The New Mexico MainStreet Program fosters economic development in the state by supporting local MainStreet revitalization organizations and their work in downtowns and the adjacent neighborhoods. The Program provides resources, education, training and services that preserve and enhance the built environment, local historic culture and heritage and stimulate the economic vitality of each participating community.
The New Mexico MainStreet Program is a grassroots economic development program that assists communities in revitalizing their traditional commercial neighborhoods. A program of the New Mexico Economic Development Department, New Mexico MainStreet works throughout the state to help affiliated organizations create an economically viable business environment while preserving local cultural and historic resources. MainStreet is a consensus-building program that fosters community pride and encourages the growth of small businesses, consequently enhancing local employment and income opportunities, tax revenues, property values and general quality of life.
The MainStreet Program provides resources, education, training and technical services that stimulate the economic vitality of each participating community while celebrating local heritage and culture. MainStreet Program Associates provide free training sessions on town design, promotion and publicity, organization, and economic positioning. New Mexico MainStreet also sponsors architecture and community planning projects in member communities through the University of New Mexico Design Planning and Assistance Center (DPAC).
New Mexico MainStreet is affiliated with the National Main Street Center, Inc., a subsidiary of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The Program works within the National Main Street Center's established Four-Point Approach® of organization, design, promotion and economic positioning while tailoring to meet local needs and opportunities.
Since 1985, New Mexico MainStreet has been helping local communities revitalize their downtown commercial districts with remarkable results. Thousands of jobs have been created and millions of dollars in private funds have been invested in New Mexico’s Main Streets since the program began.
From January to December 2012, MainStreet Districts statewide saw the creation of 134 net new businesses, and 622 net new jobs, and the generation of $16,912,564 in private sector reinvestment.
Currently, 27 local MainStreet projects are affiliates of New Mexico MainStreet. They are: Albuquerque (Barelas, Downtown Action Team and Nob Hill), Artesia, Belen, Carlsbad, Clayton, Clovis, Corrales, Deming, Farmington, Gallupo, Grants, Harding County, Las Cruces, Las Vegas, Los Alamos, Lovington, Portales, Raton, Roswell, Silver City, South Valley (Bernalillo County),Taos, Truth or Consequences, Tucumcari and the Pueblo of Zuni.
New Mexico MainStreet Map of Communities
To find out more about New Mexico MainStreet, contact Rich Williams, Director of New Mexico MainStreet, (505) 827-0168 or Rich.Williams@state.nm.us
About the MainStreet Approach
New Mexico MainStreet member communities focus their efforts on these areas, known as the Four-Point Approach®. This proven economic development strategy is a comprehensive method for successful community revitalization.:
- Organization - establishing consensus and cooperation by building effective relationships among the community’s stakeholders
- Economic Positioning - strengthening the Main Street district existing economic assets and fulfilling its broadest market potential
- Design - enhancing the unique visual quality of the Main Street district to create an appealing environment
- Promotion - creating and marketing a positive image based on the unique attributes of the Main Street district
New Mexico MainStreet Program Brochure: The Main Street Four-Point Approach®
Eight Guiding Principles
In the nearly three decades of Main Street’s history in the U.S., the National Main Street Center, Inc. has identified eight essential guiding principles that local MainStreet organizations must embrace to be successful.
- Comprehensive - For successful, sustainable, long-term revitalization, a comprehensive approach, including activity in each of Main Street’s Four Points is essential.
- Incremental - Over time, small successes can lay the groundwork for larger ones, leading to more ambitious projects tackling complex issues.
- Self-help - No one else can save your Main Street. Long-term local commitment is what must sustain revitalization.
- Partnerships - Both the public and private sectors have a vital interest in the future of downtown and must work together to achieve common goals.
- Existing Assets - Business districts must capitalize upon their unique qualities, like distinctive buildings and anchor businesses.
- Quality - All aspects of a MainStreet project must reflect quality if downtown is to become competitive again; shoe-string budgets and “cookie-cutter” efforts can send a negative image.
- Change - Changes in the physical environment, business practices, and perceptions of downtown are essential to support and sustain the revitalization process.
