Biloxi one of seven in U.S. to receive Main Street ‘Refresh’

Main Street Biloxi District was one of seven programs selected from across the United States to serve as demonstration sites for a refreshed approach to comprehensive community revitalization and preservation-based economic development, it was announced Wednesday.

Biloxi, Philadelphia (Penn.), Milledgeville (Ga.), Detroit (Mich.), Gary (Ind.), Lexington (Ky.) and Miami (Fla.) were named by the National Main Street Center to be part of an ambitious program designed to reinvigorate the Main Street model. The program is supported by the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

“This is quite an honor for Main Street Biloxi and our program administrators Kay Miler and Laurie Rosetti,” said Mayor Andrew “FoFo” Gilich. “It underscores the tremendous job they do on a regular basis, and also reflects well on the volunteers who provide so much support.”

Patrice Frey, president and CEO of the National Main Street Center, said in a news release that, “Our updated methodology incorporates lessons we’ve learned in our decades of working with communities of all sizes and we are confident these pilot projects will demonstrate that our approach continues to be highly effective in breathing new life in our country’s historic downtowns and commercial districts.”

Each community selected will benefit from recent strategic improvements to the National Main Street Center’s revitalization methodology that for 35 years helped transform historic downtowns and urban neighborhoods nationwide. Local leaders will receive 12 to 18 months of free organizational capacity building and hands-on technical assistance from national experts on how best to involve the community in revitalization efforts, plan and execute long-term strategic action, and effectively measure the impact of those efforts.