Posted on Jun 01, 2018
Foley, along with Scottsboro and South Huntsville, has been selected to join a statewide effort to build stronger communities through effective downtown revitalization. Main Street Alabama, a non-profit organization that uses a national model with a 40-year track record of success, designated the towns after a rigorous application process.
According to Mary Helmer, State Coordinator for the program, Main Street Alabama will immediately begin providing each town with intensive board development, goal setting, work planning, market study with implementable economic development strategies, targeted technical assistance, and training related to downtown development. “When a community is ready for Main Street, as these three are, the time tested Four Point Approach® works,” Helmer said. “It brings jobs, dollars and people back to downtowns and neighborhood commercial districts.”
Helmer added that the interview panel was impressed by the presentations each applicant made that demonstrated a love of their downtowns, a vision for what they could be, and the drive to make it happen. She noted that Foley demonstrated strong community partnerships, an innovative list of accomplishments in the district in past few years and the ability to financially support a program, which made them stand out in the field of applicants.
The announcement made on social media earlier this morning stated:
“Chances are you have been to this newly Designated Community. A Chicago native became the town’s founding father after he heard of the area while on a train ride. Today over six million people drive through this community each year. Currently known for its destination retail and one of the top tourism attractions in the state, the city also is focusing on athletic tourism with their world-class facilities for sports teams. The town has many athletic claims to fame: it is the childhood home of NFL greats Ken Stabler and Julio Jones, and sod for the Super Bowl and both Bryant Denny and Jordan Hare Stadiums is grown at a nearby farm. Now this Baldwin County community is taking a new look at its historic downtown and the possibilities it holds. We know that this community will nurture and cultivate a fine Main Street program that yields success, so we welcome you, City of Foley, to the Main Street fold!”
Foley, Scottsboro, and South Huntsville join Alexander City, Anniston, Athens, Birmingham, Columbiana, Decatur, Dothan, Elba, Eufaula, Florence, Fort Payne, Gadsden, Heflin, Marion, Monroeville, Montevallo, Jasper, Opelika, Oxford and Wetumpka and in using Main Street's comprehensive and incremental approach. Each Designated community listed above reports their success by tracking their reinvestment statistics. Main Street Alabama’s Designated communities have reported 488 net new businesses, 1,932 net new jobs, $282,679,772 in private investment, $74,257,229 in public improvements, and 61,201 volunteer hours in their districts collectively since June of 2014.
Main Street Alabama will continue to add new communities annually. Application Workshops to become a Designated Community will be held again in January 2019. Until then, communities interested in downtown and neighborhood commercial district revitalization can participate in Main Street Alabama's Network.
For more information, visit www.mainstreetalabama.org
Main Street is a unique preservation based economic development program.