“Downtown Nashua – Main Street, the Millyard, the riverfront, and the nearby residential neighborhoods – is the heart of our city and contributes to our unique urban identity. It’s where our community gathers for entertainment, dining, celebrating, and shopping. When we’re downtown we’re always reminded of our rich and vibrant history. It’s even where our two famed rivers meet. A re-energized and revitalized downtown is critical to the quality of life we offer and essential for Nashua’s overall success. A top goal for me as the Mayor of Nashua is the cultivation of a 21st century arts, cultural, and residential neighborhood in our center city. That’s why we are focused on downtown.”
~ Mayor Jim Donchess
Jim’s efforts to transform our downtown include:
- Shepherding the city’s new performing arts center to reality – the Nashua Center for the Arts (NCA) opened its doors in April 2023. The already highly successful NCA is an important cornerstone for the future of Nashua’s downtown and will bring over 100,000 visitors annually to Main Street together with their spending dollars for entertainment, dining, and shopping.
- Driving implementation of the Nashua Riverfront Development Plan, a cornerstone project to revitalize and beautify the downtown segments of the Nashua River including installation of riverside walkways, enhanced access to the waterfront, and new landscaping, lighting, and green spaces.
- Working with the private sector on several projects to bring a mix of more than 1,000 new units of affordable and market-rate housing to Nashua’s downtown neighborhoods.
- Strongly advocating for commuter rail service between Nashua and Boston as an important component of the city’s economic development agenda.
- Together with the nonprofit Great American Downtown, moving the Nashua Farmers Market to a new location at the Nashua Public Library.
- Bringing the annual Dancin’ in the Streets summer dance party to Le Parc De Notre Renaissance Francaise along the Nashua River.
- Establishing and sponsoring the annual Nashua Pride Festival and Parade to promote Nashua’s culture of equality and inclusion and to joyously celebrate greater Nashua’s LGBTQ community.
- Conducting two participatory budgeting projects in Ward 4 with the decision-making processes driven by local residents, which has brought a futsal court (“soccer-on-pavement”) to the Tree Streets neighborhood during 2019 followed by the refurbishment of Los Amigos Park on Ash Street in 2021.
- Reinvigorating the historic Central Fire Station building on Court Street with the craft brewery Liquid Therapy and a suite of artists’ studios.
- Enhancing downtown walkability with plans for the extension the rail trail eastward from Main Street to the Henry Hanger site on Temple Street.
- Encouraging the move of the city-owned water utility – Pennichuck Water – from the Town of Merrimack to a new headquarters location in the “courthouse oval” off of Main Street.
- Warmly welcoming the relocation of the Nashua Regional Planning Commission to 30 Temple Street in the city.