He chose the Kentlands/Lakelands community to live because of its urban lifestyle.
‚ÄúWhile Gaithersburg has so many terrific neighborhoods to call home, we chose
Lakelands/Kentlands because of its ‚Äėwalkability,‚Äô its unique blend of residential, commercial, and civic uses, and its seemingly endless schedule of events and activities,‚ÄĚ said Lonergan. ‚ÄúWith a newborn son, this seemed like the perfect place for my family to make friends and establish roots.‚ÄĚ
In between diaper changes and unpacking, Lonergan said he‚Äôs been a frequent guest of some of the area‚Äôs restaurants.
‚ÄúThe Star Diner, Coal Fire and Potomac Pizza have become our tasty alternatives to home cooking while our kitchen is still in disarray,‚ÄĚ he said.
When it comes to the Kentlands downtown, he‚Äôs already a big fan.
‚ÄúIt’s fabulous! What’s not to love? The community possesses a multitude of shopping, dining, entertainment, and recreational opportunities practically at your doorstep. As compared to other downtowns, it ranks among the best I’ve experienced,‚ÄĚ he said.
How can it be better?
‚ÄúWithout having explored it completely or spoken with area business owners, it’s too soon for me to opine on how to make the Kentlands downtown better,‚ÄĚ he said. ‚ÄúBut supporting and strengthening the independent business base of any community is always a laudable objective.‚ÄĚ
As he begins his new job as the city‚Äôs economic development director, Lonergan said his top priorities are meeting with and listening to Gaithersburg business owners, developing marketing initiatives and strategizing on how best to attract new business and bolster the city‚Äôs existing base.
His first fix, he said, will be ‚Äúredesigning the city‚Äôs economic development website.‚ÄĚ
Lonergan also wants to get the word out that he‚Äôs here to help business owners.
‚ÄúWhether they are an indie shop seeking 1,000 square feet for two employees or a multinational tech firm seeking 100,000 square feet for 200 employees, it’s my job to let them know we’re here to help,‚ÄĚ he said. ‚ÄúMaking myself available at all times to city business owners, both existing and prospective, both big and not-so-big, is critical.‚ÄĚ
When asked about his biggest or proudest accomplishment at his last job in Montclair, New Jersey, Lonergan said: ‚ÄúI would have to say it was securing the loans and other funds to redesign an outdated block in the central business district as a more retail and pedestrian oriented corridor, and establishing our office as a one-stop destination for assisting existing and potential business owners.‚ÄĚ
Lonergan said he is grateful for the opportunity to spearhead the city of Gaithersburg‚Äôs economic development initiatives.
‚ÄúI’m really looking forward to getting started,‚ÄĚ he said the day before he reported to work.