Please visit ChooseKeene.com for up-to-date information on development opportunities and resources in Keene. The site is designed to provide developers and business owners with all of the information, resources and contacts necessary to build or grow in Keene. Choose Keene is also on Facebook.
What's going on today?
Keene, through the Monadnock Economic Development Corporation, is in the very early stages of the development of a corridor in downtown Keene (east west from Gilbo Avenue across Main Street through the railroad land) to promote additional arts and culture. As conceived, this would include the construction of two new buildings, the renovation/repurposing of two buildings, purchases of public art, and the creation of two performance venues. This would be an estimated 25-million-dollar project with the plan to purchase a train. The boxcars would be retail space and the passenger cars would be restaurant space. In addition, there is a planned 15,000 square foot covered pavilion.
Work that has been done over the last 15+ months:
- There is a great deal of development happening in the community. Here is a recent report of development projects and a 2019 Economic Development Plan.
- The Mayor has brought back the ad hoc Economic Development Committee.
- In 2017, the City adopted an Economic Development Action Plan. Here is a recent update. This report is a great report card on our progress since the adoption of the plan. To see even more progress here's where we have come from our Economic Development Plan August 1993.
- Analysis of Millennial and Student Housing Markets in Keene
- Cheshire County and the New Hampshire Economy
- Investments to Sustain a Vibrant Economy - NHFPI 2019 Conference
- State of the Nation's Housing 2019
- As part of the budget process the City Council supported the City Manager's proposal for the City’s first ever Economic Development position/Special Projects Coordinator. Med Kopczynski can be contacted at (603) 757-1875 or email.
- A partnership between the City and Monadnock Economic Development Corp (MEDC) funded a Downtown Coordinator position that has been filled and they will be working with the ED Director as well as Parking Services and DPW
- When important downtown infrastructure is replaced we will have the opportunity to decide how we want the downtown to look & function in the future. The Downtown Revitalization Project proposed by the Department of Public Works presents the opportunity to take a close look at the current condition of the Downtown area within the City of Keene based upon extensive citizen input. This project will update the Downtown area through traffic calming, improved pedestrian facilities/crossing, bicycle lanes/facilities, and repurposing space to provide streets, sidewalks and public gathering spaces that will create a place where all travel modes, vehicle traffic, pedestrians, bicyclist, and where all users, young, old, and physically challenged, can safely intermingle and interact. The project will encourage mixed-use activities in this high-density commercial core while accommodating all modes of transportation.
- Parking access management is essential to the success of downtown Keene. We have released a report and plan to implement changes over the next year. Parking management is such an important part of Economic Development that Parking Services has been removed from KPD and placed under the Economic Development Director as part of the City Mangers office. Parking Services is working to create a Parking Master Plan.
- We have released a new ChooseKeene website and Facebook page to provide essential information to current and prospective businesses interested in developing in Keene.
- We have prepared a development package for potential businesses - please contact Med to request a packet.
- The charge for the Airport committee has been updated to focus on marketing and development. We have been working with the Town of Swanzey to find ways to encourage development. We worked together to have an Economic Revitalization Zone adopted at the airport in November of 2018.
- We are in the middle of a substantial effort to update our Land Development Code. This is a 15+ month project. Visit KeeneBuildingBetter.com for information. As part of this effort a parking study (parking needs based on land use) is being conducted, a Form Based district is proposed as well as new definitions for Social Services and Congregate living.
- In 2018, our Health, Code Enforcement and Planning Departments were merged to create the new Community Development Department here at City Hall. In 2019 we will be updating our zoning and permitting processes to simplify and create efficiencies.
Please visit ChooseKeene.com to access complete information and resources.