Downtown Revitalization Grant Process

Downtown Revitalization Grant Process

Applications are now available for the Downtown Revitalization Grant.

Contact Tom Stugmyer @ 330-760-7458 or tstugmyer@gmail for a packet

or more information

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Small Business Technical Assistance Initiative

Small Business Technical Assistance Initiative

The National Main Street Center (NMSC) is pleased to announce the Small Business Technical Assistance Initiative, with generous support from U.S. Bank.

The initiative will provide tools and resources to local elected and civic leaders, small business owners and stakeholders on the creation of entrepreneurial ecosystems in downtowns and neighborhood commercial districts in Arkansas, California, Ohio and Wisconsin. Open houses will be conducted in four cities—Little Rock, Ark.; Cleveland, Ohio; Milwaukee, Wis.; and Sacramento, Calif.—offering tips, tools, and resources to help create district-based strategies where local innovation and entrepreneurship can thrive. NMSC and U.S. Bank have partnered to create a suite of resources on this topic, including a webinar and a tech bulletin, initially available only to the Main Street America members in each of those four states, with the intention of expanded availability to all Main Street America members in 2017.

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Main Street

Main Street

Main Street’s Economic Impact

Historic Preservation = Economic Development

The cumulative success of the Main Street Approach® and Main Street programs on the local level has earned Main Street the reputation as one of the most powerful economic revitalization tools in the nation. The National Main Street Center conducts research to document this by annually collecting statistical information on the preservation, revitalization, and economic activities in local Main Street programs throughout the country. These estimates are based on cumulative statistics gathered from 1980 to December 31, 2015, for all designated Main Street communities nationwide.

Cumulative Reinvestment Statistics

  Dollars Reinvested:

  total reinvestment in physical improvements from public and private sources  

$65.6 billion
  Number of buildings rehabilitations: 260,011 
  Net gain in jobs: 556,960
  Net gain in businesses: 126,476
  Reinvestment Ratio (i): $26.14: $1
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Historic Tax Credits Promote Historic Preservation and Community Revitalization

Historic Tax Credits Promote Historic Preservation and Community Revitalization

“Since its inception the Federal Historic Preservation Tax Incentive Program has proven to be an extraordinary success, supporting rehabilitation of more than 38,000 historic properties,” Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell said. “The tax incentives administered by the program help preserve our past, benefit our economy in the present, and ensure that our national heritage will be remembered in the future. They are an investment in who we are as a country, both in conserving our heritage and in building stronger, more vibrant communities for today.”

In addition, the report details that projects supported by the program have rehabilitated or created 460,000 housing units, including 124,000 low-to moderate-income units. About two-thirds of projects are located in neighborhoods at or below 80 percent of area median family income. In Fiscal Year 2012 alone, tax incentives made possible by the program supported projects that pumped $3.5 billion into local economics, supporting an estimated 57,000 jobs.

Commonly referred to as the federal historic tax credit program, the program is administered by the National Park Service and the Internal Revenue Service in partnership with State Historic Preservation Offices. It provides a 20-percent tax credit to property owners who undertake a substantial rehabilitation of a historic building in a business or income-producing use, while maintaining its historic character.

Across the country, the program has helped revive abandoned or underutilized schools, warehouses, factories, churches, retail stores, apartments, hotels, houses, agricultural buildings and offices, and, in turn, helps support the redevelopment of entire downtowns and neighborhoods. It also supports community revitalization, job creation, affordable housing, small businesses, farms and Main Street development, among other economic benefits.

“The Federal Historic Preservation Tax Incentive Program is the nation’s most effective program to promote historic preservation and community revitalization through historic rehabilitation,” said National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis. “For 35 years, we have given these buildings a new life in a manner that maintains their historic character.”

The National Park service report marks the 35th anniversary of the first project to be certified under the program and highlights the program’s accomplishments and economic benefits as well as examples of the many projects, in communities both large and small throughout the country, that have benefited from the program.

The 35th anniversary report follows the release by the National Park Service earlier this year of the Fiscal Year 2012 annual report on the program and a report prepared by the Rutgers University Center for Urban Policy Research on the economic impacts of the historic tax credit. The reports are available online here.

