Main Street Beating the Odds

Niles, Michigan has managed to build jobs and add businesses to its Main Street over the past five years. How did they do it? Wayne Senville of the Planning Commissioners Journal stopped by on his tour around the U.S.A.
July 7, 2009, 12pm PDT | Tim Halbur
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"The City tried urban renewal in the 1970s, tearing out one large corner of downtown. By 2000, downtown vacancies were over 25 percent. The Main Street organization has been at the heart of the turnaround. As Lisa describes it, the change resulted from lots of one-on-one conversations, trying to convince residents that downtown was worth saving: "we went to people who had given up on downtown, and we re-engaged them, and we got the community to realize that local businesses will be there only if you shop there, if you want them to stay, you've got to support them.""

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Published on Monday, July 6, 2009 in Planning Commissioners Journal
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