The City of Niles Achieves Michigan Main Street Master Level Status

Jan 07, 2010, 09:43 ET from Michigan State Housing Development Authority

LANSING, Mich., Jan. 7 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Keith Molin, Executive Director of the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) today announced that the city of Niles has been awarded Master Level status through the Michigan Main Street Center @ MSHDA.

Niles joins four other downtown communities already awarded the Master Level status. They are Boyne City, Calumet, Marshall and Portland. The Michigan Main Street Center @ MSHDA is part of the Authority's efforts to create vibrant communities across the state. This effort is based on numerous recent studies showing that investing in our downtowns create vibrant centers where people want to live, work and invest, making our state economically stronger. The underlying premise of the Main Street Center @ MSHDA is to encourage community economic development through:

  • Organization: getting everyone working toward the same goal and assembling the appropriate human and financial resources to implement a Main Street revitalization program.
  • Promotion: selling a positive image of the commercial district and encouraging consumers and investors to live, work, shop, play and invest in the Main Street district.
  • Design: getting the Main Street into top physical shape. Capitalizing on its best assets, such as historic buildings and pedestrian-oriented streets, is just part of the story.
  • Economic restructuring: strengthening a community's existing economic assets while expanding and diversifying its economic base.

Communities with traditional downtowns or neighborhood commercial districts can be selected annually as a Michigan Main Street Community as the result of a multi-step application process based on the key points mentioned above. To achieve Master Level status, a community must reach Main Street accreditation and must have successfully completed services provided to Selected Level communities and have been at the Selected Level for five years. To learn more about what is required of a Main Street Community, visit the MSDHA Web site:

"This Master Level provides downtown communities like Niles with the tools needed to develop thriving downtowns," said Molin. "In turn, these tools can be used to create jobs, provide enjoyment and build a sense of community for Michigan residents."

Chosen communities are evaluated annually using a year-end evaluation process and accreditation criteria intended to assist each community in performing up to national accreditation standards as prescribed by the National Trust for Historic Preservation's National Main Street Center. Though it is a critical moment for a Michigan Main Street community to become accredited, it is equally critical for the community to maintain the accreditation status once it has been earned.

The Michigan State Housing Development Authority is dedicated to building a thriving and vibrant future for Michigan. MSHDA provides tools and resources to improve people's lives through programs across the state. These programs assist with housing, build strong neighborhoods, and help create places where people want to live and work. MSHDA's programs work in four areas: affordable rental housing; supporting homeownership; ending homelessness; and creating vibrant cites and neighborhoods.*

*MSHDA's loan and operating expenses are financed through the sale of tax-exempt and taxable bonds as well as notes to private investors, not from state tax revenues. Proceeds are loaned at below-market interest rates to developers of rental housing, and help fund mortgages and home improvement loans. MSHDA also administers several federal housing programs.

SOURCE Michigan State Housing Development Authority