Maine Downtown Center Selects Hallowell and Old Town for Downtown Revitalization Roadmap Process
HALLOWELL, Maine — September 19, 2022 — MDF’s Maine Downtown Center (MDC) is pleased to select the towns of Hallowell and Old Town to participate in our Downtown Revitalization Roadmap™ project. This process empowers communities to give new life to historic downtowns, broaden their local economy, and engage people and businesses in new ways.
“This project energizes communities and gives them powerful tools to move their community forward,” says Anne Ball, Maine Downtown Center Program Director. “Both Hallowell and Old Town have done much of the groundwork to improve their downtowns and this project will boost those revitalization efforts”
MDC will work with Ben Levenger, Downtown Redevelopment Services, LLC. The Revitalization Roadmap™ process is a streamlined planning process that takes 7-10 weeks and involves downtown visioning, a downtown assessment (ordinances, business health and building conditions), public input and strategic recommendations (tasks, initiatives or policy suggestions). The recommendations are grounded in short and long-term achievable goals that are highly action oriented and use existing resources for no and low cost implementation.
Ben will work with Vision Hallowell, one of fourteen Maine Downtown Affiliates across Maine, to collate the work of various community groups and committees who have touched the downtown including the Age Friendly Committee’s work focused on walkability and transportation while other groups have been working on downtown arts projects, Granite City Park, the future of the former fire station and most recently the community has undertaken Community Heart & Soul. The Roadmap Process will help the community and Vision Hallowell prioritize what they will do over the next 3-5 years.
”Vision Hallowell was excited to be selected as one of the communities to benefit from the Revitalization Roadmap Project,” says Deb Fahy, President, Vision Hallowell. “We all have our passions and favorite projects, but we’re a small city with limited resources. Having professional consultants take a deep dive into all the work we’ve been doing over the past few years and make recommendations should be very illuminating. I encourage Hallowell citizens and business owners to take the opportunity to talk to the consultants when they are in town September 28-30.” .
In Old Town, which is one of the FOR/Maine Communities (Forest Opportunity Roadmap), Ben will work with the newly formed downtown committee, which is prioritizing the revitalization of their downtown into a broad community and economic development effort. Old Town will focus on existing assets such as the Penobscot River, public art, and long-standing events such as Riverfest while attracting new small businesses to the core downtown district.
Our efforts to improve and enhance our Downtown will benefit tremendously from this project. The partnership we have formed with the Maine Downtown Center this year has given us the momentum to bring structure, leadership, and focus to Downtown Old Town (DTOT),” says EJ Roach, Dir. of Economic & Community Development, City of Old Town. “The impact this program will have on our community and this region will be transformational and will create more economic stability for the City of Old Town”.