According to Mary Helmer, State Coordinator for the program, Main Street Alabama will immediately begin providing each town with intensive board development, goal setting, work planning, market study with implementable economic development strategies, targeted technical assistance, and quarterly training related to downtown development. “When a community is ready for Main Street, as South Huntsville is, the time tested Four Point Approach ® works,” Helmer said. “It brings jobs, dollars and people back to neighborhood commercial districts.”
Helmer added that the interview panel was impressed by the presentations each applicant made that demonstrated a love of their community, a vision for what they could be, and the drive to make it happen. She noted that South Huntsville demonstrated strong community partnerships, an impressive organizational structure with exceptional leadership, and ability to financially support a program, which made them stand out in the field of applicants.
The announcement made on social media earlier this morning stated:
“Developed starting in the 1950s, the era of the atomic ranch house, mid-century modern architecture reigns supreme in this community and recalls its historic connection to the nearby Redstone Arsenal and the golden era of space exploration. As home to numerous scientists throughout its history, this community’s residents produced scientific advancements that were the envy of the world. Over the past decade this metropolitan area has been Alabama’s growth engine, and this local commercial district has become the preferred daytime destination for 40,000 employees at the nearby Arsenal. Local residents and business owners have done their research and discovered a formula to develop connectivity between its natural resources and business assets, with greenways, river access and a natural preserve. They are ready to apply our UrbanMain Street approach, and we welcome this group of innovators, otherwise known as the South Huntsville Business Association, to our program. We know you will take your community to new heights!”
South Huntsville join and 2 other communities will join Alexander City, Anniston, Athens, Birmingham, Columbiana, Decatur, Dothan, Elba, Eufaula, Florence, Fort Payne, Gadsden, Heflin, Marion, Monroeville, Montevallo, Jasper, Opelika, Oxford and Wetumpka and in using Main Street's comprehensive and incremental approach. Each Designated community listed above reports their success by tracking their reinvestment statistics. Main Street Alabama’s Designated communities have reported 488 net new businesses, 1,932 net new jobs, $282,679,772 in private investment, $74,257,229 in public improvements, and 61,201 volunteer hours in their districts collectively since June of 2014.
Main Street Alabama will continue to add new communities annually. Application Workshops to become a Designated Community will be held again in January 2019. Until then, communities interested in downtown and neighborhood commercial district revitalization can participate in Main Street Alabama's Network.