Howell a semifinalist for 2016 Great American Main Street award

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Photo of Howell’s downtown by Richard Lim Photography

The National Main Street Center named Howell Main Street one of 10 semifinalists for the 2016 Great American Main Street Award.

Howell joins (in alphabetical order) these other Main Streets: Audubon Park Garden District, Orlando, Fla.; Bastrop, Texas; Covington, Ky.; Dahlonega, Ga.; Grapevine, Texas; Los Alamos, NM; Shaw District, Washington, DC; Tupelo, Miss.; and Vicksburg, Miss.

Here’s what the National Main Street Center had to say about Howell: “When Howell Main Street first started, they quickly recognized a problem in the district–the majority of downtown was occupied by personal or professional service-based businesses that did not attract people.  Today, you will find shops unique to Howell and eateries that offer quality dining experiences. As a result, the district has seen an increase in demand for downtown housing, so Howell Main Street is working closely with the City, property owners and the Michigan State Housing Development Authority to rehabilitate upper story units into additional living spaces.”

According to National Main Street, this year’s 10 semifinalists generated over $3B in public and private reinvestment, while creating 10,690 new jobs, opening 1,262 new businesses, rehabbing 1,237 buildings and clocking 309,918 volunteer hours.

“GAMSA represents the pinnacle of community achievement in the pursuit of downtown and commercial district places in which people want to call home, work, launch and run a business, and enjoy their leisure time,” said Matt Wagner, NMSC Vice President of Revitalization Programs. “This year’s winners stand as national models of how communities can thrive through innovative leadership, smart execution of revitalization strategies, and dedication to preservation-based economic development.”

Winners will be announced in May 2016 at the National Main Streets Conference in Milwaukee.

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  1. Good for downtown Howell. I made a return visit again just this past June and have seen the changes over the decades during my visits. Lived in and worked for my neighborhood (La Alma Lincoln Park) near downtown Denver for 33 years. It was pretty run down when I first saw it upon moving to Colorado in 1980. It was named one of the top ten neighborhoods in America for 2014 by the American Planning Association. We enjoyed this distinction and appreciated our decades of work was rewarded. So, I know the people of Howell will appreciate and be motivated for further improvements with the downtown being in this top ten designation nationally.

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