(Oklahoma City, Okla.) – Figures released from the Oklahoma Main Street Center announce program totals for 2016 including local community program milestones.
“Since joining the Oklahoma Main Street Center last August, I’ve seen first-hand the hard work and dedication of the state’s Main Street programs to the revitalization of their communities and historic areas,” said Buffy Hughes, Oklahoma Main Street Center director. “Despite the trying economic times felt by all Oklahomans, in 2016 Main Streets across the state saw $63 million in total reinvestment spending, 130 building renovations, and citizens volunteered more than 81,000 hours for a variety of projects. Entrepreneurs continue to recognize the vitality and value of historic commercial districts and responded with more than 150 business openings, relocations, and expansions creating over 500 jobs. We are proud of all the time and effort the program directors, board of directors and numerous volunteers contribute to the success of their local programs.”
2016 community highlights include private reinvestment numbers and the year each was accepted into the state program:
- Main Street of Perry (1995) — $10 million
- Main Street Prague (1996) — $10 million
- Bartlesville Main Street (2010) — $15 million
- Claremore Main Street (2002) — $15 million
- Main Street Muskogee (2008) — $30 million
- Ponca City Main Street (1987) — $30 million
- Sapulpa Main Street (1990) – $30 million
- Main Street Enid (1994) – $40 million
For Perry Main Street, the $10 million represents the pride that is being shown in their historic district.
“Hitting a milestone such as a total reinvestment of $10 million is remarkable for our town and specifically our historic downtown,” said Kayla Shrum, Main Street of Perry executive director. “It is proof that our community continues to work hard to improve ourselves. Through Main Street, Perry Pride and hard work, we will continue to revitalize and reinvest!”
In Prague, the $10 million represents a “coming home,” of sorts.
“One thing that comes to mind is that this amount of reinvestment proves that businesses still consider Prague as a viable, progressive community to be willing to invest their money in improvements and new facilities, which in turn provides and helps retain jobs locally and provides support for our local merchants,” said Teresa Steffy, former board member.
“It also shows that young professionals are moving back to reinvest as well,” said Jessica Benson, Main Street Prague board member. “It seems like there are a bunch of people “originally” from Prague, or this area, that make their way back here to settle down for life. When they do that, they invest in the community. It is a booming, and boomerang city. Come Czech us out!”
For Bartlesville Main Street, the $15 million milestone gives the program a good opportunity to share with others in the community.
“We are delighted to pass the $15 million mark in investments downtown in the 6 years we have been a Main Street Community,” said Mark Haskell, board president for Bartlesville Main Street. “Passing milestones like this are helpful for a number of reasons. It is a great reminder of the progress we have made; a reminder that this an incremental process – one building, one investment at a time; and it gives us the opportunity to use the milestone for PR and to remind people of the difference we are making. Hopefully it will get them downtown to check out our businesses and newly renovated buildings and spaces.”
Claremore Main Street’s milestone reflects the commitment made by the community their district.
It’s heartening to see the community support Main Street’s mission and invest in our downtown,” said Jessica Jackson, program director for Claremore Main Street. “To achieve a milestone like $15 million in reinvestment, it just reminds us of the difference we are making in Claremore. Our historic downtown is shining again, and there’s nothing better to see.”
Reaching the $30 million milestone for Muskogee points to a continued bright future.
“Downtown Muskogee is certainly on the move,” said John Newby, Main Street Muskogee, In. board president. “As this investment shows over the past couple years, the public and private sectors are coming together creating outstanding synergies that are most vital for success and haven’t been seen in Muskogee for quite some time. With the establishing of the new Main Street Muskogee, Inc. board coupled with continued support from the city and public sector, Muskogee indeed has a very bright future.”
Ponca City Main Street reached the $30 million milestone over the last year.
“This level of reinvestment shows a commitment to the future of Ponca City Main Street and our downtown district,” said Lori Henderson, board president. “We are so thankful for the people that understand the importance of investment in their community and the direct tie to their success as business owners. We look forward to the next $30 million!”
Sapulpa also reached $30 million during 2016.
The fact that we have had more than $30 million of private sector reinvestment in the downtown Sapulpa Main Street district just shows that as a city, and community, we are committed to continually investing in the financial, and historical aspects, of keeping the downtown alive with business and continued growth,” said Carl Prescott, board president of Sapulpa Main Street. “By continuing to reinvest, thru monetary means, and especially the untold amount of voluntary time by Main Street board members, directors, and friends of Main Street over the past 27 years, this program will continue to thrive and continue to keep Sapulpa on top. I’m very proud to be a part of this organization for the past four years and look forward to continually helping in any way possible.”
And last, but certainly not least, Main Street Enid hit the biggest milestone of the year at $40 million.
“Main Street Enid is thrilled to see the amount of private reinvestment downtown,” said Kelly Tompkins, Main Street Enid’s executive director. “It’s a testament to the confidence in our economy and continued dedication to our historic district.”
In addition to the community news, information gathered for 2016 from the 30 active Main Street Communities including three urban areas as well as five associate programs includes:
- More than $63 million in both private and public reinvestment
- More than 130 building façade renovations
- More than 81,500 volunteer hours
- Nearly 560 jobs
- More than 150 business openings, relocations or expansions
Cumulative numbers for the entire statewide program since 1985 include:
- More than $1.5 billion in both private and public reinvestment
- More than 4,700 façade rehabilitations
- Nearly 1.4 million volunteer hours
- More than 18,100 jobs
- Nearly 5,300 business openings, relocations or expansions
The Oklahoma Main Street Center is one of 42 state coordinating programs around the nation. As a subsidiary of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, more than 2,000 Main Streets across the nation are committed to historic preservation-based community revitalization. Through education, outreach, and training, the National Main Street center has equipped these local programs to operate using the Main Street Four Point Approach™ including Organization, Design, Promotion and Economic Restructuring.
For more information on the Main Street Program call 405-815-6552 or log onto OKcommerce.gov/mainstreet.