Why is Downtown Revitalization important?

A healthy Downtown Saline can positively affect economic growth and civic pride.  Historically, Downtown was the heart and soul of a community.  It embodied the true heritage and identity of community life.  If selected by the Michigan Main Street Center in 2012, Downtown Saline’s Main Street program will focus on retaining the real sense of community that Downtown provides through historic preservation, improvements and community involvement.  The Michigan Main Street Center provides 5 years of downtown revitalization training to Select Level Main Street programs tailored to the community for Board Members and volunteers.

Why is a healthy and vibrant Downtown important?  Here are just a few reasons:

  • Downtown is a symbol of community economic health, local quality of life, pride and community history.  These are all factors in residential, industrial, commercial, and professional recruitment.
  • A vital Downtown retains and creates jobs, which also means a stronger tax base.  Long-term revitalization establishes capable businesses that use public services and provide tax revenues for the community.  This lessens the burden on local government and the community’s taxpayers as well.
  • Downtown is a good incubator for new small businessesthe building blocks of a healthy economy.  Strip centers and malls are often too expensive for new entrepreneurs. Main Street helps us to create the environment for a strong business community.
  • A vibrant Downtown area reduces sprawl by concentrating retail in one area and uses community resources wisely, such as infrastructure, tax dollars, and land.
  • A healthy Downtown core protects property values in surrounding residential neighborhoods.
  • The traditional commercial district is an ideal location for independent businesses, which in turn:  Keep profits in town, supports local families with family owned businesses, supports local community projects such as ball teams and schools, provides a local economic foundation
  • A revitalized Downtown provides an important civic forum, where members of the community can congregate. Parades, special events and celebrations are held and reinforce an intangible sense of community.
What are the next steps for Saline?
The newly formed, Saline Historic Downtown Alliance, has been created to house the future Main Street program.  The many volunteers are working hard to prepare for the application to become a ‘Select Level’ Michigan Main Street community.  It is a very competitive process that needs to involve the whole community.  At the very minimum, we need to prove that the community wants and needs this program and that we can fund the program for the 5 year training period.  Our campaign to raise awareness is called ‘Route ’12 to Main Street’. Volunteers have been presenting the Main Street program at several organizations throughout the community since December, 2010.  This website and a Facebook page was also created to help keep the community informed.  Our efforts to raise the contributions necessary to support the program are planned to be focused through the months of September and October. We hope that by October 31, we will know if we have the support and funding to apply for the Select status.  You can learn more about the Michigan Main Street Center and how the program works at http://www.michiganmainstreet.com.
How Can you Help?
If you are interested in helping , here are some ways you can help:

  1. Write a letter of support.  Please address it to the Saline Historic Downtown Alliance  (See example under the FAQ tab) and mail it to P. O. Box 44, Saline, Michigan 48176
  2. Let us know if there is a group or organization you know of that we could come and present the Main Street Approach.
  3. Consider making an investment…(We need to show that we have pledges for a five-year period. If you believe that it is important to have a vibrant, healthy, beautiful and active Downtown that our whole community can enjoy for years to come, then please consider showing your support by investing.  We hope to have a way to make online contributions soon.  The pledges would be billed in January, 2012.
  4. Share our Facebook page and website with your friends. Help us spread the word!
  5. Share your time/skills.  Fill out the form under the ‘Join Us’ tab and we will contact you.
  6. We’re open to your suggestions and ideas on how to get the word out. Please email me at cindyczubko@yahoo.com.
Thank you!

About Route '12 to Main Street

Route '12 to Main Street is sponsored by the Saline Historic Downtown Alliance (SHDA), a new non-profit entity focused on the revitalization of Downtown Saline for the benefit of the entire community. SHDA, with the support of the City of Saline and the EDC, is applying to become a Main Street community through the Michigan Main Street Center. It is a competitive process and over the next seven months, volunteers are working hard to prepare for the application process by educating the community, recruiting volunteers and gaining support. Benefits to become a 'Selected' Main Street community through the Michigan Main Street Center program are 5 years of technical training, design services, and increased public awareness for our community. Benefits of having a comprehensive Downtown revitalization strategy are even more, and we will be talking about these advantages in upcoming blogs.

Posted on August 9, 2011, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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