The conference is expected to bring more than 1,500 downtown development professionals from across the U.S. to Michigan
Attendees will learn how the proven Main Street Four-Point Approach® (Organization, Promotion, Design, and Economic Restructuring) is a powerful economic development tool for community revitalization.
Whether you are working on an urban business district, small rural downtown, or some place in between, you will find real solutions to common problems at this conference. In addition to the Main Street leaders, this event attracts all professionals (experienced and new) interested in preservation-based economic development and community revitalization, including:
- Public Officials
There is a combination of technical and 101 sessions, networking events, and tours. All Full-Conference Attendees have access to not only the activities in Detroit but also the following event and tours in Oakland County:
WELCOME RECEPTION in Ferndale – a “Great American Main Street Award Winner” from the National Main Street Center.
TOUR/ Cruising Woodward -- Birmingham & Pontiac: Birmingham, an affluent suburb of Detroit since the early 1900’s, at one time boasted several high-end department stores and was a stop on the famed Inter-Urban Rail system (Detroit to Pontiac). In the 1960’s, Birmingham began an ambitious plan to build multiple parking decks to provide ample parking for shoppers and office workers. Following several recessions and the building and expansions of an upscale regional mall, the downtown found itself with over 200,000 square feet of vacant retail space. Then in the 21st century, the city saw an influx of employers. You will learn about its rent structure program for new businesses development, façade easements, historic tax credit projects, and how this city remains vibrant through all its challenges.
Pontiac, home of General Motor’s car line, has both a storied and distressed past. Hear how planning mistakes from 40 years ago are being corrected in this historic city using Main Street principals. Learn how a unique rent structure program brings 50 new businesses to downtown, historic tax credits are used for buildings and facades, neighborhoods are reconnecting with downtown, and examine what it takes to daylight a river that was covered over for more land development.
TOUR/ Intersections of River Trails, Water Towns and Main Street: Along the tributaries of five river systems and 1,400 lakes in Oakland County, 32 traditional downtowns were founded. Experience the history, learn about the collaboration, and understand the challenges in these Main Street Communities (Ortonville, Clarkston, and Holly) as they preserve their history and leverage their natural resources.
TOUR/ Off the Beaten Path – Three Small Towns and Main Street: Step back in time and visit three Main Street Communities (Leonard, Oxford, and Lake Orion) in northeast Oakland County -- influenced by railroads, natural resources, a highway, and the gravel industry. Find out how these communities are leveraging their assets to ensure future success. This tour includes a quick coffee break in Rochester – a “Great American Main Street Award Winner” from the National Main Street Center.
TOUR/ Making Makers on Main Street – How Downtown Ferndale Grew Its Own: See four “maker spaces” where local entrepreneurs create their unique products. Stops include Schramm’s Mead, nationally-recognized Garden Fresh Gourmet, the Indie-Artisan Rust Belt Market, and Valentine Distilling Company. Hear how Ferndale nurtured this entrepreneurial energy and repurposed historic buildings to keep its award-wining downtown vital.
For more information on the full National Main Street Conference, visit: