Oakland County Updates Main Street Program to Draw More Downtown Districts

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Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson today unveiled a new three-tiered program in an effort to prepare more communities for entry into Main Street Oakland County, which assists local government in developing their downtowns.

“Nineteen downtowns are in the Main Street program,” Patterson said. “My goal is to bring many more communities into the fold as soon as possible. I want all the downtowns to enjoy the benefits we see now in Ferndale, Holly, Oxford, and all the Main Street communities.”

The Main Street program takes its methodology from the National Main Street Center’s Four Point Approach. At Oakland County, program officials work with participating to build consensus and cooperation among various stakeholders; promote a district’s assets; help design and enhance a district’s physical appearance; and economic restructuring.

Since 2001, member communities of the countywide program have generated more than $650 million in public and private investment and created more than 6,600 jobs./p>

With the new three-tiered program, the county will now offer services to communities that do not meet the all of the criteria established by the National Main Street Center. As part of the effort, communities participating in the Main Street program will be categorized as select, associate, or affiliate level. Associates and affiliates will receive training, technical services, and promotional and networking opportunities, while select communities will receive a more extensive list of services.

 “We can now work with communities with Heritage Corridors such as Woodward Avenue, Eight Mile Road, and Dixie Highway as well as newer, mixed-use urban centers,” Patterson says.

To be designated as a select level, the community must have a historic downtown or hamlet settled in the 1800s or early 1900s, primarily built before 1940. In contrast, associate and affiliate levels have a wider range of criteria to serve more communities, including historic downtowns and hamlets, urban mixed-use development, or commercial centers.

Clawson, Farmington, Ferndale, Franklin, Highland, Holly, Lake Orion, Ortonville, Oxford, Pontiac, Rochester and Walled Lake are select level Main Street communities. Birmingham, Clarkston, Lathrup Village, Leonard, Oak Park, Waterford and Wixom are communities in the associate level program.
For more information, visit mainstreetoaklandcounty.com.

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