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Dialing up Demographics: Groton Surveys Help ID Economic Development Opportunities

Dialing up Demographics: Groton Surveys Help ID Economic Development Opportunities

What makes a community “millennial-friendly?”  That’s just one of the many questions the Town of Groton is getting answers to as a result of a recent survey the town commissioned.

Following on the heels of a market analysis, the survey polled residents and businesses on town services, housing and other criteria to determine how best to spur economic development.

“We’re at somewhat of a crossroads now between baby boomers and millennials,” said Economic and Community Development Manager Paige Bronk.  “And millennials have an almost entire opposite view of housing than baby boomers. We’re trying to get an understanding of what the younger demographic might desire, rather than the rest of us.”

Bronk said what the town has learned so far is that nearly 80 percent of the workers in the shoreline town commute from other towns.

“We don’t have the full answer for that,” Bronk said. “But we know that part of the reason is that we haven’t fully realized Groton’s potential yet.

Phone poll split in two parts back to top

Conducted by the Cromwell-based GreatBlue Research, the $14,500 phone poll was split in two parts. The first survey queried residents on what they want in the town that they cannot find, including housing, and what they leave town to shop for. The second survey polled businesses on what they believe helps them do business and what they identify as impediments.

Town officials plan to use the results in their outreach to developers, investors and real estate agents.

"If we get statistically significant data showing that a certain percentage of people in town are looking for a specific housing type and it’s not being built right now, and we can bring that out to the development community and get the product that the market is desiring,” Planning and Development Services Director Jonathan Reiner said.