Creating an Environment for Investment
Creating an environment for investment is at the core of LAEDA Commercial District Revitalization Initiative. The creation of this environment is impeded by many challenges. Challenges like a clean and safe shopping environments, support from local government, effective marketing and promotion, business capacity and mix and lack of local leadership are just a few of the challenges faced by commercial districts across the city.
Rather than reinvent the wheel, LAEDA undertook a search of commercial district revitalization strategies that result in the alleviation of these challenges while generating economic growth and the creation of lifestyle centers. The search resulted in the identification of the Main Street 4 Points Approach TM to commercial district revitalization.
Devised and developed by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the Main Street 4-Points Approach TM has established a strong record of turning commercial districts across the country around.
The "4 Points Approach" addresses the four forces that effect real estate value; social, physical, political and economic. These forces are represented in the Main Street approach as Organization, Promotion, Economic Restructuring & Design.
Organization involves getting everyone working toward the same goal and assembling the appropriate human and financial resources to implement a Main Street revitalization program. A governing board and standing committees make up the fundamental organizational structure of the volunteer-driven program. Volunteers are coordinated and supported by a paid program director as well. This structure not only divides the workload and clearly delineates responsibilities, but also builds consensus and cooperation among the various stakeholders.
Promotion sells a positive image of the commercial district and encourages consumers and investors to live, work, shop, play and invest in the Main Street district. By marketing a district's unique characteristics to residents, investors, business owners, and visitors, an effective promotional strategy forges a positive image through advertising, retail promotional activity, special events, and marketing campaigns carried out by local volunteers. These activities improve consumer and investor confidence in the district and encourage commercial activity and investment in the area.
Design means getting Main Street into top physical shape. Capitalizing on its best assets - such as historic buildings and pedestrian-oriented streets - is just part of the story. An inviting atmosphere, created through attractive window displays, parking areas, building improvements, street furniture, signs, sidewalks, street lights, and landscaping, conveys a positive visual message about the commercial district and what it has to offer. Design activities also include instilling good maintenance practices in the commercial district, enhancing the physical appearance of the commercial district by rehabilitating historic buildings, encouraging appropriate new construction, developing sensitive design management systems, & long-term planning.
Economic Restructuring strengthens a community's existing economic assets while expanding and diversifying its economic base. The Main Street program helps sharpen the competitiveness of existing business owners and recruits compatible new businesses and new economic uses to build a commercial district that responds to today's consumers' needs. Converting unused or underused commercial space into economically productive property also helps boost the profitability of the district.
For more information on the 4-Points Approach TM, please visit the National Main Street Centers website at www.mainstreet.org.