Main Street Now - January/February 2011

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MSN Jan-Feb11 CoverDirector's Column: From Stubborn Vacancy...To Overnight Success
By Doug Loescher
Doug introduces the vacant buildings-themed issue.

Dealing with Vacant Storefronts
By Joe Lawniczak
Finding new uses for older buildings is challenging in good times, let alone during a recession. This article looks at some of the simple and inexpensive strategies for dealing with problem real estate (e.g., quick façade improvements, marketing efforts) to complete the other more complex steps your community may be taking (e.g., pro-formas, receiverships). Learn Main Street’s role in dealing with vacant storefronts and learn about some new resources.

Lowering Vacancy Rates in Canal Winchester, Ohio
By Andrea L Dono
Main Street Canal Winchester and the Village of Canal Winchester are working together to bring new businesses to vacant buildings. An important, yet simple, tool driving their efforts is a building and business inventory. Learn how this information can help your organization and your local economic development agency focus its recruitment and redevelopment work.

HTC Brings Hope: The New Deal for Main Street’s Historic Tax Credit Projects
By Erica Stewart and John Leith-Tetrault
Federal historic tax credits have stimulated $85 billion in new private investment and has stimulated local economies more than new construction. It’s been a few years since we showed you how these incentives work, so check out this primer and learn about recent changes to the program (such as using tax credits to lower the Alternative Minimum Tax).

Turing Vacancies into Places to Call Home
By Tom Neeley
Goldsboro, N.C., developed a multi-partner, publically funded strategy for dealing with blighted homes and has turned out a dozen rehabbed single-family homes to help manage smart growth while maintaining the character of its historic residential neighborhoods.

A New Take on Pop Ups: Store Giveaway Contest Takes Aim at Downtown Vacancies
By Jim Duffy
Before the winter holidays, Cambridge Main Street in Maryland decided to take a chance on bringing the pop-up concept of housing two temporary businesses in the downtown to reduce storefront vacancies. It hosted a business plan contest and set up two temporary shops that turned out to be potential permanent stores.

Shop Talk: Resolve to Maximize Profitability in 2011
By Margie Johnson
This year is a great time to challenge your local business owners to run their businesses the way they need to rather than the way they always have been.

Network Notes
By Andrea L. Dono
New NTHP online book for greening historic sites; NEA Our Town Grants announced; innovations with stalled project areas; getting small businesses on Facebook; and a look at a walkability study.

Doing Away with Demolition by Neglect
By Julia Miller
An excerpt from this new publication from Preservation Books.