Implement the Main Street Approach


Overall Strategic Framework—Implement the Main Street Approach

The TCD board agreed that the Main Street Approach™ provides a valuable framework for structuring goals for the organization. The Main Street Approach™ is a proven national model that has been successful in over 40 states and 1,800 communities. It was pioneered over 30 years ago by the National Trust for Historic Preservation and led to the establishment of the National Main Street Center which to this day leads and convenes the national Main Street network. This approach is used in urban downtowns, traditional town centers, and small village centers throughout the country, as well as in Connecticut.

In addition to improving the quality of life for all of Willimantic residents, municipalities like Willimantic need sustainable growth. This means finding ways to increase the tax base and reduce costs. Compact, developed areas like the downtown district can generate more revenue and save money according to a report by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The report states that the infrastructure costs to service compact, dense development are 32% to 47% less than for lower density suburban development (Ford 2009).

While the benefits of healthy commercial neighborhoods are numerous, reviving underutilized centers is a complex, time consuming, resource-intensive process. The Main Street Approach™ provides the process based on these four points:

 Organization - Restoring the civic value of the district, by building consensus and cooperation among groups that play a role in the downtown or village center
 Economic Enhancement/Restructuring - Restoring the economic value of the district, by diversifying it with an appropriate mix of current and new businesses suitable for the given marketplace
 Promotion - Restoring the social value of the district through branding (creating a positive image of the district), retail promotions, and special events
 Design - Restoring the physical value of the district, through both new and rehabilitation construction and through the design of public spaces that will attract more people to walk and gather on a regular basis

Website Developed & Maintained by:

Thread City Development
P.O Box 1257
Willimantic, CT 06226

860.455.4673 was partially funded by a grant from Connecticut Main Street Center and the ‘Preservation of Place’ program in cooperation with the State Historic Preservation Office with funds from Community Investment Act of the State of Connecticut
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