Great Downtowns: Seven Main Street Oakland County Communities Honored

Seven Main Street Oakland County communities who received national recognition were honored last Thursday by County Executive L. Brooks Patterson for helping create exciting and attractive downtowns.

Patterson presented plaques to representatives from each of the seven communities: Farmington, Ferndale, Holly, Ortonville, Pontiac, Rochester and Walled Lake. Each community was recently recognized as nationally accredited downtowns by the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the National Main Street Center. This is the highest number of Oakland County communities ever accredited in one year.

Patterson applauded the downtown development authorities from each community for the hard work they had done to earn the accreditation. Each community had to meet 10 national performance standards that include maintaining historical preservation standards and involving the community in their downtowns.

“What you’ve done in a tough economy is that much more impressive,” Patterson told the crowd, which had gathered for the presentations and the grand opening of Rosie O’Grady’s Pub & Restaurant, 279 W. Main St. in Ferndale. “It reflects the commitment you have made to create economic development while revitalizing the heart of your downtowns.”

Patterson also took part in the ribbon cutting for the $3.4 million expansion and relocation of the pub, which had been on Troy Street in Ferndale.

Main Street Oakland County is the first and only county-wide Main Street program in the nation. Since it began in 2000, MSOC has generated $518 million of new public and private investment, created 3,666 new jobs, established 373 new businesses and created nearly 2.7 million square feet of new floor space.

Nationally, more than 1,800 downtowns take part in the Main Street program. It is responsible for nearly $45 billion of new investment, more than 370,000 jobs and almost 83,000 new businesses. Every dollar a community spends to support its local Main Street program creates an average of $25 in new investment, said Kathy LaPlante of the National Main Street Center in Washington D.C.

Photos by Lacy Skidmore