New Program Announced to Improve Downtowns


mainstreet_logoThis week, Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson announced a new three-tiered program that will prepare more communities for entry into the Main Street Oakland County (MSOC) program and the economic benefits of utilizing the nationally-recognized program.

MSOC is an unique economic development program with a historic preservation philosophy and an emphasis on “sense of place.” The program helps local governments develop their downtowns as vibrant, successful districts that serve as the heart of their communities.

“Nineteen downtowns are in the Main Street program,” Patterson said at a press conference in downtown Farmington. “My goal is to bring many more communities into the fold as soon as possible. I want all the downtowns to enjoy the benefits we see now in Ferndale, Holly, Oxford and all the Main Street communities.”

ms-image-1Since 2001, select level Main Street communities have generated more than $650 million in public and private investment, and created more than 6,600 jobs and more than new 870 businesses.

The new tiered program categorizes a community as either select, associate or affiliate level. The select level must have a historic downtown or hamlet settled in the 1800s or early 1900s, primarily built before 1940. Associate and affiliate levels have a wider range of criteria to serve more communities, including historic downtowns and hamlets, urban mixed-use development or commercial centers. Associates and affiliates would receive training, technical services and promotional and networking opportunities. Select communities receive a more extensive list of services.

This three tiered approach enables Oakland County Government to reach out to more of the distinct downtowns and hamlets in the community.

“We can now work with communities with Heritage Corridors such as Woodward Avenue, Eight Mile Road and Dixie Highway as well as newer mixed-use urban centers,” Patterson said.

Established in 2000, Main Street Oakland County is operated under the planning division of the county’s economic development department. Oakland County is the first county in the United States to operate a full-service county-wide Main Street program. You can learn more about MSOC at our website HERE. View a list of the 19 downtowns a part of MSOC HERE.

Watch our video and see the impact downtown communities have on jobs, products and services, and how we enjoy our day to day life!

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