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June 12, 2023 / 2023 Power 25 Real Estate

2023 Power 25 Real Estate: Chris Edge

Chris Edge

Chris Edge has helped launch several major development projects, with an eye toward mixed-use residential, along with municipal marketing strategies in his eight years as Berlin’s director of economic development.

A key part of his focus has been development along the heavily traveled Berlin Turnpike, where a special development district was established in 2019 that has encouraged numerous mixed-use projects.

The formula “preserves the commercial frontage on the Berlin Turnpike,” but gives the opportunity for residential units to bring new people to Berlin, Edge said of the strategy.

Projects include the 72-unit Turnpike Ridge apartments at 196 Berlin Turnpike; 200 units at 404 Berlin Turnpike with a commercial site for a gas station, retail center and hotel; Deming Ridge by Farmington-based Metro Realty with 88 units over multiple buildings; and the Deming Road Business Park with 20,000 square feet of specialized industrial lease space and two more commercial buildings planned.

Also taking shape are the first buildings in the multiphase, mixed-use Steele Center project on Steele Boulevard by Newport Realty Group and Lovely Development.

Edge said the town supports development and housing options for families, new workers, professionals and empty nesters, with a focus on a percentage of units deemed affordable.

“Apartments are where careers go to sleep, and that is what Berlin is full of — careers,” Edge said of the professional working population in town.

“Residents want access to businesses and businesses want to be near apartments,” Edge said. “The mix really works.”

He also promotes new and existing businesses and business opportunities through ribbon-cutting ceremonies, hosting one every Monday since the pandemic, and an online marketing campaign called “It’s All in Berlin,” which highlights everything in town from apartments, restaurants, retail shops and events.

Edge has been with the town of Berlin since January 2015, after transitioning from a role finding jobs for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities with the ARC of Farmington Valley in Canton. Previously, he was the director of real estate overseeing CT SiteFinder, a statewide commercial real estate database.

He also served as the economic development coordinator for the city of New Britain under Mayor Lucian Pawlak.

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