LPDDA aims for Main Street boost

By JAMES MITCHELL
Sunday Times Newspapers

LINCOLN PARK — City officials hope to spruce up the downtown area and be featured as a Michigan Main Street community to bring renewed energy to Fort Street.

A presentation about the Michigan Main Street and Oakland County Main Street program was held before the Lincoln Park Downtown Development Authority Sept. 13. The results were, Mayor Patricia Diaz Krause said, “impressive. I’m real excited about this.”

Pending approval as a Main Street community, recently appointed DDA Director Madhu Oberoi will spearhead a marketing campaign to generate interest among businesses. Diaz Krause said the campaign begins with sprucing up the area surrounding the intersection of Fort Street and Southfield.

“We’re going to be purchasing banners for new light posts,” Diaz Krause said, “dress up the downtown area.”

Diaz Krause said the campaign will include a brochure designed to bring business interests back to the area, part of an effort to revitalize downtown and boost the city’s fading tax revenues.

Since its launch in 2003, the Michigan Main Street Center has partnered with participating communities through a four-point program that includes historic preservation, building partnerships, promoting environmentally sustainable redevelopment and encouraging development and downtown living.

City Manager Greg Capote said the object is to bring people back to the downtown area.

“It’s a challenge at Fort and Southfield,” Capote said. “The downtown needs to have a gathering place for merchants, and give people a reason to come downtown.”

Capote said that the city will consider events such as Memorial Day, a tie-in with the Woodward Dream Cruise and grants to boost local businesses from sources such as the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. Marketing opportunities will be explored through banners and brochures, social media and other outlets.

“The idea is to create some buzz and synergy to the downtown area,” Capote said.

(James Mitchell can be reached at jmitchell@bewickpublications.com.)