Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Downtown Revitalization Program Offers Selected Communities Technical
Workshop, Grant Funds

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Economic and Community Development Commissioner Matt
Kisber today announced the 12 communities selected to participate in
Tennessee Downtowns, a competitive community improvement program for
cities and counties seeking to revitalize traditional commercial

The selected communities are: McKenzie, Henderson, Athens, Linden,
Red Boiling Springs, Smithville, Centerville, Brownsville, Lewisburg,
Mountain City, Rockwood and Pikeville.

"The Tennessee Downtowns program is the first step toward reviving a
community's central business district in a comprehensive, sustainable
way," said ECD Commissioner Matt Kisber. "We applaud each of the
selected communities for reaching this milestone and look forward to
partnering with them in future endeavors."

Tennessee Downtowns is a tiered program affiliated with the Tennessee
Department of Economic and Community Development's Tennessee Main Street
Program. Communities selected to participate in Tennessee Downtowns will
form a volunteer committee of local citizens who will participate in a
multi-month training curriculum supported by the National Main Street
Center. The curriculum is designed to teach citizens about
comprehensive, sustainable downtown revitalization and historic
preservation. The training includes attendance at a two-day downtown
revitalization workshop and a grant to complete individualized downtown
development projects.

The 12 selected communities are each home to downtown commercial
districts established at least 50 years ago and have demonstrated their
readiness to organize efforts for downtown revitalization based on the
successful "Main Street Four-Point Approach to Downtown
Revitalizationtm." The highly competitive selection process was
based on five core criteria: historic resources, need (economic and
physical), demonstrated local effort, overall presentation and
probability of success.

"Tennessee Downtowns will be a vital resource and a basis of support
for downtown revitalization efforts for the participating communities,"
said Rick Meredith, assistant commissioner for Community Development at
ECD. "I am confident that each community will see a strong return on
their investment of time and resources, and we look forward to being a
part of that investment."

Main Street revitalization is a comprehensive, incremental, self-help
economic strategy that also focuses on developing public-private
partnerships to enhance community livability and job creation, while
maintaining the historic character of the district. For information
about the Main Street Program and the Main Street Four Point Approachtm,
visit (

Tennessee's Main Street program provides communities with technical
assistance and guidance in developing long-term strategies that promote
economic growth and development. The program provides information and
assistance in forging public networking and training opportunities for
downtown commercial districts.

For more information about Tennessee Downtowns, visit ( ).

About the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development
The Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development's
mission is to create
igher skilled, better paying jobs for all Tennesseans. The department
seeks to attract new corporate investment in Tennessee and works with
Tennessee companies to facilitate expansion and economic growth. To find
out more, go to ( ).

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