Rochester leads county in National Main Street Center accreditations

By: Mary Beth Almond | Rochester Post | Published June 26, 2019

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ROCHESTER — Rochester holds the record in Oakland County for the most consecutive national accreditation awards from the National Main Street Center in Chicago.

“Rochester is certainly one of the shining stars, if not the shining star, of all the programs around the county that sets the bench high,” said John Bry, Main Street Oakland County’s program manager.

Rochester Downtown Development Authority Executive Director Kristi Trevarrow said Rochester has been in the county’s Main Street program since its inception.

“We were one of the original communities selected by the Main Street Oakland County program when it started back in the day — it was Rochester, Waterford and Royal Oak. Royal Oak actually stepped away from the program for several years, and they recently came back to the program a couple of years ago, so we’re the only consistent program that’s been there from year one. We take a lot of pride in that, and we take a lot of pride in the accreditation,” said Trevarrow.

This is the 14th consecutive time Rochester has achieved national accreditation — the most of any Oakland County downtown.

“Even though we have a great staff, everything happens because we have such amazing support from our community, our volunteers that support us through our committee work, as well as our different boards we work with, so it is a sense of pride, because it’s because of this collective work that we’re successful,” said Trevarrow.

To be accredited, Main Street communities must go through an annual 10-point review process. The local Main Street programs must have broad-based community support for the commercial district revitalization process; develop vision and mission statements relevant to community conditions and to the local Main Street program’s organizational stage; have a comprehensive work plan; possess a historic preservation ethic; have an active board of directors and committees; have an adequate operating budget; have a paid professional program manager; conduct a program of ongoing training for staff and volunteers; report key statistics; and be a current member of the Main Street America Network.

“Let’s just say that Rochester’s DDA has excelled in the 10-point criteria that is set out by the National Main Street Center,” said Bry. “We evaluate our ‘select’ (membership) level communities, of which Rochester is one of them, and they have passed with flying colors once again.”

“I think it’s validating when you look at a group that has been doing it nationally since, I think, the 1970s, and they know what’s going on there and they can come in with fresh eyes and look at our program and confirm that yes, we’re on the right track; we’re doing good things for our community,” Trevarrow added.

Officials say Oakland County was the first county in the United States to operate a full-service countywide Main Street program. The county program began in 2000, and since then, Main Street communities have generated more than $837 million in public and private investment, and have created more than 8,086 jobs and more than new 1,163 businesses.

There are currently 25 downtowns in the Main Street program: Auburn Hills, Berkley, Birmingham, Clarkston, Clawson, Farmington, Ferndale, Franklin, Groveland Township, Hazel Park, Highland Township, Holly, Holly Township, Lake Orion, Lathrup Village, Leonard, Madison Heights, Oak Park, Ortonville, Oxford, Pontiac, Rochester, Royal Oak, South Lyon and Wixom.

For more information, visit MainStreetOaklandCounty.com.

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