton Center with the hopes of attracting residents who worked remote and dreaded commuting. The commission started a dialogue with two local commercial landlords in an attempt to jumpstart the process but the project has yet to come to fruition. The commission’s goal, though, coincides with Avallone’s current one to bring more attention to downtown.

Avallone said the EDC will also discuss at its next meeting how it should further interact with the Wilton Center Master Plan Committee moving forward.