As Westporters eye a , elected officials, business owners and residents weigh in on downtown’s vitality.
“I think it is perfectly reasonable for people to not consider downtown Westport as part of their lives,” says State Representative Jonathan Steinberg.
Downtown Westport could be a destination for Westporters, though; a change that could be made without turning Westport into Stamford or White Plains, according to Steinberg.
“What is the incentive to get downtown, park your car and leave it for a few hours?” Steinberg says.
John Zervos, assistant manager at Tavern on Main, agreed that downtown does not serve as a lively destination for Westporters.
“It could be revitalized, but it is a tough town to get anything that is going to attract people’s eyes,” Zervos says.
“Look at Fairfield, they have everything down there,” Zervos says, noting locals are more inclined to walk around Fairfield compared to Westport. “There is just nowhere to go on your feet after dinner. Where is there to go but home?”
While Zervos wishes Westport would provide something to attract the older and younger crowd at the same time, Steinberg simply wants there to be conversations and communication regarding the future of downtown Westport.
Maria Karlsson, a new Westport resident who moved from Sweeden, says everything in Westport is far more spread out compared to Europe, where downtown areas are more concentrated.
“Here, everything is spread out on Post Road,” Karlsson says.
The Westport Chamber of Commerce was unavailable for comment. Planning and Zoning Amendment 639 will be discussed at town hall Thursday night.