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. Now the organization is taking the next steps. 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 vacancies downtown.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.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.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.
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