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Oregon Main Street

Downtowns are traditionally the heart of a community – the social, economic, and civic center. Many of our downtowns in Oregon are “diamonds in the rough" that need a little polishing to sparkle once again. Others are vibrant and want to maintain their competitive advantage. Oregon Main Street is here to help communities wherever they are in their downtown revitalization efforts. We provide support to organizations who are ready to roll-up their sleeves; develop a vision for how they want their downtown to look, feel, and function; and then attract the people and financial resources to bring about the change they want to see happen. We accomplish this by providing training and technical assistance to communities participating in the Main Street Track of the Oregon Main Street Network, and by access to the Oregon Main Street Revitalization Grant which funds building improvement projects that spur economic development for all Network communities (available once per biennium in odd years).

Oregon Main Street is a Main Street America™ Coordinating Program.

Main Street America™ has been helping revitalize older and historic commercial districts for more than 35 years. Oregon Main Street is a Main Street America™ Coordinating Program. We help communities participating in our Network to make use of the time-tested Main Street Four-Point Approach® to downtown revitalization developed by Main Street America™ which includes:

  • Sustainable Organization
  • Effective Promotion
  • Quality Design
  • Economic Vitality
This Approach is a unique preservation-based economic development tool that enables communities to enhance downtown and neighborhood business districts by leveraging local assets. It is a comprehensive, incremental strategy that addresses the variety of issues and problems that challenge traditional commercial districts. Oregon Main Street helps communities thrive by connecting them to this customizable framework to focus local efforts, energy, and resources to create a more vibrant downtown. 

​The Oregon Main Street Network is comprised of communities around the state who participate at one of these tiers.​

See the full list of participating communities and their tiers here​.

​​​Accredited Main Street​

​The Accredited Main Street level recognizes exemplary achievement by a local main street organization and the impact they are having through collaborative partnerships on preserving and enhancing their historic downtown or traditional commercial neighborhood.

​Designated Main Street
The Designated Main Street level is a mark of distinction that reflects a commitment and dedicated efforts to building, growing, and sustaining successful historic downtown or traditional commercial neighborhood improvement efforts by leveraging partnerships and engaging community.​

​Affiliated Main Street
​The Affiliated Main Street level is for communities who are either just starting to form, or are working on strengthening, their Main Street structure to harness the powerful main street methodology to create lasting impact in enhancing their historic downtown or traditional commercial neighborhood.

​Conne​cted Communities
​The Connected Communities level is for communities who care about their historic downtown or traditional commercial neighborhood and want to access to information to help them make a difference. Communities at this level may be organized around a specific project or activity to enhance their community.


We are excited to announce our strategic plan designed to engage our mission to "Support local efforts to create welcoming, sustainable, and livable communities respectful of community heritage."

Goals:

  1. Ensure Organizational Advancement of Main Street Communities Based on Local Priorities
  2. ​​Increase Awareness of Main Street Impact
  3. Create Structure That Is Healthy, Impactful, And Sustainable
  4. Strengthen Historic Character Focus
  5.  Engage Partners​
We welcome you to explore the Strategic Plan​!

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​For communities participating in the Main Street Track, the boundaries or primary focus area of the organization must be that of a traditional downtown or neighborhood commercial district.  A “traditional downtown" or “traditional neighborhood commercial district" is defined as a grouping of 20 or more contiguous commercial parcels containing buildings of historical or architectural significance. The area must have been zoned, planned, built, or used for commercial purposes for more than 50 years. This area must be:

  • A traditional central business district and center for socio-economic interaction.
  • Characterized by a cohesive core of historic or older commercial and mixed-use buildings that represent the community's architectural heritage.  It may also include compatible in-fill development.
  • Have a sufficient mass of businesses, buildings, and density to be effective.
  • Typically arranged with most of the buildings side-by-side and fronting the sidewalk along a main street with intersecting side streets.
  • Compact, easily walkable, and pedestrian-oriented. 

In general, districts containing newer low-density automobile-oriented commercial development (e.g., sprawl), strip malls, and enclosed shopping/entertainment centers will not qualify for designation unless they are fully integrated into the fabric of a traditional “Main Street district."

​​There is an application process for communities who want to join the Oregon Main Street Network.

Who Applies

For the Main Street Track, the applicant is typically an independent nonprofit organization that is focused on downtown.

Local government is commonly the applicant at the Associate level, but it can also be and existing nonprofit organization.

OMS staff is available to help a community decide where to house their local main street effort.

Application Process

Applications to join the Oregon Main Street Network open once per year in the fall with the deadline around the first of the new year. Check back here for more information when applcations open.

Communities who are interested in the program are encouraged to first join as a Connected Community. Applications for Connected Communities are accepted on a rolling basis.  Use this application​ to apply.

​Oregon Main Street has collected data from our top two tiers of the Main Street Network since 2010.

You can see the most recent statistics and other highlights from 2021 by viewing our 2021 Oregon Main Street Annual Report​.​​




Contact

Sheri Stuart
(503) 986-0679
sheri.stuart@oprd.oregon.gov

Rachel Thomas
(971)720-8998
rachel.thomas@oprd.oregon.gov

 



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