The Three Rivers Downtown Development Authority is part of the Michigan Main Street program and the National Main Street center, which exist to help communities find the tools and resources they need to bring vibrancy to their historic downtowns.
First begun by the National Trust for Historic Preservation in the 1970s, its goal was to help people to advocate for historic buildings in traditional city and town centers. Its leaders quickly realized that when downtown buildings are commercially viable, they not only survive, but they thrive. Old buildings in walkable downtowns, in fact, are ideal to support the kinds of businesses that attract communities and their visitors alike.
Good, unique restaurants, specialty shops, and themed venues and attractions that reinforce and promote local character have proven successful over and over again at resurrecting formerly-forlorn downtowns all across the United States; Main Street’s program is full of success stories in cities and towns that have used downtown revitalization to redirect and re-energize the fortunes of entire communities and even regions.
Three Rivers is proud to be a Select Level Main Street community. Begun in 2014, this five-year designation provides us an intensive level of guidance and resources from state and national-level staff. It has allowed us to gather market and demographic data, professionally evaluate our assets and strengths, and develop a careful strategy for recruiting businesses that will generate foot traffic and make a name for our city in arts, entertainment, dining, and outdoor recreation.
We’re starting to see some big results, and we are glad to have an opportunity like this: through Main Street, our hard work and dedication combines with the program’s professional guidance and structure to create an effective vision that is making a difference for Three Rivers!