Lower Georgia Avenue Main Streets Program Study In Progress
A Main Streets study has been underway since the beginning of April for the Lower Georgia Avenue area — defined as the section of Georgia Avenue within Ward 1. The study was funded by a grant from the Department of Small and Local Business Development to determine if conditions are right for a Main Streets organization on Georgia Avenue. The final report from the study is expected to be completed by the end of September.
One of the early outcomes of the study is an effort to develop an anti-graffiti program for Georgia Avenue. The effort will consist of two parts: 1) a Community graffiti removal event that may be scheduled on August 15 and, 2) a system to make graffiti removal sustainable.
The following areas are to be addressed in the main streets feasibility study:
- Recommended Program Boundaries. The study will recommend a geographic district which would have the most likelihood of launching a successful revitalization program.
- Support from Business Owners and Commercial Property Owners. As the most crucial stakeholders in any commercial revitalization effort, the business and property owners should be included in any planning effort This study will demonstrate how these two types of stakeholders intend to help fund and lead a new Main Streets organization. It will also demonstrate how they will continue working together whether or not a new Main Street program is established.
- Support from Community Stakeholders. Neighborhood residents are the indirect beneficiaries and primary customers of the commercial revitalization effort. This study will demonstrate if neighborhood residents and community groups will support a revitalization effort as donors and as volunteer leaders. The study will also demonstrate the commercial district’s ability to serve residents, including Howard University students, as customers.
- Sustainable Funding. The new Main Streets organization should be able to operate effectively whether or not funding from DC Government is available in future years. This feasibility study will include a detailed five-year funding plan for the organization which explores funding sources such as private organizations and neighborhood civic groups, as well as commitments from business and property owners.
- The National Main Street Center utilizes a preservation-based economic development process called the Main Street Four Point Approach®, which serves as the foundation for local Main Street initiatives to revitalize their districts by leveraging local assets-from cultural or architectural heritage to local enterprises and community pride. The analysis will explore whether this Approach is a good fit for this commercial district and how the Approach would benefit the proposed district.