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    Monday, March 20, 2023

    Enfield firm will oversee $2 million Norwich revitalization program

    Norwich — The Norwich Community Development Corp. last week selected Enfield-based Leading Edge Construction to help oversee and coordinate the new $2 million citywide economic revitalization program funded through federal COVID-19 recovery grants.

    Leading Edge Construction was selected from the four firms that responded to a request for proposals to oversee the program that offers matching grants for building improvements, and to prepare vacant spaces in commercial buildings for new tenants.

    Company and NCDC officials met Monday to work out a contract with fee schedules for the various services. The firm's fees will be paid through NCDC's administrative portion of the $2 million American Rescue Plan grant from the city.

    Company representatives were introduced to the NCDC board Thursday. Following the meeting, the group visited two downtown buildings being considered for the program and met with city building, zoning and fire inspectors.

    “We walked away from there feeling very energized about the whole experience,” said Serge Arel, director of business development and client relations for Leading Edge.

    Arel said the company has not done work in Norwich but had been interested in expanding its business to the area. Company officials attended two forums on the cannabis industry recently and decided to respond to the NCDC request for proposals.

    “We recognize Norwich is a city that has a lot of potential,” Arel said.

    NCDC President Kevin Brown said Leading Edge will assist NCDC staff with program management for the $2 million revitalization program, provide technical assistance to grant applicants as needed, review applications and assist the selection committee in identifying applicants that meet program requirements and oversee construction of the building code corrections and renovating vacant commercial for prospective tenants.

    "It is fitting that this company is growing post-pandemic," Brown said. "So beyond just augmenting our capacity at NCDC to effectively and efficiently manage multiple construction activities, we are also helping a small business in post-pandemic recovery at the same time."

    Leading Edge representatives will visit job sites, attend meetings and be available to assist NCDC staff as needed.

    Brown said the first site visit went very well, and city officials in attendance supported the approach of having a construction management firm.

    “It will smooth out a lot of planning and prep for folks on all sides,” Brown said.


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