Thoughts along the way: Main Street Guthrie Center

 

Main Street Guthrie Center is working hard to revitalize downtown Guthrie Center. Here are some thoughts on what constitutes a successful downtown revitalization program:

  1. Comprehensive. A single project cannot revitalize a downtown or commercial neighborhood. An ongoing series of initiatives is vital to build community support and create lasting progress.
  2. Incremental. Small projects make a big difference. They demonstrate that “things are happening’ on Main Street and hone the skills and confidence the program will need to tackle more complex projects.
  3. Self-Help. The State of Iowa/Main Street Iowa can provide valuable direction and technical assistance, but only local leadership can breed long-term success by fostering and demonstrating community involvement and commitment to the revitalization effort.
  4. Public/Private Partnership. Main Street Guthrie Center needs the support and expertise of both the public and private sectors. For an effective partnership, each must recognize the strengths and weaknesses of the other. A perfect example of this is the façade renovation project happening now in downtown Guthrie Center. The City of Guthrie Center applied for, received and is managing the façade renovations and Main Street Guthrie Center is supporting that effort through the four Main Street Guthrie Center committees and the work they are doing.
  5. Identifying and Capitalizing on Existing Assets. Unique offerings and local assets provide the solid foundation for a successful Main Street initiative.
  6. Quality. From storefront design to promotional campaigns to special events, quality must be instilled in Main Street Guthrie Center.
  7. Change. Changing community attitudes and habits is essential to bring about a commercial district renaissance. A carefully planned Main Street program will help shift public perceptions and practices to support and sustain the revitalization process.
  8. Action Oriented. Frequent visible changes in the look and activities of the downtown district will reinforce the perception of positive change. Small, but dramatic, improvements early in the process will remind the people of Guthrie Center that the revitalization effort is underway.

 

Courtesy of Julie Bailey, MSGC Director, Guthrie Center Times, 10/01/2014

Main Street Guthrie County revitalization

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