Richmond Main Street Initiative
Receives National Recognition for Revitalization of Downtown
Richmond, CA, July 5, 2016 – Richmond Main Street Initiative (RMSI) has been designated as an accredited Main Street America™ program for meeting rigorous performance standards set by the National Main Street Center. Each year, the National Main Street Center and its Coordinating Program partners announce the list of accredited Main Street America programs in recognition of their exemplary commitment to preservation-based economic development and community revitalization through the Main Street Approach®.
RMSI’s performance is annually evaluated by California Main Street Alliance, which works in partnership with the National Main Street Center to identify the local programs that are building comprehensive and sustainable revitalization efforts, by meeting or surpassing ten performance standards, such as fostering strong public-private partnerships, securing an operating budget, tracking programmatic progress, and actively preserving historic buildings.
This accreditation arrives on the heels of another award that Downtown Richmond received earlier this year when Macdonald Avenue was selected to represent California in the National Life Group’s 2016 Main Streets Across America, an annual list that celebrates streets that reflect strong “main street values” and play a central role in the communities in which they are located.
RMSI and Macdonald Avenue were recognized because of their excellent neighborhood revitalization work that aligns with National Life Group’s four core attributes of a strong ‘Main Street’: a strong local business presence, local gathering spots and community spaces, celebrations of history and traditions, and diverse social and cultural activities.
Downtown Richmond has come a long way since RMSI was formed. For 15 years, RMSI has been diligently using the Main Street Approach® to strengthen the economic, social, and cultural fabric of our community, with a focus on the historic Main Street commercial district. We’ve engaged supporters and established and strengthened partnerships to implement a wide range of events and programs specifically designed to support local entrepreneurs, attract visitors Downtown, and ensure that the neighborhood remain clean and safe for everyone.
And our work is paying off.
More people are coming Downtown to our events and programs, which grow in depth and impact with each passing year, creating opportunities to recognize and add to the deep cultural heritage of Richmond, support local businesses, and foster stewardship of our public spaces.
The Downtown Richmond Property Business Improvement District (DRPBID), which was formed in 2012 is yielding valuable community benefits that are making Downtown more economically viable, safe, and attractive. To date the DRPBID has provided, in part: 11,000 hours of cleanliness and maintenance service, 63,000 visits, and leveraged $50 million in public and private investments of physical improvements made in the district.
But we still have a lot of work to do, both in 2016 and beyond. With new developments on the horizon, RMSI is committed to advocating for the needs of residents, supporting the local business community, and engaging the public and activating public spaces.
Our current projects include sponsoring a weekly, seasonal farmers’ market, the Summer Youth Entrepreneur Program, Music on the Main on August 10 (now in its 15th year!), and the Spirit & Soul Festival on September 17. Later in the fall we plan to bring back out popular Zumba fitness classes and partner with the Richmond Arts and Culture Commission to install an Art In Windows exhibit. Soon we will be inviting everyone to join us in celebrating our 15th Anniversary at a very special event on November 3 at the new Rigger’s Loft winery. We will close out the year with the annual Downtown Holiday Festival at the East Bay Center for the Performing Arts.
Additionally, we will continue to work on the formation and build-out of CoBiz Richmond, a new co-working space and business incubator which is a joint venture between Richmond Main Street Initiative and Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center funded by the eQuip Richmond Economic Revitalization Initiative scheduled to open in early 2017.
Richmond Main Street will continue to build on the success of our revitalization efforts with the support of residents, business and property owners, city government, and other community partners to achieve our vision of a safe, vibrant Downtown with business, arts and entertainment that celebrates our rich history and diverse culture.
For more information about Downtown Richmond and Richmond Main Street Initiative, please visit www.RichmondMainStreet.org