Monday, September 29, 2003
Michigan Economic Development Corporation Begins Three-Day Training Session on Revitalizing Michigan Downtowns
The Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) kicked off the Michigan Main Street Basics 101 Workshop at the Marriott Hotel in East Lansing today. The goal of the three-day training and information sessions is to educate community officials about downtown revitalization methods employed by the newly developed Michigan Main Street program.
“The response to Michigan’s Main Street program has been overwhelming,” said Jeff Mason, acting CEO of the MEDC. ”Though we were limited to four Main Street community designations this year, we want to make sure that all Michigan communities have access to information about proven downtown revitalization methods and resources that are available.”
The comprehensive workshop features sessions led by experts from the National Trust’s National Main Street Center. Officials from the MEDC, the Michigan State Housing Development Authority and community leaders will highlight other effective state programs that have facilitated successful downtown revitalization projects.
Since 1980, the National Main Street Center has worked with communities throughout the country to revitalize their historic or traditional commercial areas. The Main Street approach was initially developed to save historic commercial architecture, but has become a powerful economic development tool as well.
Michigan is now one of 39 states to administer a Main Street program. In October 2002, the MEDC announced a contract with the National Main Street center to provide four Michigan communities with year-round intensive training in the Main Street downtown revitalization methods. Through a competitive process Boyne City, Calumet/Calumet Township, Marshall and Portland received the coveted designation in 2003.
The next competitive round for the Main Street designation is currently underway. Letters of intent from communities are due by February 13, 2004. The winning communities are expected to be announced in June 2004.
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.
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