The Hudson Valley Main Street Summit, a one-day conference held June 12, 2008, offered valuable information to its region’s communities on best practices to redevelop vibrant Main Streets and downtowns.
This free seminar and networking event stressed that revitalizing Main Streets is not only critical to the economic health of individual cities, but also to the entire region.
The conference was co-sponsored by the Community Preservation Corporation (CPC), the City of New Rochelle and the New Rochelle Business Improvement District (BID). Attendees included community and economic developers, government officials, and business leaders from nine New York State counties that comprise CPC’s Hudson Valley Region.
The meeting was held in New Rochelle, where one of the most successful downtown revitalization efforts in the Hudson Valley is in progress.
The event continued an ongoing CPC- New Rochelle BID partnership, and highlighted lessons learned from New Rochelle’s downtown redevelopment efforts. The agenda featured key presentations on the New Rochelle Model and Success Story, as well as a walking tour of the revitalized New Rochelle Model Block.
CPC has been closely involved with New Rochelle’s downtown renewal efforts, investing more than $45 million in about 300 units of housing on New Rochelle’s Main Street, as well as $500,000 in façade improvements that leveraged $250,000 in grants. These initiatives have enabled New Rochelle building owners to restore their historic Main Street storefronts and draw people back to the once-vibrant downtown area. (Link to New Rochelle: CPC Helps Restore Building Facades To Spur Downtown Renewal).
The New Rochelle BID continues to initiate projects to bring economic development, new business, and new investment to historic Main Street.
Sadie McKeown, CPC’s Hudson Valley Regional Director, provided an overview of CPC’s involvement in the successful New Rochelle revitalization efforts. She also noted that CPC’s expertise includes projects to help bring back other cities’ downtowns, such as Buffalo (Link to Buffalo: CPC Commits $50 Million to Revitalize Downtown Housing) and Syracuse (Link to CPC Redevelopment Brings Back Downtown).
Other conference speakers included executives of the New Rochelle BID, as well as redevelopment experts from government, business, and community organizations.
Conference panelists drew from their experience in downtown revitalization to discuss such practical topics as:
Strategies to overcome obstacles to redevelopment
Use of the “Community Assessment Model” to identify needs and opportunities
Key redevelopment tools (such as design standards, feasibility studies, and façade programs)
Resources available (such as technical assistance, grants, and loan programs)
The conference also included informal opportunities for attendees to network with one another to share ideas and resources for successful Main Street redevelopment.
Hudson Valley Main Street Summit presentations are available online. Select from the following speakers: