Main Street Iowa Awards Celebration Honors OutstandingAchievements
Award Winning Projects, Entrepreneurs and Volunteers Honored
Main Street Iowa hosted the 31stannual Main Street Iowa Awards Celebration on Friday, April 7, 2017 at HoytSherman Place in Des Moines. The program honored the efforts of those who workday in and day out in downtown revitalization in Iowa. The event was attendedby approximately 550 individuals representing communities across the state.
The West Union Chamber "A Main Street Community" received the followingstate awards and special recognitions: Leadership Award for Jane Blumhagen.
MainStreet Iowa has annually presented awards honoring outstanding accomplishments,activities and people that are making a difference in Iowa's Main Streetdistricts. Projects large and small are recognized and serve asoutstanding examples of what historic commercial district revitalization is allabout.
Fifteen projects and activities occurringin local Main Street communities were selected to be recognized from the 160 competitivenominations submitted. The honors were presented by Governor Terry E. Branstad,Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds and Debi Durham, director of the Iowa EconomicDevelopment Authority (IEDA).
"The Main Street Iowaprogram has stood the test of time since its introduction in 1985. The program continuesto bring businesses, jobs, investment and vitality to our states' communities,both big and small," stated Branstad. "The Main Street Approach works, and Main Street Iowa has been anational model because we are creative, we embrace change, we demand localinitiative and action, while holding strong to our roots as an historicpreservation program."
"Healthy, historic commercial districts are a keydeciding factor for industrial and business recruitment," said Reynolds. "Since1986, local Main Street programs have made a significant impact on Iowa'seconomy with 4,514 new businesses and a net gain of 13,402 jobs. More than 740building projects have been reported with an investment in those rehabs of over$2 billion. Last year alone, the Main Street Iowa network surpassed156,135 total documented hours of human capital invested into Iowa's downtownrevitalization efforts. This demonstrates a tremendous commitment to Iowa'sMain Streets."
During the event, 10 communities were recognized forreaching significant benchmarks based on private dollar investments made in thepurchase and revitalization of properties within their respective commercialdistricts. Centerville and Lansing were recognized for reaching the $1 millionbenchmark in the last year and Ft. Madison was honored for $2 million in localinvestment. Ames and Guthrie Center were recognized for achieving the $5million level. Des Moines 6th Avenue, Chariton, Corning, State Center andOttumwa all attained $10 million in local investment since being designated aslocal Main Street programs. Four communities were recognized for significantanniversaries. Osceola was recognized for 20 years of participation as a designatedMain Street community. Cedar Falls, Spencer and West Des Moines were recognizedfor 30 year anniversaries.
Two special awards were presented as well. James Walsh receivedthe Spirit of Main Street Award, an honor that recognizes the person,organization, community or project which best demonstrates the true meaning andspirit of "Main Street at Work." Thecommunity of Oskaloosa was honored with a Signature Project Award for theirinspiring and innovative place-making efforts in beautification, promotion andpartnership.
In 1985, the Iowa Legislature adopted the National MainStreet Center's Four Point Approach® to district revitalization by establishingMain Street Iowa within the agency that is now the Iowa Economic DevelopmentAuthority. Since its inception, the state program and its communities have beenconsidered examples of excellence in the national effort to revitalize historiccommercial districts across the country.
For more information about Main Street Iowa and how all Iowa communitiescan access commercial revitalization assistance through the Iowa DowntownResource Center, visit iowaeconomicdevelopment.com/MainStreetIowa, e-mailmainstreet@iowaEDA.com or call515.725.3051.