We love historic downtowns!

Enhancing the economic, social, cultural and environmental well-being of historic downtown business districts in Missouri.

Public and Private INVESTMENT

$1000000000

Net new businesses

834

Net New jobs

4109

volunteer hours

444113

Designated Missouri Main Street communities report economic impact in their districts each quarter. Cumulative totals for the program.

 

Blog

Missouri Main Street Blog Section

Blog Home > Author > Ben White
Ben White
AUTHOR
Ben White »

Missouri Main Street Connection Inc. (MMSC) in partnership with AARP Missouri, is excited to announce the completion of the Uptown Jackson Revitalization Organization (UJRO) project “Roaming Parklet” from the AARP Community Resiliency grant. AARP Missouri invested in projects that inspire change and improve communities for all ages. UJRO, a Main Street program, was awarded $5,000 to make their resiliency project a reality, “The grant represented an outstanding opportunity for the rotation of a Roaming Parklet to park at all Uptown businesses,” said Janna Clifton. It is important for communities to activate spaces in new ways to meet the changing business climate as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. This grant was specifically designed to be implemented for the betterment of a uptown area by including community input and implementation while celebrating and encouraging inclusivity.




Debuting during the 2021 Christmas Parade, this ‘Roaming Parklet’ was unveiled to the community after months of dedicated volunteer work and coordination by UJRO with vendors and suppliers to complete their project. Developed off the grant winning rendering from Craig Milde, Design Committee chair and architect with Design + Advise, UJRO built a custom “Roaming Parklet’ from a tiny home frame that is lower to the street surface to allow fewer steps to climb and a shorter accessibility ramp. Furnishings including seating, bar top tables, and umbrella coverings when necessary to allow the ‘Roaming Parklet’ to be configured in different set ups according to the need of the business or special event. COVID-19 has made ordering tricky over the past year leading to several delays; however, UJRO has continued to press on with the project and wait until all the pieces were ready for the project’s completion. 

 




Activating streets has been vital in many communities across America as changing business requirements during the pandemic required more space for shoppers and diners. To address these requirements, many communities allowed restaurants and businesses to expand into the streets, utilizing would-be parking spaces as new shared spaces that served as extensions of their businesses to form parklets and outdoor seating. This is great for communities that have the infrastructure to allow for these measures to not impede or restrict streets and sidewalk spaces in facilitating drivers and foot traffic. For the Uptown Jackson area, this presented its own challenges as community and merchant concerns grew about the idea of permanent parklets.  Therefore, the answer was this ‘Roaming Parklet’ that would rotate and park at all Uptown businesses allowing them shared access to this self-contained, mobile “parklet” providing the same amenities for each use at each business driving publicity and foot traffic. Not only will this ‘Roaming Parklet’ be utilized for special event space and pop-up markets, it also is planned to expand existing businesses’ storefronts and retail space for years to come.  

 

 

This is a big win for the Uptown district and businesses as this will allow UJRO to inspire further revitalization and activation through the ‘Roaming Parklet’ by testing areas in the district for further enhancement and aligning UJRO’s anticipated comprehensive landscape plan in lieu of the routine builds and removal of semi-permanent parklets. 



A final thank you from Missouri Main Street Connection and Uptown Jackson Revitalization Organization to all the volunteers who put their time, effort, and expertise into completing this outstanding project and who will continue to volunteer through the usage of this community amenity to support the district’s businesses and provide a shared public space for visitors. Special thanks also goes out to UJRO Board President Terry Tushhoff and Executive Director Janna Clifton for the coordination of this project. 

Comments 0 Rating: Be the first person to rate this post.
The One Billion Partnership
AUTHOR
Ben White »

In 2021, Missouri Main Street Connection celebrated $1 billion of private and public investment in Main Street districts across Missouri. This incredible investment, tracked since 2006, has transformed downtowns.


There are key differences between public and private investment. Public investment is described as dollars spent by the public sector, including city, county, and state governments while private investment comes from other non-governmental sources. Since Missouri Main Street Connection has been collecting statistics, private investment has more than doubled that of public investment in downtowns. The doubling of private investment has been possible in part due to the public sector’s emphasis in creating the foundation for development.


