Envisioning a better downtown Marlborough

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Four-story brick buildings. Coffee shops. Booksellers. Restaurants. Apartments. Walking streets. Performance and theater space. A farmers market. A boutique hotel.

Those and other urban amenities were hot topics among 100 Marlborough residents who met recently to discuss the future of the city’s proud but dog-eared downtown.

“I’d love to see a college’s satellite campus here,” said Deborah Fairbanks, owner of the Renaissance Lofts, a mill converted into condos on the edge of downtown. “UMass, Massachusetts College of Art, Berklee — something to bring youth and vitality, to excite businesses to open.”

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