The National Main Street Center, Inc., has announced that three Michigan towns will be participating as demonstration sites to implement its revamped approach to comprehensive community revitalization and preservation-based economic development: Boyne City, Grand Haven, and Saline. As a sponsoring partner, the Michigan MainStreet program, will use the pilot to help integrate the new strategy-based approach into existing and future Main Streetcommunities across the state.
“Michigan Main Street is a long-standing partner, and a model for successful community revitalization. As such, it will serve as an ideal place to test out our enhanced strategy and outcome-focused revitalization approach. Each of these towns has so much to offer, and we look forward to partnering with the Michigan Main Streeton this initiative,” said Patrice Frey, President and CEO of the National Main Street Center. “Our updated methodology incorporates lessons we’ve learned in our decades of working with communities of all sizes and we are confident these pilot projects will demonstrate that our approach continues to be highly effective in breathing new life in our country’s historic downtowns and commercial districts.”
The three selected towns are top performers in Michigan’s MainStreet program, recognized for success in energizing their local economies, empowering community residents, and celebrating their distinctive character and local history. Each community will receive technical assistance from national experts, host stakeholder meetings, and develop transformation strategies aimed at taking their downtowns to the next level. The community is invited to participate in a survey by clicking the link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/DKMNRW7s. This information will be used in the transformation into the refresh approach.
Originally launched as a program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation in 1980, the National Main Street Center pioneered an incremental, volunteer-driven strategy to help flagging downtowns counteract booming suburban growth. This novel approach was in stark contrast to the urban renewal projects that were destroying commercial districts and neighborhoods all over the country. By tapping two important community resources, citizen participation and its older and historic buildings, the Main Street Approach has helped reinvigorate America’s historic downtowns and commercial districts in cities and towns across the country.
More information on the pilot program can be found here.