There's two main streets in Greater Lansing. Main Street America, that is.
In July, Downtown Lansing Inc.
was designated a Main Street America program, joining the Old Town Commercial Association
as the second area in Lansing to be accredited by the National Main Street Center.
While Downtown Lansing Inc. has been a Michigan Main Street since 2012, this is the first year the downtown district has joined the national ranks.
"I'm very excited that Downtown Lansing Inc. has achieved national Main Street accreditation," says Mindy Biladeau, executive director of Downtown Lansing Inc. "It is a validation of all the hard work of our board members, committee members, volunteers and staff, but more importantly, it represents the next step in the continuing renaissance of our downtown."
The National Main Street Center and its Coordinating Program partners accredit local programs based on 10 performance standards that examine the presence of comprehensive and sustainable revitalization efforts. Standards include fostering strong public-private partnerships, securing an operating budget, tracking programmatic progress, and actively preserving historic buildings.
Downtown Lansing Inc. has five working committees focused on making downtown the place to be, Biladeau says. With the help of community volunteers, the organization produces more than 30 events per year that bring thousands of visitors downtown, including Trick-or-Treat on the Square, Taste of Downtown and Silver Bells in the City.
In 2015, 26 new businesses opened in the downtown district. The district has also benefited from more than $47 million in private investment since becoming a designated Michigan Main Street in 2012.
"There's so much community support for the revitalization of downtown," says Biladeau. "We believe your downtown has to be healthy to have a healthy community. It's the economic engine that drives the entire community."
Lansing Downtown Inc. has two full-time and one part-time staff, and works with more than 600 volunteers. The district is one of 29 nationally accredited or affiliate Main Street America communities in Michigan.
Source: Mindy Biladeau, Executive Director, Downtown Lansing Inc.
Writer: Ann Kammerer, News Editor
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