Portland Main Street
The Portland Main Street Program is a City of Portland initiative that was launched in 2009 and is administered by PDC. The purpose of the program is to revitalize commercial districts, support small businesses and foster economic development in Portland neighborhoods. There are currently three districts participating in the program: Alberta, Hillsdale and St. Johns.
The Program is a community-driven, volunteer-based, comprehensive method of revitalizing older, traditional business districts using the proven Main Street Four-Point Approach®. It is one of many tools that a community can access to generate economic and entrepreneurial growth.
The underlying premise of the Main Street Four Point Approach (Approach) is summed up in the program goals – to encourage economic development that is appropriate to today’s marketplace within the context of preserving older and historic properties. The Approach advocates a return to community self-reliance, empowerment, and the rebuilding of commercial districts based on traditional assets, unique architecture, personal service, local ownership and a sense of community.
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The Main Street Approach
Alberta (top), Hillsdale (left) and St. Johns (right) Main Streets
The Main Street Approach is a community-driven, comprehensive method used to revitalize older, traditional business districts. Main Street® programs advocate a return to community self-reliance, local empowerment, and the rebuilding of traditional commercial districts based on their unique assets: distinctive architecture, a pedestrian-friendly environment, personal service, local ownership, and a sense of community.
Key to the Main Street Approach are four points:
ORGANIZATION involves building a framework that is represented by business and property owners, bankers, citizens, business associations, and public officials. Everyone works together to see revitalization occur.
PROMOTION creates excitement for the district. Street festivals, parades, retail events, and identity development are ways to encourage new customer traffic. Promotion involves marketing an enticing image to investors, shoppers, and visitors.
DESIGN enhances the attractiveness of the business district. Historic building rehabilitation, new development, street clean-up, banners, landscaping and lighting all improve the physical setting of a business district as a quality place to shop, work, walk and invest in.
ECONOMIC RESTRUCTURING involves analyzing market forces to develop long-term solutions to revitalization. New businesses, creative use of space, and sharpened competitiveness are outcomes of a more vital business district.
In addition to the four points, Portland Main Street highlights sustainability as a core value through the support of local businesses and environmental stewardship.
Portland Main Street is administered and coordinated by the Portland Development Commission in collaboration with the Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability and the Office of Mayor Sam Adams.
To learn more, please contact:
Portland Main Street Coordinator
Portland Development Commission
222 NW 5th Avenue
Portland, OR 97209
Additional assistance to business districts is provided through Venture Portland. For further information please contact:
Heather Hoell, Executive Director