©2016 Michigan Economic Development Corporation

Downtown Makeover Competition Begins

Monday, January 06, 2003

Jennifer Owens
(517) 335-4590

Workshops Held Throughout the State

The competition for Michigan communities to receive the coveted Michigan Economic Development Corporation’s (MEDC) Michigan Main Street designation officially begins this week with a series of educational workshops.The Michigan Main Street designation will offer at least two Michigan communities intensive, year-round training on the program’s effective downtown revitalization strategies.

In order to educate communities on how to apply for this designation and the wide range of downtown redevelopment tools available, the MEDC is holding a series of educational workshops.The workshops are scheduled for 9 am to 3 pm on the following dates and locations:

  • January 7: Ramada Inn, Marquette
  • January 9: Herman’s European Restaurant, Cadillac
  • January 14: Radisson Hotel, Kalamazoo
  • January 15: City Hall Building, Wyandotte

“The MEDC has recently unveiled several downtown redevelopment efforts that will prove to be valuable resources in helping to grow our traditional centers of commerce,” said Jeffrey Kaczmarek, MEDC senior vice president of Business & Community Services.“These workshops will introduce those important tools to community leaders as well as give them the opportunity to compete for what nationally has been proven to be one of the most successful downtown redevelopment initiatives, the National Main Street program.”

In October 2002, the MEDC announced a contract with the National Main Street Center that will allow at least two Michigan communities to receive a Main Street makeover.Designations are expected to be awarded by June 2003.Michigan is now one of 39 states in the U.S. to operate a Main Street program.

Communities selected to participate in the program will be educated in the four-step Main Street approach that includes:

  • Design: Enhancing the physical appearance of the commercial district by rehabilitating historic buildings, encouraging supportive new construction, developing sensitive design management systems, and long-term planning.
  • Organization: Building consensus and cooperation among the many groups and individuals who have a role in the revitalization process.
  • Promotion: Marketing the traditional commercial district's assets to customers, potential investors, new businesses, local citizens and visitors.
  • Economic Restructuring: Strengthening the district's existing economic base while finding ways to expand it to meet new opportunities and challenges from outlying development.

Registration for the workshops is limited.For more information, please contact the MEDC at 517-241-2331.

Since 1980, the National Main Street Center has been working with communities across the nation to revitalize their historic or traditional commercial areas.Based in historic preservation, the Main Street approach was developed to save historic commercial architecture and the fabric of American communities' built environment, but has become a powerful economic development tool as well.For more information on the program, visit www.mainstreet.org.

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation, a partnership between the state and local communities, promotes smart economic growth by developing strategies and providing services to create and retain good jobs and a high quality of life.