177 Main Street is part of the Westerly Land Trust’s Urban Initiative (see below) and was the former site of the WLT Community Garden, which was relocated to 145 Main Street in 2019. In 2021, WLT collaborated with a pair of local business partners who were interested in opening a restaurant on the neighboring lot, 169 Main Street. The goal of this partnership was to establish a natural and economic oasis in an underutilized section of town, while creating a welcoming space for residents and visitors to gather on the banks of the nationally designated Wild and Scenic Pawcatuck River.
Partnering with a local business in this manor sets an example and hopefully a trend, not only for future Westerly Land Trust projects, but for other local for-profit and non-profit organizations to work together for the betterment of our community.
More about WLT’s Urban Initiative
In 2004, the Board of Directors voted to expand the Westerly Land Trust’s mission to include an Urban Initiative, focused on redevelopment and enhancement of culturally significant commercial properties in areas of historic significance to the Town. The “smart growth” concept reflects the other side of the coin of land conservation. A vibrant downtown offering attractive options to live, dine, and shop reduces development pressure on precious open space.
Since establishing the Urban Initiative, the Westerly Land Trust has worked in partnership with the Royce Family Fund to purchase and adaptively re-use commercial properties of interest in downtown Westerly. The Westerly Land Trust holds four properties on Main Street along the Pawcatuck River as well as the historic Industrial Trust building on High Street and the former United Theatre and Montgomery Ward buildings on Canal Street.