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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Kathleen Achtenberg
JUNE 16, 2020
Two Communities Announced for Select Level of theMichigan Main Street Program
Historic North End neighborhood of Detroit, Downtown Grosse Pointe join 23 other Michigan communities taking a strategic approach to revitalizing their downtowns and commercial districts
LANSING, Mich. – The historic North End neighborhood of Detroit and the city of Grosse Pointe have been selected by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation to take part in the Select Level of the Michigan Main Street program, MEDC announced today.
As part of the Select Level of Michigan Main Street, these two communities will receive five years of intensive technical assistance from MEDC with a focus on revitalization strategies designed to attract new residents, business investments, economic growth and job creation to their central business districts.
“Now more than ever, it is vital that our communities take a common-sense approach toward strengthening their core commercial districts and driving economic growth in the community as they work to recover from the impact of the COVID-19 virus,” said MEDC Senior Vice President of Community Development Michele Wildman. “With the support of the Main Street program and the MEDC, we can work with our local partners to transform the downtowns and commercial districts in communities to secure the critical role they will play on Michigan's path toward our future.”
The Michigan Main Street Program aims to create communities distinguished by a “sense of place.” The rationale is based on a range of studies that show investing in creating a “sense of place” is an integral part of developing vibrant downtowns and commercial districts, thereby making the state economically stronger and culturally diverse.
The City of Grosse Pointe and Grosse Pointe Downtown Development Authority are well positioned for the Select Level of the Michigan Main Street Program due to the overwhelming community support and buy-in for comprehensive downtown revitalization. Many DDA members, businesses owners and city officials attended the MMS Training Series. Using best practices discussed during the training, the community has made great strides to implement a communication plan and fund development strategy to build broad-based community support and a robust budget for the program. The community is prepared to learn and implement the Main Street Four Point Approach of organization, promotion, design and economic vitality.
The Vanguard Community Development Corporation, which has served as advocate for and worked on behalf of the North End neighborhood since 1994, told a compelling story about the history and transformation that is beginning in the Historic North End neighborhood in Detroit. Vanguard CDC has gathered the support of many district stakeholders including partner organizations and business owners to use the Main Street Approach to continue to the revitalization efforts they have already started in the district. As a result, the North End neighborhood was recognized as being well suited for participation in the Select Level.
Grosse Pointe and the North End neighborhood of Detroit join 23 other communities already benefitting from participation in the Main Street program. Those communities include Blissfield, Boyne City, Charlevoix, Charlotte, Cheboygan, Downtown Lansing, Eaton Rapids, Evart, Grand Haven, Grayling, Howell, Lapeer, Mexicantown Hubbard Communities neighborhood in Detroit, Milan, Niles, Old Town (Lansing), Otsego, Owosso, Saline, Sault Ste. Marie, Three Rivers, Wayland and Wayne.
“Developing downtowns and commercial districts is essential in building a tax base, raising property values and putting people to work,” Wildman said. “Programs like Michigan Main Street provide communities with the tools needed to create jobs, provide desirable places to live and build a sense of place for Michigan residents.”
Over the past year, Michigan Main Street communities generated more than $19 million in private investment, 109 new businesses and 100 façade improvements. Since its inception in 2003, Michigan Main Street has been a catalyst for job growth, private investment and community engagement. From 2003 through 2019, 1,408 new businesses have been launched, with a total public investment of more than $99 million and total private investment of $306 million. In addition, 49,092 volunteer hours were recorded in 2019 in the task of revitalizing downtowns across the state.
In May, in partnership with Reopen Main Street, Downtown Professionals Network and Arnett Muldrow and Associates, Michigan Main Street and the MEDC launched a new Michigan Reopen Main Street website offering resources, strategies and assets for downtowns and communities as they plan for their re-openings following the COVID-19 crisis. The site, https://michigan.reopenmainstreet.com/, is intended to assist Main Street directors, downtown development authority and commercial district managers, small business owners and local stakeholders in navigating the complexities of re-opening their local business districts by providing a variety of recovery resources compiled into one, easy-to-use website.
About Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC)
The Michigan Economic Development Corporation is the state’s marketing arm and lead advocate for business development, job awareness and community development with the focus on growing Michigan’s economy. For more information on the MEDC and our initiatives, visit www.MichiganBusiness.org. For Pure Michigan® tourism information, your trip begins at www.michigan.org. Join the conversation on: Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter.