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Virginia Main Street. Building Economic Vitality Downtown. Why is Downtown Important?. Prominent center of employment Predominant image of the community Significant part of tax base Ideal location for independent businesses Historic core of the community

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Virginia Main Street

Building Economic Vitality Downtown


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Why is Downtown Important?

  • Prominent center of employment

  • Predominant image of the community

  • Significant part of tax base

  • Ideal location for independent businesses

  • Historic core of the community

  • Represents a huge public and private investment


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Why isn’t every downtown revitalized

  • Long-term process

  • Hard work

  • Previous attempts have failed

  • Competing interests

  • Old ideas, perceptions

    The Good Newsis that the Main Street Approach works despite these challenges


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What is Main Street?

Methodology Combining:

Historic preservation

+

Economic development

=

Restored Prosperity & Vitality Downtown

  • National Trust for Historic Preservation

  • Demonstration projects in late 1970s and early 1980s


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The Main Street Approach

Use downtown’s traditional assets as a catalyst and basis for revitalization


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The Main Street Approach

Downtown’s assets:

  • Community

  • Personal Service

  • Cultural Heritage

  • Rich Architecture


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Outcomes of a Main Street Effort

  • Entrepreneurship

  • Pride

  • Stronger public/private partnerships

  • Vibrancy

  • “Sense of Place”


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Main Street Facts of Life

  • No “handouts”

  • Local resources

  • Everyone has an agenda

  • Not everyone will agree

  • There is no formula

  • It takes longer than you think


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Why MS Works

The Four Points

  • DESIGN

  • PROMOTION

  • ECONOMIC RESTRUCTURING

  • ORGANIZATION


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Design

Make it Attractive!

  • Façade improvements

  • Streetscape projects

  • Rehab incentives

  • Wayfinding

  • Walking tours, education, etc.


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Promotion

Bring Them Downtown Again!

Market downtown’s opportunities to investors, residents, customers and visitors through events, ads, publications and other activities.


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Promotion

Bring Them Downtown Again!

Drives Business


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Promotion

Typical activities:

  • Put on festivals and events

    • Image Building

    • Retail focused

    • Fundraising

  • Create marketing strategies and materials

  • Create and execute public relations campaign


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Economic Restructuring

Recruit & Assist

Viable Businesses!


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Economic Restructuring

Typical activities:

  • Inventory existing buildings and businesses

  • Conduct market analysis

  • Assess needs of existing businesses

  • Design and implement retention/assistance programs

  • Implement incentives

  • Recruit new businesses


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Organization

  • Officer and committee structure

  • Set vision/mission/goals/priority activities

  • Legal/financial/human management

  • Membership development

  • Fundraising

  • Stakeholder and public education

  • Build Partnerships!


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The Main Street Organization

  • Separate and independent

  • Formally organized

  • Made up of stakeholders

  • Board of directors & committee structure


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Why MS Works

Stakeholders

  • Business Owners

  • Property Owners

  • Local Government

  • Residents

  • Downtown Employees

  • Utilities

  • Financial Institutions

  • Chamber of Commerce

  • Historic Preservationists

  • Service Organizations

  • Arts & Cultural Institutions

  • Local Media

  • Youth & Schools

  • Churches

  • Surrounding Communities

  • Visitor’s Bureau


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What Works – The Eight Principles

  • Comprehensive

  • Incremental

  • Public-private partnerships

  • Action-oriented

  • Builds on existing assets

  • Emphasizes quality

  • Changing attitudes

  • Self-help


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What Works

  • Aggressive management

  • An independent organization of stakeholders

  • Comprehensive incremental approach using all the Four (interrelated) Points


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Virginia Main Street Options

  • Virginia Main Street Designated Communities

  • DHCD Commercial District Affiliate Communities


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Virginia Main Street

21 Virginia Main Street Communities

  • Berryville smallest at 2,800

  • Lynchburg largest at 65,000

  • 30 programs since 1985

  • Abingdon, Altavista, & Blackstone new in 2007

    70 + DHCD Commercial District Affiliates


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Program Resources

Available to New Main Street Communities

  • Reconnaissance Visits

  • Resource Team Visit

  • Design Assistance

    • 12 façade renderings and site visit

  • Year End Assessment

  • One-Day Tech Visit

  • VMS Staff Site Visits/Presentations

  • NMSC Membership

  • Virginia Main Street Signs

Estimated value of $105,000 over 3 years


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Program Resources

Available to ALL Main Street Communities

  • Technical Assistance

    • Design Assistance

    • Staff Assistance

    • Phone Consultation

  • Training

    • Training

    • Managers’ Retreat

    • Scholarships

Estimated annual value of $20,000

  • Resource Material

    • Web site

    • Virginia Main Street publications and research

    • Salary Survey

    • Statistics / Benchmarks

    • VMS Library

  • Public Relations

    • Public Appearances at community events,

    • VMS Annual Report, Driving Tour, Annual Milestone Awards, Press Releases


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Economic Impacts

National Trust Main Street Center - 2008

  • Over 2,200 active communities in 40+ state and municipal programs

  • $48.8 billion of cumulative public and private investment

  • 391,050 new jobs

  • 87,850 new businesses


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Economic Impacts

Virginia Main Street 2008

  • More than $564 million

    of private investment

    since 1985

  • More than 4,600 new

    businesses and 13,500 new jobs

  • More than 542,000 volunteer hours invested since 1997

  • Over 5,800 building projects


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Contacts . . .

Virginia Main Street (804) 371-7030 www.dhcd.virginia.gov/MainStreet

Main Street Essentials & other topical trainings

National Main Street Center

(202) 588-6219 or www.mainstreet.org

Virginia Downtown Development Association

(434) 238-0986 or www.downtownvirginia.org