Since the city began raising sections of Beach Street with the help of state bonding to prevent shoreline businesses from flooding, vacant storefronts in the area began to sell in a seeming chain reaction throughout the spring and summer of 2021. Other areas of the city have seen interest from developers, with at least one prominent project planned in most neighborhoods. Last summer, Gov. Ned Lamont signed an act granting a special taxation district for the parcels where the planned mall sits, which city Corporation Counsel Lee Tiernan said was an important condition for the developers as they were seeking a lower bonding rate as they prepare to do millions of dollars in construction work. Last summer, the City Council heard a proposal from a city consultant: transform the former Stiles School on Main Street into a multi-story, mixed-use development, mixing ground-level market space with a growing laboratory to produce soil-less lettuce, with residential units for workers above that.