Ferndale, Rochester Reach notable Main Street Oakland County Mark

It was announced today that the cities of Ferndale and Rochester have reached a milestone as Main Street Oakland County (MSOC) communities. Both have achieved national accreditation for the 10th year in a row. They joined seven other MSOC communities, which attained national accreditation at a recognition ceremony at Franklin Community Church in downtown Franklin.

Other nationally accredited MSOC members are Clawson, Farmington, Franklin, Highland, Holly, Lake Orion, and Ortonville. Ferndale and Rochester also have been Great American Main Street Award winners — Rochester in 2013 and Ferndale in 2011.

“Kudos to all of our nationally accredited Main Street communities,” Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson said. “There are hardworking individuals in each community who are committed to improving quality of life by making our downtown areas unique destinations for dining, entertainment and shopping.”

To earn national accreditation, each community had to receive an impressive score of 10 out of 10 on their annual evaluation by MSOC staff. Those results were then submitted to the National Main Street Center in Chicago. The annual accreditations are announced at the National Main Street Conference each spring.

Patterson launched MSOC in 2000 as the county’s unique economic development program with a historic preservation philosophy and an emphasis on a sense of place. It was the first countywide Main Street program in the United States.

In 2014, MSOC downtowns saw a total of $20 million in new investment creating a net of 70 new businesses and 200 new full-time jobs. In addition, 168 buildings were rehabilitated. Since MSOC’s inception, more than $668 million has been invested in Oakland County’s downtowns creating 940 new businesses and nearly 6,900 jobs.

MSOC has expanded its services in the past year to make it more accessible to communities.

First, MSOC added “Heritage Corridors” to the program, which can utilize the Main Street management philosophy to maximize their economic potential, while providing more services to the small businesses along these corridors, and to improve their overall appearance. These corridors include Dixie Highway, Eight Mile Boulevard, and Woodward Avenue.

Second, MSOC added a third membership level to the Main Street program to better serve and potentially to bring in all 32 distinct, historic downtowns into the program. Called the Affiliate Level, it is for downtown communities and heritage corridors that want some affiliation with MSOC. Affiliate Level members will be able to access all MSOC training opportunities. The other levels are the Associate Level, for communities that are building their capacity and readiness for full MSOC membership at the Select Level.

Communities which have joined at the new Affiliate Level include Clarkston, Leonard, Hazel Park, Oak Park, Waterford and Groveland Township. The newest Associate Level communities are Lathrup Village and the City of Wixom. Birmingham became an Associate Level member two years ago.

 

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