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Main Street in West Memphis is alive, well & winning awards

The ongoing work to preserve downtown West Memphis – which includes everything from planting trees to refurbishing facades – has been nationally recognized for excellence. Main Street West Memphis has been designated as an accredited National Main Street Program for meeting the commercial district revitalization performance standards set by the National Trust Main Street CenterAi??.

Each year, the National Trust and its partners announce the list of accredited Main StreetAi?? programs that have built strong revitalization organizations and demonstrate their ability in using the Main Street methodology for strengthening their local economy and protecting their historic buildings. Main Street West Memphis is one of about 100 programs nationwide to receive accreditation in 2012.

ai???We congratulate this yearai??i??s nationally accredited Main Street programs for meeting our established performance standards,ai??? said Doug Loescher, director of the National Trust Main Street Center. ai???Accredited Main Street programs are meeting the challenges of the recession head on and are successfully using a focused, comprehensive revitalization strategy to keep their communities vibrant and sustainable.ai???

The organizationai??i??s performance is annually evaluated by Main Street Arkansas, Department of Arkansas Heritage, which works in partnership with the National Trust Main Street Center to identify the local programs that meet 10 performance standards. Evaluation criteria determines the communities that are building comprehensive and sustainable revitalization efforts and include standards such as developing a mission, fostering strong public-private partnerships, securing an operating budget, tracking economic progress, and preserving historic buildings.

Under the leadership of executive director Leigh Ann Hastings, Main Street West Memphis made significant progress in the preservation of the Broadway corridor in 2011:

  • Partnering with the Master Gardeners on the Veteranai??i??s Memorial Project in front of the Municipal Court Building
  • Planting trees on Broadway from 7th Street to 14th Street
  • Starting the second phase of the Facade Master Plan Program in the 800 and 900 blocks of Broadway
  • Receiving Honorable Mention in the 2011 Arkansas Business City of Distinction Award for the Facade Master Plan Program
  • Celebrating Arkansas Heritage Month in May with lunchtime concert Blues on Broadway
  • Coordinating annual food and beverage tasting fundraiser, Taste of the Town
  • Working with other community partners to launch the Delta Market at Worthington Park
  • The mission of Main Street West Memphis is to be the primary catalyst for improving the downtown business area by bringing together all elements of the community and further enhancing the overall quality of life.

    ai???Having a local Main Street program has saved our downtown from the deterioration that so many small towns have suffered,” Leigh Ann says. “Through the dedicated efforts and contributions of individuals, businesses and organizations, I’m proud to say the program has been able to flourish. While the Main Street West Memphis program is affiliated with both the National Main Street Center and Main Street Arkansas, our local program is funded by local contributions/investments.ai???

    Established in 1980, the National Trust Main Street CenterAi?? helps communities of all sizes revitalize their older and historic commercial districts. Working in more than 2,200 downtowns and urban neighborhoods over the last 30 years, the Main Street program has leveraged more than $53.6 billion in new public and private investment. Participating communities have created 448,835 net new jobs and 104,961 net new businesses, and rehabilitated more than 229,164 buildings, leveraging an average of $18 in new investment for every dollar spent on their Main Street district revitalization efforts.


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