Twenty-five businesspeople and a sprinkling of politicians joined mayoral candidate Dan Rizzo at a noontime lunch Tuesday afternoon for a discussion about the future development of Broadway.
During brief remarks before introducing Rizzo to the business group, local developer John Festa said that the meeting was all about moving forward the discussion about transitioning Broadway from what it is today to a more useful, aesthetic version of what it ought to be.
“We have to create a new environment on Broadway. How do we get results?” Festa asked the group.
Rizzo’s remarks to the crowd showed an understanding of Broadway realities. After all, Rizzo has run an insurance business on Broadway for almost 20 years.
“This get together is about advancing the discussion about how we’re going to make Revere a better place to do business. And it is also about how to remake our downtown business district,” he added.
Rizzo said one of Revere’s biggest challenges is its poor image outside the city.
“You tell people you’re from Revere and they kind of look at you as if to say, ‘Too bad, isn’t it’” he remarked.
He said he would work for a more positive vibe to be established and exuded.
Revere Community Development Frank Stringi also spoke briefly.
He talked about the time being now for the downtown to remake itself with new store fronts and signage, plantings and landscaping and tree plantings as a start.
Festa pointed out that in neighboring Chelsea, the city government there had used tax incentives 38 times for 38 separate developments to get things going economically.
“In Revere, we’ve used that advantage once.”
“We have to aggressively seek new business and business must be able to expand – and this needs to happen in the downtown business district,” he said.