News Column

Downtown Revitalization Conference Set to Kick off in Detroit, May 18-20

May 12, 2014

WASHINGTON, May 12 -- The National Trust for Historic Preservation issued the following news release:

Nationwide to stimulate more than 245,000 building rehabilitation projects and create nearly 503,000 jobs. The 2014 National Main Streets Conference is co-hosted by the Michigan State Housing Development Authority and the Michigan Main Street Center.

Through more than a dozen mobile workshops, 60 education sessions and peer networking, conference-goers will explore best practices in using historic and cultural resources to overcome economic challenges. Detroit is the perfect backdrop for examining this subject as it offers attendees a firsthand look at rebuilding an economy by capitalizing on the city's unique assets, including the use of art and culture to drive regeneration, urban farming on vacant land, pop-ups in empty buildings, and entrepreneurism of all kinds. From tours of Midtown's art and design district, to the opening reception on the streets of downtown Ferndale, to sessions on managing rightsizing and crowdfunding real estate, attendees will experience Detroit as a living laboratory and learn how to apply these lessons to their own community.

Other conference highlights include:

Keynote address by Donovan Rypkema, a global expert in downtown revitalization, who will highlight studies from Michigan, New Mexico, Iowa and North Carolina that demonstrate the economic impact of Main Street revitalization

The announcement of the prestigious 2014 Great American Main Street Award winners

Mobile workshops, including a bike tour of the West Riverfront, the Ponyride entrepreneurial incubator and urban farms

A free, four-part introduction to the Main Street Approach which will describe the building blocks of a successful downtown revitalization strategy.

On-site registration begins on Saturday, May 17 at the Detroit Marriott Renaissance Center from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. The conference is open to members of the media, but they must check in at the registration desk to receive their media packets. The public may purchase tickets for tours pending availability.

For conference updates, follow @MainStreetsConf on Twitter. More information on the program is online at:

Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA)

The Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) provides financial and technical assistance through public and private partnerships to create and preserve decent, affordable housing for low- and moderate-income residents and to engage in community economic development activities to revitalize urban and rural communities.*

*MSHDA's loans 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. For more information, visit

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Source: Targeted News Service

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