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Local Programs Receive 2014 National Main Street Accreditation

June 30, 2014

Two local organizations have been designated as accredited National Main Street Programs for meeting performance standards for commercial district revitalization as set by the National Main Street Center®, a subsidiary of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

The Historic Valley Junction Foundation, whose mission is to advance the growth and development of the Historic Valley Junction area into a vital and dynamic commercial, residential and tourist area through business improvement, design, organization and promotion, has been a Main Street Iowa community since 1987. The 6th Avenue Corridor, whose mission is to revitalize the commercial stretch of 6th Avenue from I-235 north to the Des Moines River, was designated a Main Street Iowa Urban Neighborhood Program in 2009. Both organizations are now accredited by the National Main Street Program for 2014.

“We congratulate this year’s nationally accredited Main Street programs for their outstanding accomplishment in meeting the National Main Street Center’s performance standards,” says Patrice Frey, President & CEO of the National Main Street Center. “Accredited Main Street programs create vibrant communities by using a comprehensive strategy to preserve their historic character and revitalize their commercial districts, which helps make these great places to work, live, play and visit.”

Each organization’s performance is annually evaluated by Main Street Iowa, in partnership with the National Main Street Center. Ten evaluation criteria determine the communities that are building comprehensive and sustainable revitalization efforts and include standards such as fostering strong public-private partnerships, securing an operating budget, tracking programmatic progress and actively preserving historic buildings.

Receiving National Main Street Program status is a prestigious achievement. “We have been working very hard to make an impact in our district, and accreditation is a tribute to that effort”, said Laura Peters, Executive Director of the 6th Avenue Corridor. “As a relatively young program, we are building the foundation for change”.

Accomplishments of the 6th Avenue Corridor in the previous year include the grand opening of C Fresh Market, completion of the Greening America’s Capitals plan to incorporate sustainable design strategies with revitalization efforts, installation of street banners, successful hosting of their annual Jazz in July event, and a commitment to local historic preservation efforts through the Main Street Challenge Grant program.

Since becoming a designated Main Street district, the 6th Avenue Corridor has realized:

  • 7 net gain of new businesses
  • 48 net gain of new jobs
  • 16 buildings rehabbed
  • 7 buildings sold
  • $3.8M+ in private investment
  • 6,411 volunteer hours invested (Quantified value $112,513)

With over 150 specialty shops, restaurants and services, Historic Valley Junction is the single largest collection of independent businesses in Greater Des Moines. In 2012, HVJF was awarded the Great American Main Street Award (GAMSA), the highest National Main Street Center honor, for their achievements in main street revitalization. “We have been a Main Street Iowa community since 1987, and we are proud that our district and community remains strong,” said Jim Miller, Executive Director of HVJF. “Our strong partnership with the City of West Des Moines and other community groups are the reason we are able to remain the cultural and entertainment district we are today.”

Since becoming a designated Main Street district, Historic Valley Junction foundation has realized:

  • 236 net gain of new businesses
  • 505 net gain of new jobs
  • 300 buildings rehabbed
  • 59 buildings sold
  • $15M+ in private investment
  • 105,000+ volunteer hours invested (Quantified value $1,841,700)

About the National Main Street Center

Established by the National Trust for Historic Preservation in 1980, the National Main Street Center 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 34 years, the Main Street program has leveraged more than $59.6 billion in new public and private investment. Participating communities have created 502,728 net new jobs and 115,381 net new businesses, and rehabilitated more than 246,158 buildings, leveraging an average of $33.28 in new investment for every dollar spent on their Main Street district revitalization efforts.