The Main Street program is a comprehensive commercial revitalization strategy that helps communities preserve historic buildings and develop strategies for continuous improvement in the vitality of the downtown. The Main Street Four Point Approach™, is tailored to local needs and opportunities. The Faribault Main Street is organized to unify the central business district, with emphasis on Central Avenue, to create an attractive destination in which businesses prosper the community benefits and residents and visitors enjoy a quality downtown experience.
This is not new to Faribault. Going back to the 1970’s the Four Point Approach is evident in the work being done by the downtown business groups. In 1982 the City of Faribault developed the Heritage Preservation Commission and the ordinances that designated the Preservation District. From that the annual Heritage Days Celebration also emerged. Throughout this time City staff has been successful in getting Small Cities Development grants to assist building owners with the restoration of many downtown buildings.
A private member-driven Downtown Association operated for the betterment of the downtown area through 1999. In its long history it served the community very well. Most recent Executive directors include Jean Mahler, Warren Wadsworth and Marcia Morris-Beck. A study conducted by the Downtown Association in 1999 lead the leadership of that group to ask the Chamber of Commerce to take over the management of the Downtown Committee. This eliminated duplication of effort and also eliminated the need for separate dues investments to be paid by downtown businesses. Since then the Downtown Committee has been staffed by the Chamber
In the first years (1999 – August 2005) the committee simply followed the agenda of the former organization concentrating on promotions and activities downtown.
In late 2004 the City and the Chamber commissioned a study of Economic Development issues in
Faribault including the downtown commercial district. The DSU report (conducted by the firm; Dahlgren, Shardlow and Uban) provided research and recommendations on the downtown area which lead to the reorganization of the Chamber of Commerce Downtown Committee into the Downtown Action Committee (DAC) which adopted the Four Point approach of the Main Street Program.
The DSU report validated concerns long expressed by Downtown business people that parking was a problem. This lead to a Mayor’s task force on Downtown, to study parking and other infrastructure needs in the downtown commercial corridor. Other issues emerged from this study as well, including worn facades, lighting, trash containers, street and sidewalk issues and more. This was the impetus for the recent street and infrastructure improvements in the downtown district.
Since 2005, the Downtown Action Committee has been the voice of downtown and the conduit for communication with city officials during the extensive development of plans and ultimate construction phase of the downtown improvements. The DAC has also been the advocate for downtown in the development of increased parking and creative solutions to parking challenges.
In addition the DAC assisted downtown businesses in many downtown promotions, conducted a First Impressions exchange, participated in a community assistantship from the University of Minnesota, launched a special service district task force and hosted scores of downtown informational and educational meetings. In partnership with the city, we conducted a door to door information drop and attempted to complete an inventory of space in the downtown district. Most recently we made a successful application to become one of Minnesota’s first designated Main Street Communities under the newly opened MN Main Street program.
Why Main Street?
The comprehensive and proven strategies of the Main Street program lead to great confidence and ultimately better results for our downtown. The program provides structure and training along with networking and guidance on myriad of downtown concerns. The ultimate goal is a thriving downtown with increasing property values, lease rates, occupancy rates, private investment, customer traffic and spending. This will lead to higher property taxes, reduction in crime and vandalism and fewer maintenance issues. These are surely goals we all can agree on.
The Main Street program is a comprehensive commercial revitalization strategy that helps communities preserve some of their historic buildings and develop strategies for continuous improvement in the vitality of the downtown. The Main Street Four Point Approach™, is tailored to local needs and opportunities:
- Design: Enhancing the physical appearance of the commercial district by rehabilitating historic buildings, encouraging compatible infill, and developing sensitive design management systems.
- Organization: Building consensus and cooperation among the many groups and individuals who have a role in the revitalization process.
- Promotion: Marketing the traditional commercial district’s assets to customers, potential investors, new businesses, local citizens, and visitors.
- Economic Restructuring: Strengthening the district’s existing economic base while finding ways to expand it to meet new opportunities.
Since becoming a designated Main Street Community in July of 2010, local training has been provided in each of the four points. Committees have been formed and goals established.
- Develop the Main Street Faribault district boundaries
- Formalize the relationship with the Chamber
- Develop handbooks for all committee chairs
- Develop and distribute welcome-information packets to new businesses in the district
- Develop a presentation to give to service clubs and other groups
- Host a spring event to inform and appreciate stakeholders
Economic Restructuring (ER) Goals:
- Complete an inventory of available space
- Update list of incentives available for building owners in the downtown district
- Update city and chamber website with economic information for downtown
- Begin business surveys and market research
- Launch fundraising efforts for downtown Flower Basket project
- Advance the parking lot naming and signing project
- Assist owners of vacant spaces with window signs and displays
- Identify Faribault’s unique downtown opportunities
- Create promotions that meet specific goals
- Establish an annual marketing and promotions plan for downtown
- Produce special events and activities
These committees welcome participants from all walks of life, business and building owners, residents and anyone interested in the efforts to maintain and promote our Main Street.
The Main Street Faribault Program is a community-based effort to revitalize Faribault’s Central Business District. Though it is supported by the Faribault Area Chamber of Commerce; it is for members and non-members alike. This program is based on the National Main Street Approach that has been used in over 1,700 communities during the past 25 years.
Faribault Main Street Chairs:
Organization/Board ChairsBruce Burkhartzmeyer Burkhartzmeyer Shoes 128 Central Ave N Faribault, MN 55021 507-334-7774 (work) Fax: 507-334-9256 email@example.com
Peggy Keilen Faribo Air Conditioning & Heating, Inc. 513 Central Ave N Faribault, MN 55021 507-334-6408 (work) Fax: 507-334-8681 firstname.lastname@example.org Economic Restructuring Larry Harn G & H Property Management LMH Appraisals 303 1st Ave NE Suite 260 Faribault, MN 55021 507-334-3499 (work) email@example.com Promotions Laura Paquette
The Cheese Cave
318 Central Avenue
Faribault, MN 55021
(507) 334-3988 (work)
Fax: (507) 332-9011
firstname.lastname@example.org Design Doug Zahn State Bank of Faribault 428 Central Ave N Faribault, MN 55021 507-332-7401 (work) Fax: 507-332-4603 email@example.com
For more information:Emily Northey Minnesota Main Street Program Coordinator Preservation Alliance of Minnesota firstname.lastname@example.org 651.293.9047 x103 www.mnpreservation.org Kymn Anderson Faribault Area Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Faribault Main Street Coordinator 507-334-4381 email@example.com