- Implementation - Frequent, visible projects are a reminder that the revitalization effort is underway and succeeding. Completed projects create confidence in the local MainStreet organization and build greater levels of participation.
New Mexico MainStreet Program Services
New Mexico MainStreet serves as a resource and support network for designated MainStreet communities, providing them with technical assistance, resources, and information in their revitalization efforts to create healthy, sustainable downtowns. From the basics of the Main Street Approach to advanced downtown development strategies, New Mexico MainStreet offers educational and specialized services to designated communities.
New Mexico MainStreet Program Brochure: Benefits of Becoming a MainStreet Community
On-site Technical Assistance
A team of MainStreet professionals specializing in aspects of the Four Point Approach® provides free, on-site technical assistance to designated MainStreet communities. The on-site assistance is specifically tailored to each community to help launch revitalization efforts as well as help mature communities tackle more complicated issues. This includes:
- Visits from specialists to offer intensive assistance on a particular aspect of revitalization.
- Reconnaissance visits to communities to critically assess the needs and issues facing the downtown district.
- Annual assessments to help both new and mature MainStreet projects assess programs and address specific issues.
- Resource team visits to newly designated communities to help local programs develop effective strategies to begin revitalization.
Specialized training in each of the Four Points includes:
Designed to sustain and enhance local MainStreet Organizations’ structure, operation, resources, and partnerships.
Orientation and mentoring for board members and officers, committee members, and staff
- Orientation and mentoring for board members and officers, committee members, and staff
- Volunteer development
- Public relations strategies and organization image development
- Annual and strategic planning for organizations
- Work plan development
- Operations management
- Resource development, including fundraising and grant writing assistance
Helps local MainStreet organizations’ develop and implement marketing and promotional activities to enhance downtown’s image and attract consumers and visitors to the MainStreet district.
- Media strategies and promotion plans
- Tourism development, including cultural and heritage tourism
- Event development, including retail events, special events, and signature events
- Arts and cultural district planning
- Graphic design of logos, signage, and marketing materials
- Website design
Economic Positioning Assistance
Helps participating local MainStreet organizations enhance and strengthen their MainStreet’s economy.
- Market analysis
- Business retention, expansion, and recruitment
- Small business coaching
- Real estate project review
- Loan and grant programs
- Business improvement districts
- Financial incentive programs
- Tax increment financing
Provides business and property owners with suggestions on how to maintain and enhance buildings located in the MainStreet district.
- Architectural assistance, including façade improvements, floor plans, lighting, and signage
- Window displays and interior merchandising
- Adaptive reuse
- Building rehabilitation and renovation
- Cultural property surveys
- Historic building and district nominations to state and national historic registers
- Preservation technical assistance
- Landscape design
Urban Design and Planning Assistance
Helps MainStreet districts look, work, and function better.
- Downtown master plans and strategic plans
- Metropolitan Redevelopment Areas (MRA)
- Business Improvement Districts (BID)
- Tax Increment Financing
- Development of RFPs
- Streetscape improvements
- Traffic calming strategies and pedestrian and bicycle enhancements
- Infill development
- Plaza and town square redevelopment
- Livability and design guidelines
How to Become a New Mexico MainStreet Community
All communities wishing to pursue MainStreet within New Mexico must apply to participate in the Emerging Communities Program.
The Emerging MainStreet Communities Program helps New Mexico communities explore the Main Street Four-Point Approach®, create a local organization to implement downtown revitalization activities, and implement small-scale downtown revitalization projects. Communities accepted into the Emerging MainStreet program will receive guidance, advice, and training from New Mexico MainStreet personnel. No funding is associated with this program. Communities must fund any and all Emerging MainStreet projects and activities through local fund-raising efforts from public and private sectors.
The MainStreet Program recently welcomed four new districts to its Emerging Communities Program: the historic Barelas neighborhood commercial district, the historic business district in Gallup, the combined villages of Roy, Solano and Mosquero in Harding County and the Five Points commercial district neighborhood in the rural South Valley of Bernalillo County.