ADHDA to launch next phase of “Building Blocks for a
This spring, regionally-renowned urban
strategist Michele Reeves of Civilis Consultants gave a fast-paced downtown
revitalization presentation in Astoria’s Bankers Ballroom to a packed audience
comprised of downtown Astoria business and property owners and other interested
citizens. While “Building Blocks for a Successful Downtown” was largely
sponsor-funded, the mid-May event was put on by the Astoria Downtown Historic
District Association in response to a concern about a growing number of storefront
On Nov. 14, the ADHDA will bring
Reeves back for the kick-off of phase two of the Building Blocks program, which
is a comprehensive, multi-month downtown assessment and identity process. In
addition to community interviews and research, Reeves and Oregon Main Street
coordinator Sheri Stuart will provide practical, hands on courses created for
property and business owners, and any stakeholders who wish to see enhancements
to downtown Astoria.
“People who attended the May 16
forum were very enthused about her energy and approach to downtown
revitalization, so ADHDA wanted to find a way to keep up the momentum,” said
Dulcye Taylor, ADHDA president.
Taylor said that positive “buzz”
from the event brought offers of funding support for Reeves’ more comprehensive
program. The City of Astoria, Astoria Sunday Market, and Pacific Power all
stepped forward in response to the ADHDA request for program funding.
Collectively, with the addition of the ADHDA’s contribution, those entities
have committed the funds required for phase two of the Building Blocks for a
Successful Downtown program.
Stuart will play an important role
throughout the Building Blocks program, working to help the downtown
association strengthen its capacity to implement program recommendations, and
participating with Reeves in presentations and community interviews. Stuart has
20 years of downtown programs and management experience. The ADHDA is enrolled
in the Main Street program.
At the Nov. 14 kick-off event,
which is open to the Astoria public, Reeves and Stuart will provide a hands-on,
market-based crash course on revitalization specifically tailored to Astoria.
Attendees to this event will learn more about the other components of the
Building Blocks program, the Main Street Approach, why downtowns matter, what
demographic trends will be impacting cities and towns in the future, and the
stages districts go through as they achieve economic success.
In addition to the Nov. 14 kick-off
meeting, the Main Street capacity-building work, interviews and research, the
Building Blocks program will include additional stakeholder interviews and
other inputting opportunities.
A February workshop will be held to
assist Astorians build an identity-framework for downtown, and help
participants understand how to use the results of this work as the basis for
more effective and cohesive marketing, event planning, media relations,
branding, and land-use policy.
In March or April, Reeves and
Stuart will be presenting their research and interview findings in a public
forum, and offer recommendations for creating more economic success in downtown
“The goal will be to identify
short-term goals and concrete next steps, with a clear roadmap of what you can
be doing tomorrow, next month, and next year to boost vitality,” Reeves said.
The Wednesday, Nov. 14 kick-off
meeting will be held at the Columbia River Maritime Museum’s Kern Room, located
at 1792 Marine Drive, Astoria. The doors will open at 5:30 p.m. The event
begins promptly at 5:45 p.m. For more information contact Rebecca Frick,
downtown coordinator by calling (503) 791-7940 or email