Stakeholder’s Representatives Meeting

January 26, 2010

Minutes

 

The meeting opened at 8:30 AM.

 

The Stakeholder groups were represented by the following members:

Building Owners, Marshall Field; Larry Field;

Business/Community Banking, Jamie O’Hearn;

Business/Resources, Terry Williams;

Business/Retailers, Susan Zacharer

City of Lowell/DPD, Christopher Samaras;

City of Lowell/Police Dept., Captain Thomas Kennedy;

Cultural Organization of Lowell, Suzanne Cromwell

Education/UMass Lowell, Dr. Joseph Lipchitz;

Non-Profit Corporations/CTI, Bill Lipchitz;

Visitors/Lowell Festival Foundation; Janet Leggat;

 

Absent:

Artists: Steve Syverson;

Business/Chamber of Commerce, Jeanne Osborn;

Education/Middlesex CC, Molly Sheehy;

Business/JAMBRA, Tim Shanahan;

Business/Lowell Plan, Jim Cook;

Business/Restaurants, Franky Descoteaux;

City of Lowell/DPD, Theresa Park;

Cultural Organizations, L.Z. Nunn;

Education/Lowell High School, Roxanne Howe;

General Population/LRTA, Jim Scanlan;

General Population/NMCOG, Beverly Woods;

Residents/Lowell DNA, Ted Lavash;

Visitors/CVB, Fred Hunter;

Youth/UTEC, Greg Croteau;

 

Also present:

George DeLuca

Paul Marion, UMass Lowell

Tom Costello, UMass Lowell

Patricia Coffey, UMass Lowell

Allegra Williams, UMass Lowell

 

The meeting opened at 8:35 AM.

 

Minutes of November 24, 2009

On a motion by Marshall Field, seconded by Joe Lipchitz, it was voted: to accept the minutes of November 24, 2009.

 

Treasurer’s Report

 

Treasurer Jamie O’Hearn reported that the CCC has a balance of $628.04 in its account.  Jamie said he will start collecting dues during February and March.  Christine Defeo will be sending out notices.  On a motion by Joe Lipchitz, seconded by Marshall Field, it was voted: to accept the report.

 

Special Guests

 

Construction of the Nanotech Center – Tom Costello, Chief Information and Facilities Officer at UMass Lowell, updated the committee on construction plans for the Emerging Technologies and Technology Center.  He distributed photos showing the site and concepts for the building.  Site preparation at the corner of University Avenue and the VFW Highway is scheduled to begin in the early spring of 2010 and construction is expected to be completed by March, 2012.  Smith Hall, currently used as a dormitory, will be taken down by June of this year, and Standish Street will be abandoned by the City to make room for the Center, which will contain 82,000 square feet.  Tom discussed issues of siting, orientation, the size and shape of the building, and surrounding green space. Cleanliness and security are paramount, and the building, which will house laboratories and work areas but no classrooms, will have a state of the art ventilation system which is needed for nanotech activity.  The building is expected to cost $62,000 not counting the equipment, with $35 million coming from the State economic development fund.  The Technology Center is also designed to help small to medium sized businesses that need to use but cannot afford equipment at the center, and to foster the creation of new enterprises through research.  The University is also renting 300 parking spaces from the former St. Joseph’s Hospital to make up for the spaces lost by closing Standish Street.

 

Impact of UML Students in the Downtown – Paul Marion, Patricia Coffey, and Allegra Williams distributed and discussed preliminary findings of a report on the impact of UMass Lowell students living at the ICC.  Paul Marion expects the final report to be completed by April. 

 

Patricia Coffey said that approximately 400 upperclassmen and graduate students are presently living in the ICC.  Only one third of UMass Lowell students currently live in on-campus housing, a number the university would like to increase.  Five focus groups and an online survey were conducted by UMass Lowell Downtown Initiative.  80% of students surveyed reported going downtown in the past year, and more than half of them reported going downtown once every month or so.  About 40% of businesses interviewed are using the UCard.  80% of businesses interviewed have offered some type of student discount.    Most businesses interviewed reported seeing more students downtown, which they attribute to the use of the UCard.  Bill noted that the card is not being used as much as expected, and Paul Marion stated that there were some glitches with the contractor and recognized that the university needs to be more aggressive in promoting the card. Patty said they are planning a survey to track the spending of the students downtown over the next year or so. Students, especially those under 21, are looking for non-alcoholic venues with entertainment areas like game rooms and performance spaces.

 

The next steps for the initiative are to: design a survey for faculty and staff; continue learning from other universities doing the same thing; do follow-up interviews with business owners, nonprofits and neighborhood groups; and complete a Best Practices Guide.

 

New Business

 

The Annual Meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, March 23rd in the Assembly Room at the Federal Building.  A subcommittee was formed to come up with a work plan for the coming year.  Jamie O’Hearn, George DeLuca, and Terry Williams will work on and present a new work plan at the Annual Meeting.

 

One or several awards will also be presented at the meeting for people who have made a significant impact in Lowell’s downtown.  Janet Leggat and Bill Lipchitz will form a subcommittee to work on that.  Jamie O’Hearn is in charge of a subcommittee for proposing officers for the coming year.

 

Bill brought up the idea of having the Downtown Lowell Business Association from the Greater Lowell Chamber join the CCC at their informal meeting once a month.  Sue Zacharer said she thought this was a good idea and worth proposing to the Chamber.  She also mentioned there would be another meeting of the business group Monday, February 8th, 9:30 am at the Mayor’s Reception Room.  The Great Plates event taking place February 22nd to March 5th in conjunction with downtown restaurants will be discussed at the meeting.

 

Reports from Reps

 

Suzz Cromwell talked about upcoming events being given by the Lowell Film Collaborative.  On the 27th there will be a meeting at the National Park’s Visitor Center at 5:30 to have a community conversation about Haiti.  A film titled “The Road to Fondwa” will be screened at the event and panelists from UMass Lowell will be leading a discussion.  The Agricultural Film Series will continue through March with films being held at Life Alive the fourth Sunday of each month, at 7pm.  The Lowell Film Collaborative will feature two films at The Old Court March 4th.  “Waking Ned Devine” will be shown at 6:30 and “Into the West” will be held at 8:30. 

 

Chris Samaras reported that plans were progressing well for Winter Fest on February 5th and 6th with the exception of a recent lack of snow.  Chris also mentioned that the next kick-off presentation of Best Retail Practices would be held February 24th at 8 am, in the Assembly Room of the Federal Building.  Chris also mentioned he had been meeting with businesses in the downtown area.

 

Allegra Williams informed the committee of a presentation being held at the Pollard Library February 24th about the Census.

 

George DeLuca reported that there will be a birthday celebration held for Jack Kerouac March 11, 12, and 13.  More information is available at his website CometoLowell.com.

 

Next Meeting

March 23rd, 2010

8:30 AM

Assembly Room of the Federal Building

 

On a motion by Joe Lipchitz, seconded by Janet Leggat, it was voted to: adjourn the meeting at 9:50 AM.