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Walkable City

Walkable City

In his book, Walkable City, author Jeff Speck says,”Downtown is the only part of the city that belongs to everybody. It doesn’t matter where you may find your home; the downtown is yours, too. Investing in the downtown of a city is the only place-based way to benefit all of its citizens at once.” And there’s more. Speck goes on to explain how the real image of downtown affects the perceived image of the entire community. Every decision regarding relocation, from a college graduate deciding whether to return or a corporation looking to build or expand, is made with an image in mind.

Close your eyes and think of Downtown Wadsworth. What do you see? Images probably come to mind of buildings, streets, parks, restaurants, or community events. Hopefully the images are positive. Chances are, however, that the images you see are of downtown. And you are not alone. Downtown Wadsworth is often the image of the entire community and the image taken by those who visit each year. This image that your mind forms is powerful and resolutely physical. Similar to a first impression when meeting someone new, whether good or bad, that image of a community is difficult to shake once taken.

For that reason, a city’s reputation is based in large part on how its downtown looks. If the downtown shows deterioration and years of disinvestment, the image of the city is not as strong as it could be. Families may not want to move there, tourists will not be impressed with what they find, and it will be harder for citizens to feel good about their community. On the reverse, however, a beautiful and vibrant downtown can be the rising tide that lifts all ships. Each building that undergoes a facelift, renovation, or new business that finds its home downtown adds to the growing excitement about the heart of our community and the potential that is being uncovered.

We feel that potential is fully understood and are working on a Downtown Wadsworth Comprehensive Plan, the result of several months of interviews, studies, meetings and planning sessions all focused on addressing the real issues facing our downtown. Although it is a vision document, it encompasses the 4 areas that any downtown revitalization program must focus on to achieve success: organizational capacity, physical design, business enhancement, and district promotions. It is the goal of Main Street Wadsworth to plan our projects and activities each year from this Comprehensive Plan, transforming these concepts into a more beautiful and stronger downtown which enhances each person’s image of the Wadsworth Community.

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Parking in the Downtown

Parking in the Downtown

Main Street Wadsworth is open for business, and the next time you are here for an appointment, lunch, or to do a little shopping, chances are your parking space will be open too. Main Street Wadsworth has been demonstrating not only the need but the importance of parking along Main and High and Collage and Broad in our historic district. By enforcing the parking limits already in place throughout Downtown, the City is taking another step toward creating an atmosphere that encourages continued business growth.

Customers of both retail and service businesses enjoy the convenience of parking close to their destination. Driving around the block without finding a space is discouraging, leads to the perception that parking is not available, and may prevent that individual from returning to those stores and restaurants.

The opposite is also true; who would open a store or restaurant in an area where there doesn’t seem to be any open parking? So the challenge is not only making sure there is enough parking for everyone who uses downtown, but to make sure that everyone understands the importance of parking in the area that best fits their needs.

With today’s retail and consumer trends, it is important that the spaces closest to the businesses are available for customer parking and continue to turn over during the day. The more cars that park in one space each day translates into more money being spent at the independent businesses within the district.

If you actually take the time to count the parking spaces available in the free public lots in the CBD (Central Business District), you quickly realize that there is not a parking shortage.

Some of our board members and ED of Main Street with help from our City have taken these counts on several occasions, noting each time that dozens of spaces were available during the busiest hours each weekday. This is why those who work or do business downtown for more than 2 hours at a time are encouraged to use these free public parking areas, leaving more street-side spaces open for customers.

Almost every rural community could make the argument that there isn’t enough parking on Main Street. In fact, some of the nicest and most popular small towns across Ohio are known for inadequate parking, yet they continue to draw people to dine and shop season after season.

\When visiting a mall or other big box store, no one thinks twice about walking a few hundred yards of asphalt before reaching the entrance. \

Historic town centers were designed and built long before automobiles were one per person, but that’s part of the reason Downtown Wadsworth is such a unique place. It’s that character and nostalgic charm that invites us to park a block away and become a pedestrian, taking in the ornate buildings and rich history on the walk to our destination.

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