In 2012, Cape Girardeau showcased why having a public and private partnership is essential for sustaining revitalization. Shortly before 2012, a new casino was developed along the riverfront. To enhance the area and attract people to the river, the casino partnered with the City of Cape Girardeau and Old Town Cape on a beautification project on one of downtown’s main corridors, Broadway Street. This project included new streets, major landscaping, and new cantilever street lighting that transformed downtown in a meaningful way. This project brought much needed beautification, lighting, and walkability measures to this busy thoroughfare, a long-identified need from the community.  Here is what Liz Haynes, Executive Director of Old Town Cape, said about the project:


“The Broadway streetscape project in Cape Girardeau exemplifies how sound community planning can transform a street and neighborhood and propelled extensive private and public investment in the Broadway corridor. A result of the planning efforts has been increased pedestrian activity, investment in buildings and facades, and an enhanced, beautiful street for Old Town Cape.”

 

 


Public investment can be the catalyst in private sector downtown development efforts. The Main Street philosophy focuses on leveraging together resources to capitalize on small incremental changes that change the perspective of downtown and utilize good business practices to attract investors and partners with the potential market of a vibrant downtown. Private investment many times happens when there is a shown effort to revitalize downtown. As a result of these collaborative efforts in Cape Girardeau, eight blocks of Broadway Street received the 2021 American Planning Association Missouri Great Place Award. This award recognizes projects and places that have shown to have great economic impact on an area.


Investment in downtown comes from intentional efforts to revitalize. However, this effort takes more than just one or two people, but it truly takes the community. Public and private investment need to work hand in hand for true, comprehensive development that will be sustainable. Investment doesn’t happen on accident; it takes forethought and a plan by all who want to envision a thriving community that provides a high quality of life for its community members.

Comments 0 Rating: Be the first person to rate this post.
AUTHOR
Ben White »

Winter is coming and with that can come all sorts of cold and water related issues. This is a crucial time for your building and if potential problems are not dealt with now, the repairs will just become more expensive down the road. Make sure the building is prepped correctly so these next few months don’t cause headache down the road in the spring and summer time. Here are some steps that building owners can take for these winter months:

 

- Check weather stripping around windows and doors. Install to prevent air infiltration. (1 hour, depending on type)


- If applicable, install interior storm windows for winter. (2 hours)


- Caulk any gaps in wood for a temporary water tight seal. (30 min)


- Inspect basement for crawl space for excessive water during wet weather. (30 min)


- Sweep debris from flat or low sloping roofs. (30 min)

Comments 0 Rating: Be the first person to rate this post.
AUTHOR
Ben White »

The Missouri Main Street Connection Historic Preservation Committee had its first “Doctor Is In” consultation in September with Julie McBride, owner of Wyoming Street Wine Stop in Pleasant Hill, MO. Wyoming Street Wine Stop serves a variety of food and wines from all around the world making it truly a destination business for Pleasant Hill. Julie, along with her husband Robert, look to provide an experience for the residents of Pleasant Hill and draw in bikers from the nearby Katy Trail.


Julie reached out to Missouri Main Street Connection’s Historic Preservation Committee for help with renovating the façade of her building and the funding options for the renovation. The original vision was to tear out the existing storefront in order to try to recreate the original façade from when the building was first constructed in the early 1900s. During the meeting, the committee recommended adding an attractive awning and paint, as well as suggesting preventative upkeep measures for the building as ways to enhance the existing storefront instead of recreating the original storefront. These recommendations came from reviewing the history of the community, district, and building by the committee in preparation for the meeting. The building that currently houses the Wyoming Street Wine Stop gained its existing storefront as part of a major renovation that happened in the 1950s, which is the same period of significance that was part of the National Register nomination for the Pleasant Hill National Register district.


Even though the storefront is not original, it is still historic at over 70 years old and coincides with the historic significance of the district. Making changes to the existing façade is important versus making drastic changes to the look, in order to be eligible for historic tax credits and to keep the building historically significant. These recommendations considered the historic tax credit program and what qualifies as an eligible expense to provide guidance for Julie in where to start with historic tax credits and who she should talk to if historic tax credits are to be potentially used on the project.


The meeting provided direction for her and her husband as they talk with an architect on the next steps following their meeting. Currently, the upper floor and back of the building are the primary focus, with the enhancement of the façade to be completed after these first projects. The upper floor is planned to be activated and turned into residential use. “Thank you and the team so much for taking the time to help Robert and I navigate historic preservation,” said Julie McBride after the consultation was completed and follow-up material was given.


