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Downtown Digest News • Web Extras

July 2018

Weekly, one-minute videos keep city center top of mind —  The new Grow St. Charles Monday Minute video series is allowing the Economic Development Department in St. Charles, MO, to highlight everything from retention and recruitment efforts to its thriving defense, aerospace, and healthcare industries. See four of the videos below. ...

Demonstration project educates and engages the public —  The Las Olas Boulevard Six-Month Safety Improvements Demonstration Project in Fort Lauderdale, FL, is part of an overall Community Investment Plan that includes safety and traffic calming improvements that will create a safer connection between the central business district, the busy boulevard, and local beaches. Watch videos educating the public about safety improvements and new bike lanes and rideshare zones below. ...

Exploring ways to expand the holiday season downtown —  It’s never too soon to begin planning for the holidays. In Chillicothe, MO, Main Street Chillicothe spent one summer polling merchants to discover what worked and what did not in the city’s holiday event calendar. See the Holiday Event survey. ...

Using a “carrot and stick” approach to address vacant buildings —  A new ordinance aims to keep better track of vacant buildings in downtown Paris, TX, while also incentivizing improvements and penalizing owners that allow properties to remain empty and/or unkempt. See the Vacant Building Registry ordinance. ...

Study reveals 25 actions to boost downtown —  A detailed report from the UK-based Institute of Place Management aims to identify factors which lead to sustainable high streets, or downtowns. Read the full report here....

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June 2018

Tour highlights the benefits of downtown living —  The inaugural Downtown Living Tour in El Paso, TX, was so successful that it has become an annual event.  Watch videos promoting the Tour below. ...

Strong city investment attracts development projects —  The demise of the textile industry left the city of Kannapolis, NC, with about 5,000 fewer jobs, a huge, vacant industrial campus, and a lackluster downtown. Thanks to heavy investment by both the industrial site owner and the city, the future is looking bright. See the project timelines, Master Plan, and Demonstration project renderings. ...

Under-utilized upper stories provide opportunities for downtown growth —  Successful upper-story residential units can help offset the costs of operating street-level businesses.  View Clinton, NC’s Mixed-Use and Second-Story Residential Development Incentive Program guidelines....

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May 2018

To remain competitive, communities build their own Internet networks —  According to the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, there are now at least 750 community-owned Internet systems in the United States. Chattanooga, TN, was the first in North America to build its own citywide gigabit-per-second fiber Internet network. Read the report, The realized value of fiber infrastructure in Hamilton County Tennessee. ...

Housing program draws and retains employees —  The Live it Up Wausau program in Wausau, WI, seeks to attract employees to the area and give them reasons to stay. View the program guidelines here.  ...

Retail and restaurant survey provides data for targeted business attraction —  Since 2011, the town of Flower Mound, TX, has conducted a Retail & Restaurant Survey every other year. The results are used to ensure that residents have input into the type of downtown they want, recruit new businesses, explore consumer leakage, and educate the public about why certain retail and restaurant desires are not realistic.  ...

Minimizing delivery congestion —  A report, The Final 50 Feet Urban Goods Delivery System, from the University of Washington’s Urban Freight Lab looks at reducing city center congestion. ...

Planners ponder underground space —  Read the World Urban Forum’s report, Think Deep: Planning, development and use of underground space in cities. ...

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Retail Corridor Re-Imagined as Active American Woonerf

March 15, 2018 — The two-block retail corridor in downtown Kirkland, WA, has been redeveloped as an award winning American "woonerf," a Dutch word that translates loosely as "living street." The plaza-like lane is now a pedestrian-friendly gathering space, while remaining open to vehicles, as well. The transformation did not happen overnight. The 2008-2013 Capital…To read more — login/sign up

 

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April 2018

Grant funding and event planning guide foster inaugural events —  The Rochester Downtown Alliance (RDA) has offered its Start-Up Grant program since 2013 to encourage first-time events in Rochester, MN. Read the complete First Time Event Planning Guide and the Grant Guidelines document. ...

Listening, encouraging, and creating connections helps launch more entrepreneurial projects — Uptown Works, a cowork space, will be located in the historic World’s Attic building in the heart of downtown Somerset, PA. Watch the Uptown Works Introduction video below. ...

Repurposed shipping containers offer flexible, affordable space downtown —  Shipping containers are providing retail and residential space downtown and creating an attention-grabbing alternative to more traditional development. Container Park, in Las Vegas, NV, is perhaps one of the most ambitious of these projects. Read an archive article about Container Park. ...

Active Frontages encourage lively streets —  The Town of Milton, ON, Canada, is taking steps to create a more bustling, pedestrian-oriented experience downtown. See recent amendments to the town’s strategic plan. ...

Gee wiz parking technology —  Read a Parking Today article about the Westfield Century City parking system in Los Angeles....

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White Box Programs Make Older Buildings More Appealing to New Tenants

  March 2, 2018 — White Box programs are proving effective at driving redevelopment in city centers and getting hard to fill spaces rented. The programs typically help fund improvements to heating/cooling systems, lighting, electrical systems, bathrooms, and finished (but not yet painted) ceilings and floors. Improvements that are meant to make older buildings habitable…To read more — login/sign up

 

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Distilleries Drive Tourism and Renovation in Unlikely Downtown Locations

February 16, 2018 — Tasting rooms and events featuring local wineries and craft breweries have proved popular downtown. Now cities are finding distilleries are equally suited to the city center. The February issue of Downtown Idea Exchange newsletter highlights three distilleries that are contributing to historic preservation and attracting visitors and locals alike. In one example, the…To read more — login/sign up

 

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