Development . Beautification . Preservation
The Main Street approach
• Identify the Community Vision for Success
The Main Street Approach begins with creating a vision for success on Main Street that is rooted in a solid understanding of the market realities of the district, and is informed by broad community engagement. Main Street promotes a community-driven process that brings diverse stakeholders from all sectors together, inviting them to be proactive participants in the revitalization process. This essential step provides a foundation for outlining the community’s own identity, expectations, and ideals while confirming real and perceived perceptions, needs and opportunities. It also ensures that the vision is a true reflection of the diversity of the community.
• Create Community Transformation Strategies
A vision of success alone is not enough. Communities must work together to identify key strategies, known as Community Transformation Strategies that will provide a clear sense of priorities and direction for the revitalization efforts. These strategies will focus on both long and short-term actions that will move a community closer to achieving its goals.
Work on these strategies would align with the four key areas Main Streets have been using as a guiding framework for over 35 years: Economic Vitality, Promotion, Design, and Organization, known collectively as the Main Street Four Points.
To succeed, Main Street must show visible results that can only come from completing projects – both shorter and longer-term activities that add up to meaningful change.
MAIN STREETS FOUR POINTS:
Economic Vitality: Chair: Jeff Coffin (Sitting Chair)
Revitalizing a downtown or neighborhood commercial district requires focusing on the underlying Economic Vitality of the district. This work is rooted in a commitment to making the most of a community’s unique sense of place and existing historic assets, harnessing local economic opportunity and creating a supportive business environment for small business owners and the growing scores of entrepreneurs, innovators, and localists alike. Business development and incentivisation are part of the puzzle that this committee focuses on. Funding for these programs is a constant challenge and we are dedicated to working with Rome’s administration, Common Council, local Chamber and other local economic development and volunteer organizations in order to realize meaningful change through our work.
Housing Committee: — Chair: Jim Bintz - Felicia Williams
With the nation-wide growing interest in living downtown, supporting downtown housing is also a key element of building Economic Vitality. In Rome we had to re-identify our downtown district in its entirety because of urban renewal efforts made in the late 1970's that removed most of our downtown historical structures by ways of modernization. One of the glories of our community are our neighborhoods — and the historic nature of our community is fully reflected in these districts which span periods from the early 1800’s through today. Historic Districts, design guidelines, Historic Preservation and Incentives to preserve our housing stock are all issues that are on the table and pertinent to this committee’s functions.
Technology: — Chair: David Hoole
A fundamental of modern life; technology permeates our daily existence and informs our decision-making from what radio or tv station we listen to or watch, to which restaurant we eat lunch at, to what company we apply to for a job or which airline we choose when traveling to see family. This committee focuses on the infrastructure issues confronting our business and residential districts and how we, as an organization can more effectively navigate this ever-changing landscape in order to maximize our effectiveness in Rome’s economic future.
Design: — Chair: Michael Brown (Sitting Chair)
A focus on Design supports a community’s transformation by enhancing the physical elements of downtown while capitalizing on the unique assets that set the commercial district apart. Main Streets enhance their appeal to residents and visitors alike with attention to public space through the creation of pedestrian friendly streets, inclusion of public art in unexpected areas, visual merchandising, adaptive reuse of older and historic buildings, more efficiently-designed buildings, transit oriented development, and much more. Historic preservation, historic review, SHPO interface, facade incentives, signage and design standards as well as overall business design assistance are all aspects of this important committee’s work.
Promotion: — Chair: Kate Rayland
Promoting Main Streets takes many forms, but the ultimate goal is to position the downtown or commercial district as the center of the community and the hub of economic activity, while creating a positive image that showcases Rome’s unique characteristics. This can be done through highlighting cultural traditions, celebrating and preserving important architecture and history, encouraging local businesses to market cooperatively, offering coordinated specials and sales, and hosting special events aimed at changing perceptions of the district(s) and communicating to residents, visitors, investors, businesses, and property-owners that Rome is special.
Organization: Angela Topi - David Amidon
A strong organizational foundation is key for a sustainable Main Street revitalization effort. Rome Main Street Alliance, Inc. is organized as a non-profit 501(c)3 organization. A primarily volunteer company, RMSA operates with a committee structure based on the National Main Street Center recommendations in order to effectively implement Main Street’s Community Transformative Strategies.