Virginia Main Street (VMS) is getting ready to add new Main Street communities to the 25 communities officially designated as Virginia Main Streets. VMS is now accepting applications, due March 15, 2013, for new Virginia Main Street communities.
Why apply for designation as a Virginia Main Street community?
First and foremost, designated VMS communities join a highly-experienced network of 25 outstanding Main Street communities that have, in the last five years alone, sparked more than $236 million in private investment in their historic commercial districts and created a total of 826 jobs in 2011. In addition, the VMS program provides a full-range of assistance to designated communities. Services include historic architecture and wayfinding design assistance, organization tune-ups, economic restructuring technical assistance, branding and marketing plan development, visioning and strategic planning, as well as a variety of training opportunities and resources. Designated communities are also eligible to apply for downtown improvement grants of up to $25,000 and financial feasibility grants to help facilitate the rehabilitation of “white elephant” buildings burdening the local Main Street.
What type of communities are eligible to become Virginia Main Street communities?
Virginia Main Street communities generally have the following characteristics:
- A traditional, mixed-use downtown commercial district
- Historic character
- Population of up to 75,000
- Proven ability to coordinate downtown community and economic revitalization resources provided by local, regional, state and federal governments, with a specific emphasis on resources provided by DHCD
- Economic distress
- Local government and private sector support
- Commitment to grass roots, stakeholder-led revitalization
For more information about the Virginia Main Street Program, see the VMS Program Design, website and blog. For more information about the VMS designation process, contact VMS or review the Designation Application here.