Vol. 4, Issue 2 | Summer 2015
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Denise Hamet

Denise Hamet
Economic Development Director

Matt Eisenbraun

Matt Eisenbraun
Economic Development
Assistant Director

Larry Mulligan Jr., Mayor
Dora Bronston, Council Member
Anita Scott Jones, Council Member
Joe Mulligan, Council Member
Daniel Picard, Council Member
Amy Schenck, Clerk of Council
Doug Adkins, City Manager

City of Middletown
One Donham Plaza
Middletown, OH 45042
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Downtown Economic Development

Middletown Working Toward Full 'Main Street' Accreditation

Mallory Greenham, executive director of Downtown Middletown, Inc. since March, is firmly focused on gaining official Main Street Accreditation for the City of Middletown.

Mallory Greenham

Façade Grants Awarded

Falling under the "Design" step of the Main Street Four-Step Approach®, Downtown Middletown Inc. has awarded $30,000 in façade grants to seven Middletown businesses and organizations.

Pendleton Arts Center—Paint two exterior walls, install new windows, $8,454

Miss Selby's Soap—Replace awning and frame damaged by wind, $956

Art Central Foundation—Replace double entry doors with more period-appropriate doors, paint, $1,693

Middletown Better Homes—Replace roof, $5,000

Snider Building (also known as the Sunshine Building)—Repair and replace missing and damaged brick, $10,000

Fraternal Order of Eagles Building—Replacement of four metal doors, $3,432

TV Middletown—Paint rear of building, add sign, $465

Main Street is the National Trust for Historic Preservation's program that has strengthened and revitalized downtowns and commercial districts across the country. Leveraging a trademarked Four-Point Approach®, Middletown's accreditation process will include education, outreach, hands-on training, online resources and facilitating connections.

"There is a lot happening in downtown Middletown; it is an exciting time to be here," says Greenham. "Having a strong urban core is crucial for economic development, even to the other parts of town. Gaining full Main Street Accreditation is another piece of the economic development puzzle, but for Downtown Middletown it is less about the Main Street title, and more about the actual revitalization and preservation work that has to take place before we receive that honor. Our ultimate goal as an organization is to use the proven Four-Point Approach® template to increase the quality of life in all of Middletown. But this has to be a community-wide effort. My goal is to help lead the way."

Greenham's passion for working on revitalization and historic preservation projects is infectious, and she has the front-line experience to make it happen. She successfully took the town of Marietta, Ohio, from Emerging Main Street Status to full Main Street Accreditation.

Middletown is currently recognized as an Emerging Main Street Program. "The application process is rigorous," says Greenham, noting, "It will require years of up-front work before we can make an official application through Heritage Ohio. But there are benefits all along the way—just going through the accreditation process has so many positive aspects."

Businesses Surveyed Regarding Communications, Branding

As part of the Main Street Accreditation process, Miami University summer interns working for Middletown's Economic Development Department are reaching out to hundreds of the City's businesses, surveying them about their use of social media, branding, events, projects and marketing tools to attract customers and recruit talent. "Companies and organizations fall into many different 'silos'—education, non-profit, recreation, entertainment, media," says Denise Hamet, Middletown Economic Development director. "One goal of this communications and branding research is to break through these silos so that everyone can better work together in order to give Middletown one cohesive, unanimous brand and message that brings a positive light to our city."

Main Street Four-Point Approach®

Through the Main Street program, communities revitalize their districts by leveraging local assets. Main Street's Four-Point Approach® provides a proven template for making that happen:

  • Organization: Finding grant money to fund projects
  • Promotion: Events, marketing and advertising that promotes downtown
  • Design: Branding, streetscaping, beautification—anything that has to do with the overall look and feel of downtown
  • Economic Restructuring: Business recruitment and retention, inventory of buildings

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