Clawson gets funds to boost thriving downtown

Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson welcomed Clawson, Michigan as the 12

th community to join the Main Street Oakland County (MSOC) program during a news conference Oct 5. at Leon & Lulu lifestyle store. He also announced that MSOC has among the largest return on investment of Main Street programs nationwide.

“Main Street Oakland County is about helping our downtown communities succeed,” said Patterson. “Our Main Street staff will help Clawson connect to all of our Main Street technical services and introduce the community to Oakland County’s resources available through Economic Development & Community Affairs.”

Clawson was in the MSOC Mentoring Program, recently renamed the “Associate Level,” since 2008. Clawson’s participation in the “Associate Level” allowed the city to take a soft look at MSOC while it built its Downtown Development Authority’s (DDA) capacity and readiness for a comprehensive Main Street program.

Clawson DDA Executive Director Joan Horton said Clawson is ready for this next step. “We’re very excited to continue our relationship with Main Street Oakland County and to preserve, protect and enjoy downtown Clawson.”

In the past two years, 10 new businesses have come to downtown Clawson. In addition, a brand new streetscape was installed last year with additional on-street parking, new streetlights, sidewalks and other features.

Patterson also announced that MSOC has among the highest return on investment ratio of all 44 Main Street programs nationwide.

Also in attendance were Mary Liz Curtain, Clawson DDA chair; Jerry Dettloff, MSOC Advisory Board chair; Bob Donohue MSOC program coordinator; and the Clawson High School marching band.

Main Street is a trademarked program of the National Main Street Center in Washington, D.C. Clawson, Farmington, Ferndale, Franklin, Highland, Holly, Lake Orion, Ortonville, Oxford, Pontiac, Rochester and Walled Lake are MSOC communities. Berkley, Clarkston, Hazel Park, Leonard, South Lyon and Waterford participate in the “Associate Level” program.

Oakland County was the first county in the United States to operate a full-fledged county-wide Main Street program for the 32 distinct, historic downtowns in Oakland County. The county program was formed in 2000. Since its inception, more than $560 million has been invested in MSOC communities, establishing 551 new businesses and creating more than 5,100 jobs.

For more information, see the MSOC website.