Michigan downtowns will have a chance to take part in an innovative redevelopment program thanks to a new partnership between the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) and the National Main Street Center.
Under this new contract, at least two Michigan communities will be able to receive the benefits of the Main Street program including intensive, year-round training on the program’s effective downtown revitalization strategies.
“The Main Street program has proven to create new investments, rehabilitate historic buildings and most importantly result in new jobs throughout the country,” said Doug Rothwell, president & CEO of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.“The chosen communities receiving this designation will take a tremendous step toward a booming downtown.”
The MEDC, along with an advisory committee, will select the demonstration communities to take part in the Main Street program after a formal application process.
The advisory committee consists of individuals from the Michigan State Housing Development Authority, Michigan State Historic Preservation Office, Community Economic Development Association of Michigan, Michigan Local Initiatives Support Corporation, Michigan Municipal League, Michigan Downtown Finance Association and the Michigan Historic Preservation Network.
The application process for the designation will begin January 2003.Designations are expected to be awarded by May 2003.
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.
Michigan is now one of 39 states in the U.S. to operate the Main Street program.
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.
# # #