Figures released from the Oklahoma Main Street Center announce program totals for 2017 including local community program milestones.
“Statewide, Oklahoma Main Street communities had a phenomenal year, outpacing 2016 in reinvestment statistics and volunteer hours,” said Buffy Hughes, Oklahoma Main Street Center Director. “Main Street continues to be a successful, proven program due to the Oklahoma citizens who are dedicated to preserving their history, and building stronger communities. These historic commercial districts are a reflection of the entire community and demonstrate pride of place. Dedicated Main Street program directors, their board of directors, and volunteers put in more than 69,000 hours of time and effort to make these districts unique, vital and strong. We couldn’t do it without them.”
Community highlights from 2017 include private reinvestment numbers and the year each was accepted into the state program:
- Durant Main Street (1997) – $15 million
- Main Street Duncan (1986) – $20 million
- Main Street Muskogee (2008) – $35 million
- Okmulgee Main Street (1986) – $40 million
- Ponca City Main Street (1987) – $40 million
- Kendall Whittier Main Street (2010) – $130 million
For Durant Main Street, the $15 million represents the pride that is being shown in their historic district.
“As Durant Main Street reaches the milestone of $15 million invested into Downtown Durant, we view it as an investment in our entire community that was achieved by working together,” said Stephanie Gardner, Executive Director of Durant Main Street.
“Downtown is the heart of our city and when it flourishes, it is a source of pride and enjoyment for all who reside or visit here.”
For Main Street Muskogee, the $35 million milestone proves that while they have achieved much already, more is to come.
“For any community to ultimately succeed, private investment is critical,” said John Newby, Executive Director of Main Street Muskogee. “Downtown Muskogee is on the cusp of great things and this investment indicates a willingness to invest in the future. This past investment, along with the many millions in the pipeline, will go a long way towards returning the heart and soul our downtown and ultimately our entire community.”
Okmulgee Main Street’s milestone reflects the continued commitment made by the community to their district.
“Okmulgee was one of the first Main Street programs in the state of Oklahoma, so we have definitely seen our share of ups and downs throughout the last 32 years,” said Heather Sumner, Okmulgee Main Street Executive Director. “When we received our $20 million award in 2015, we had no idea that in a short 2.5 years we would be hitting our $40 million milestone. That is a huge accomplishment for a small community of just 12,500, especially when the majority of that $40 million of reinvestment has come from the efforts of our local citizens! Our Main Street program continues to be the driving force behind our downtown revitalization movement, and we will continue moving full speed ahead. I am beyond proud of our community, but I am most proud of our Main Street program for never giving up and always pushing to make our downtown a place that people want to live, work and play!”
Ponca City also reached $40 million during 2017.
“A healthy vibrant downtown is key to a strong community,” said Rhonda Skrapke, Ponca City Main Street Board President. “Our downtown has many iconic landmarks and is the heart and soul of our community. These reinvestment dollars are a major stimulator for economic growth and are a key revenue generator for our local economy.”
In addition to the community news, information gathered for 2017 from the 30 active Main Street communities including three urban areas as well as five associate programs includes:
- Nearly $109 million in both private and public reinvestment
- More than 150 building façade renovations
- More than 69,000 volunteer hours
- Nearly 530 jobs
- More than 140 business openings, relocations or expansions
Cumulative numbers for the entire statewide program since 1985 include:
- More than $1.6 billion in both private and public reinvestment
- Nearly 4,900 façade rehabilitations
- More than 1.4 million volunteer hours
- More than 18,600 jobs
- Nearly 5,400 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 Vitality.
For more information on the Main Street Program call 405-815-6552 or visit OKcommerce.gov/mainstreet.