The Historic Preservation Committee is ready to help you with any preservation-related questions that you or a downtown stakeholder may have. “We welcome any and all applicants from Missouri Main Street Connection’s top three Tiers to submit an application to the Historic Preservation Committee. We’re ready to help and be of service to downtown districts in Missouri,” said John Vietmeier, the chair of the Historic Preservation Committee. This meeting serves as the initial consultation and the connector for future steps needed. Historic preservation-related discussions could include but are not limited to: façade renovation assistance, building materials and maintenance issues, historic tax credits, and funding questions.


If you are interested in talking with the team of professionals about a historic preservation-related question, you can fill out a short form outlining the problem here: https://www.momainstreet.org//Programs.aspx?PID=1099.


All submissions should be turned into Program Outreach Specialist, Ben White, by email at ben@momainstreet.org. Please attach all applicable pictures to the submission. After receipt, Ben will follow up with any additional materials and information needed and work to set a time to join the virtual meeting. Applicants must be in a community from the top three MMSC Tiers: Accredited, Associate, or Affiliate. 

Comments 0 Rating: Be the first person to rate this post.
AUTHOR
Ben White »

Our Affiliate Tier is home to many different types of communities from urban pilot programs enrolled in Saint Louis Main Streets, community programs getting started through the Community Empowerment Grant (CEG) program, and communities that have graduated out of the CEG program and are strong, sustainable revitalization organizations like the Historic River District, the Main Street program in Ozark, Missouri.

 

The Historic River District fully utilized their time in the Community Empowerment Grant program (formerly the Affiliate Grant Program) and built the foundation of a strong, sustainable organization that is making an impact in downtown Ozark. Chris Schafer, the President of Historic River District, remarked about their organizations time in the CEG program:

 

“I would recommend the grant services to anyone that is looking to improve their community. The training and structure that was given through these grant services were second to none from an organization (Main Street) that truly understands what it takes to improve your downtown community. It is unbelievable how much support and information is available on what to do to improve your community and how to go about it. The training opportunities that were afforded to us gave the direction and guidance for what each committee needed to work."

 

Chris Schafer lists the amazing things that have happened in their community since graduating out of the Community Empowerment Grant from placemaking and beautification to community amenities to even events:

• A veterans tribute on the anniversary of the end of the WWI in conjunction with the Christian County Museum and the local American Legion;

• Trunk or Treat Event on the Square;

• Cruising the Square event;

• The Heart of Ozark Gala;

• Haunted Walking Tour program in the fall;

• Friday Night Parade of Lights;

• A beautiful mural along South Jackson Street; and

• A new Gazebo on the Christian County square.

 

"This Affiliate Grant also helped us to build strong relationships with both city and county government. It has been a blessing to our organization and our community," Chris Schafer.

 

If you are interested in revitalizing your downtown using the structured services and resources of the Community Empowerment Grant program, please reach out to Program Outreach Specialist Ben White at ben@momainstreet.org or (816) 560-1722 for more information.

Comments 0 Rating: Be the first person to rate this post.
AUTHOR
Ben White »

The Historic Preservation Committee of Missouri Main Street Connection (MMSC) is excited to offer "The Doctor Is In” service to Main Street communities from the MMSC Board of Directors and Advisory Board. This service serves as an initial consultation with a group of professionals about preservation-related questions, including: building material maintenance, funding, tax credits, façade renovation inquiries, and more. The committee will serve as the connector for the next steps with your project and put you in contact with professionals in the field that could be of additional assistance.

 

This service is available to all communities in good standing in the top three tiers: Accredited, Associate, and Affiliate. Community Empowerment Grant and St. Louis Main Streets communities/districts are also eligible as communities in the Affiliate Tier. To see if your community is represented on this list, click here.

 

To find and download the application for this service, click here. All applications are due to our Program Outreach Specialist, Ben White, before the end of the month. Ben will reach out for any additional information the committee may need to get a full scope of the applicant’s needs. The applicant will then be invited to a Zoom meeting to explain and discuss the problem with the "Doctors" at which time they will provide feedback. 


Lastly, Ben will provide any additional feedback and follow-up. The application is simple and serves as the initial communication with Ben. As such, you may be asked to provide more pictures and documentation, depending on what the "Doctors" need.


Please be sure to submit all requested supporting documents as outlined in the application form. 

Comments 0 Rating: Be the first person to rate this post.
Page 1 of 1
First Previous
1
Next Last
Pages :