An insider's view of the Connecticut dining scene
Oct 30, 2013
06:38 PMThe Connecticut Table
Wine On9 Event Will Show Off New Haven's Ninth Square District
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Ninth Square is part of that, and On9 is an initiative of the Town Green Special Services District, which “strives to improve ownership values by making downtown New Haven an internationally competitive urban environment in which to live, work, learn and play. Our core programs include clean and safe events and promotions, economic prosperity and advocacy, and community outreach and engagement.”
“It’s pretty exciting to see it all,” Ortwein said of the growth of Ninth Square, recalling that when the Economic Prosperity Initiative was begun in 2011, the vacancy rate in the area was 19 percent and “it became very apparent that there weren’t people walking around on the streets.”
“I started focusing my efforts on the Ninth Square area,” Ortwein said, explaining that the goals were, and remain, to create awareness that Ninth Square exists as a unique socio-geographic phenomenon—like SoNo in Fairfield County, perhaps—to “get more feet on the street” and to bring in new businesses.
Positive results followed, especially with the launch of a series of events to give the area a higher profile—with ongoing and series being key words in the effort—and “to get people to go from one place to another.”
As of this year, the First Friday events, during which Orange Street is closed to traffic, are running from April through December, and each month has a different theme. This month’s is Wine On9, and on Dec. 6 the event will be Cookies On9.
Another distinction for Ninth Square, Ortwein said, is that while other areas of downtown New Haven may be more successful in terms of the retail they have, Ninth Square is a neighborhood, it’s where a lot of people live. And that status is reflected in the marketing branding: “Art, food, life, here.”
Meanwhile, the Town Green Special Services District that includes Ninth Square is a 27-block area that encompasses essentially all of the downtown except for the Broadway District, Ortwein explained. “Interestingly, our district does not include the town green,” she said. To learn more, see the district’s website.