Four Point Approach
The Main Street methodology addresses the following four areas of concern and combines activities in these areas to develop a community's individual strategy for strengthening and redeveloping its central business district.
The four points are: organization, promotion, design, and economic restructuring.
1. Organization: building consensus and cooperation among public and private groups and individuals, and identifying sources of funding for revitalization activities.
The Main Street approach to central business district revitalization requires the effort of the entire community. The merchants, property owners, local government officials, and civic leaders must agree to support common goals for revitalization and join together in a partnership.
Successful Main Street programs are usually structured as nonprofits guided by an active working board. Four standing committees that correspond to the four points develop projects and work plans for implementation. Local programs hire a paid program manager to help coordinate the efforts of volunteers and implement the program.
2. Promotion: marketing the commercial district through events and advertising to attract customers, potential investors, new businesses, residents, and visitors.
First impressions count. The promotions of the central business district as a single, unified commercial area - in the same way that a major shopping mall is promoted - will help attract customers and strengthen Main Street's role as a viable business center. The organization can coordinate an aggressive promotion and marketing campaign that includes a program of special events, retail promotions and on-going public relations.
3. Design: enhancing the district's physical appearance through building rehabilitation, compatible new construction, public improvements, and design management systems.
Good design is essential to all aspects of Central Business
District revitalization. The Main Street design philosophy is rooted in an historic preservation approach and seeks to use and enhance those elements of quality design that remain in our communities.
Neglect and misguided improvements may have taken a toll on the appearance of downtown, affecting its perceived economic potential. Renovated facades and creative merchandising displays, appropriate landscaping and public improvements are all part of downtown's long-lasting visual appeal and a well-functioning physical environment.
4. Economic Restructuring: strengthening district's economic base and creating new opportunities through careful analysis and appropriate mixed-use development.
In the twentieth century the retail environment changed profoundly. To become competitive, the district must reposition itself. With a thorough understanding of today's market, downtown can develop strategies to enhance the competitiveness of existing merchants, recruit new businesses, create new anchors and convert unused space into new uses.