Don Monti's Renaissance Downtowns is now officially on board as the preferred developer for the 17-acre, city-owned former mall property in the heart of Bristol.
Unlike some people, I don't think it's taken the BDDC all that long to find a developer, particularly given the property's track record and the lousy economy we've all been living with in the last couple years.
I especially credit Frank Johnson for his leadership on the board and Jennifer Janelle for her diligence and courage throughout her time on the BDDC. Without either of them -- and this is not to take away from the valuable work that others did -- things could have turned out very differently.
Since I arrived on the Bristol scene in 1993, I've watched a lot of botched attempts on the mall property, and a lot of potential investors take a look and walk away.
Monti sees something different, and I hope it works.