Downtown Revitalization

Small- to mid-size downtowns and neighborhood commercial corridors often suffer from similar types of neglect. They can be run down, lack a sense of place, exhibit a low level of retail sophistication, and present a challenge that leaves community members feeling overwhelmed.

Where, how and what to start tackling is exactly the focus of my consulting practice.

I typically initiate a five-stage process with a community to jump start revitalization and encourage collaboration across stakeholder groups.

  1. Kick-off Meeting

    Gather the team — city officials and downtown stakeholders — for an exchange of information on local conditions and the revitalization curriculum. We work together to refine the scope of work and tailor it to the needs and concerns of a specific place. Identifying stakeholders who are not at the table, but who need to be, and brainstorming ways to reach out to them, is a key part of this meeting.

  2. Fundamentals of Revitalization

    This presentation is a market-based crash course on revitalization. Together, we take a focused look at concrete case studies to learn the basics of district renewal, how commercial areas change and improve, and the specific types of tenants that help downtowns develop.

  3. Analysis and Recommendations

    With stakeholders, we construct a finely detailed picture of the downtown, wading into the nitty gritty details of what exists right now. We then apply what was learned in the fundamentals of revitalization to create recommendations about concrete next steps for all members of a downtown community. Participants leave this presentations with real and achievable ideas of what they can be doing tomorrow, next month, and next year to spur revitalization.

  4. Field Trip

    To reinforce the lessons about what makes commercial districts thrive, we visit one! City staff, business owners, property owners, and residents embark on a trip together to a place that illustrates a real-life example of success that is relevant to their particular district or downtown. During this fast-paced, hands-on course, we explore commercial spaces, building form, and ground floor activation. We cover “Retail 101” and “Redevelopment Dos and Don’ts” as we tour specific buildings and spaces while talking to resident business and property owners.

  5. Marketing and PR Workshop

    What story is your downtown district telling to visitors? How do you want your district to be identified by residents? Why do you need to manage your story? This interactive seminar connects the dots between marketing, event planning, identity building and revitalization. We will cover the fundamentals so that you can manage your message and successfully market spaces, businesses, and ultimately your entire downtown, as a successful and thriving place.