The Michigan Main Street Center recently published Ten Years of Excellence: The Economic Impacts of Main Street in Michigan. With more than 45 communities participating in the program, benefits have spread across the state.
The state-led program started in 2003 with the goal to help communities revitalize their historic downtowns and neighborhood commercial districts. Similar to MML’s placemaking strategy, the Main Street Program encourages communities to expand on their unique assets and fill gaps where necessary. This model is a community-driven Four-Point Approach® of placemaking that highlights design, economic restructuring, promotion, and organization.
According to the report, the Michigan Main Street Program has:
- Boosted community investment: Over $200 million has been invested in Main Street buildings, infrastructure, and public spaces.
- Improved business and expanded job opportunities: 250 new businesses have been established and more than 1,300 new jobs have been created in Main Street districts.
- Increased tax revenue: Local property tax revenues in Main Street districts see an estimated $3 million more each year because of improvements to downtown buildings. The state has also seen an increase in sales tax from new businesses in Main Street districts by $3.1 million each year.
- Leveraged community volunteers: The value of volunteer hours spent in Main Street districts equates to nearly $8 million.
Michigan Main Street City: Boyne City
Boyne City has already implemented Main Street initiatives and now serves as a mentor to other communities. As highlighted in an MML case study the Main Street Program helped Boyne City leaders:
- Create successful downtown events, including a farmers market.
- Invest more than $6 million in downtown infrastructure.
- Found a local economic development team of community stakeholders.
- Help property owners with façade renovations.
- Attract new residents and businesses.
- Partner with a private developer on a multimillion dollar mixed-use project.
- And simply create a downtown residents and visitors could enjoy!
Learn about Boyne City’s Main Street improvements here.
Important initiatives like Michigan Main Street are strengthening communities and increasing resident quality of life. We’re glad to support and continue these sort of projects through placemaking, education, and our policy framework.