Downtown Ferndale welcomes new business, national award

Downtown Ferndale is running out of room
for all of the feathers it’s collecting in its cap. The inner-ring
suburb is welcoming a number of new small businesses to its city center
and has just scored a national award for its vibrant downtown.

Ferndale

received the 2010 Great American Main Street Award from the National
Trust for Historic Preservation, one of five cities from across the U.S.
It’s the first member of the Main Street Oakland County group to win
the award and the first in the state since Bay City took it home in
1999.

The National Trust for Historic
Preservation
, which oversees the national Main Street program,
praised the Ferndale Downtown Development Authority for its “stellar”
record of reinvestment and new employment. Commercial vacancies have
dropped from 30 percent to six percent over the past decade as the city
has spurred the redevelopment of even the toughest blights into shining
examples of what is possible in the suburb.

Downtown Ferndale has
also seen a number of new independent, small establishments pop up to
lower the vacancy rate, with a dozen more thus far this year. That’s not
unusual for a city known for its small, meaning 500 employees or less,
businesses.

Source: Oakland County
Writer: Jon
Zemke