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Rural King

TN Main Street Program Towns

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Just curious as to who was aware of the Tennessee Main Street Program that the State of Tennessee operates through the Department of Economic and Community Development. Its a great program that helps towns obtain grants and develop economic develop plans to maintain, expand, and/or revitalize their downtown commercial areas.

Here is a excerpt from TCED site:

"As part of the Community Development division of ECD, the Main Street team assists communities across the state with technical assistance and expertise in developing long-term strategies that promote economic growth and development. This team of specialists also provides information and assistance in forging public-networking and training opportunities for downtown commercial districts."

http://www.tnecd.gov/comdev_mainstreet

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Here is an except from an article from the Tennessee Economic Development Guide on Union City's Main Street Program:

"The purpose of the Main Street Program is to assist communities in the revitalization of downtown commercial districts. Union City is one of 15 communities currently certified, based on 2004 information.

Just a quick glance around Union City

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In Franklin, they are really working on revitalizing the downtown, with projects like parking garages, the Brownstones, which are a group of three story residential towers, right in downtown. They are also trying to expand the business district by several blocks.

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About Union City; my job takes me all over the State of Tennessee and Union City has one of the more vibrant downtowns I've seen. The buildings are occupied and traffic fills the streets. They still have the strip commercial and big box development on the fringes of town, but it hasn't sucked the economic life out of downtown.

Good for them to work to keep it vibrant. There are many Cities in Tennessee trying to do the same, but way too many that don't have a clue.

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Franklin has a theater that has hosted two National movie debuts, Friday Night Lights and Elizabethtown. While Orlando Bloom was here, he said he loved the town, and it was a wonderful change from the normal big cities he goes to.

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Franklin is a great city. Its downtown and surrounding neighborhoods are very nice and well kept from what I've seen. I've only come into town on the old road though, Highway 106 I think it was, took it the couple-three times I ventured down there. I think I missed alot of the new stuff by going that way. It also seems like every fifth person I know or meet in Nashville actually lives in or near Franklin.

Never been to Gallatin, but I think I heard it has a brick rule for all new structures within certian parts of the city. Can anyone confirm that?

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Never been to Gallatin, but I think I heard it has a brick rule for all new structures within certian parts of the city. Can anyone confirm that?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Hendersonville and Gallatin both have a brick and/or stone rule. It applies to all of Hendersonville and most of Gallatin. Hendersonville has had it since the late 90s I believe and Gallatin adopted it a few years ago.

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Hendersonville and Gallatin both have a brick and/or stone rule.  It applies to all of Hendersonville and most of Gallatin. Hendersonville has had it since the late 90s I believe and Gallatin adopted it a few years ago.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Doesn't Brentwood have the same sort of thing? I've noticed a whole lot of brick in that town....

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Franklin is a great city. Its downtown and surrounding neighborhoods are very nice and well kept from what I've seen. I've only come into town on the old road though, Highway 106 I think it was, took it the couple-three times I ventured down there.

Yes, I love in a neighborhood just about a mile from downtown. I love going down there and just walking around.

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Murfreesboro is on the Main Street Program as well. The thing is that I wish they would take more intitiative to getting new developments downtown. The streets have been recently repaved and buildings pressure washed. But unlike Franlkin, there is vertually no residential towers/lofts downtown and only one parking garage for the civic plaza. The downtown area has great potential, but right now Murfreesboro is more focused on bettering its image with new roads and retail and commercial developments

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I just want to thank our mainstreet holders for sponsering the summer concert series friday nights in Murfreesboro. All along the square tenants are filling up what were once neglected spots and I must say Maple Street Grill is off the chain.

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I have a new main street town for you guys: East Ridge, which is my home. ER is just a bedroom community of Chattanooga, and it is the largest municipality in Hamilton County after Chattanooga, with slightly over 20,000 people. In my opinion it has slowly been deteriorating over the years, but it is still not a bad place to be. As my family were the first permanent white settlers here over 150 years ago. My dad and grandpa still run the family apartment business since the early 70s, while other family members own office buildings here. My cousins also have their doctor's and dental offices here.

I do not know anything about what the main street program is doing here, I have only seen the sign off the I-75 exit for it. East Ridge mainly suffers because it is unable to grow. It is only about 5 miles long by 1 mile wide, and the city limits are completely sandwiched between the city of Chattanooga and the state of Georgia, so no annexation is possible. Also, at least 99% of the land has already been developed with commercial and residential, so any new development requires something else to be torn down first, which does not happen very often. This has resulted in economic stagnation, for the most part. I also wish that ER did not have a law preventing all liquor sale. This has kept us from attracting restaurants from opening that have bars and/or serve any alcohol besides beer, despite there being several empty buildings and lots close to the I-75 exit that would be perfect for a new O'Charleys, Chili's, or the like. The only major commercial projects in the last few years have been two new hotels, the KMart turning into Sears Essentials, and the Rave Theatre.

Our proximity to downtown and I-24 and I-75 are both good and bad. With most new developments occurring in the outer suburbs several miles north and east of ER, we have actually lost business and residents little by little over the years as they move to the greener pastures further away from downtown. Likewise, more and more low income residents have moved in, replacing some of the middle-income residents who have moved away. Several older apartment complexes have turned to government subsidies to stay in business, with my family's apartments being one of the few that hasn't yet, which has resulted in slightly higher crime rates in once completely safe neighborhoods. Public schools have also decreased in quality, so much so that even if I lived here once I start a family that I would not send my kids to the schools I attended.

So here is a lot of info on a small town that most have never heard of and even fewer of you could care to know about, but oh well. Tell me, how can the main street program help us?

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I have a new main street town for you guys: East Ridge, which is my home. ER is just a bedroom community of Chattanooga, and it is the largest municipality in Hamilton County after Chattanooga, with slightly over 20,000 people. In my opinion it has slowly been deteriorating over the years, but it is still not a bad place to be. Our proximity to downtown and I-24 and I-75 are both good and bad. With most new developments occurring in the outer suburbs several miles north and east of ER, we have actually lost business and residents little by little over the years as they move to the greener pastures further away from downtown. Likewise, more and more low income residents have moved in, replacing some of the middle-income residents who have moved away. Several older apartment complexes have turned to government subsidies to stay in business, with my family's apartments being one of the few that hasn't yet, which has resulted in slightly higher crime rates in once completely safe neighborhoods. Public schools have also decreased in quality, so much so that even if I lived here once I start a family that I would not send my kids to the schools I attended.

So here is a lot of info on a small town that most have never heard of and even fewer of you could care to know about, but oh well. Tell me, how can the main street program help us?

While visiting my daughter, I went to the Rave a week or so ago to watch Superman. It is a great theater complex.

I have always thought that East Ridge has as much potential to be a cool city as any place in the south. And here's why:

The way it is laid out in that it is close to Chattanooga, yet isolated. It is on the other side of the mountain (Missionary Ridge) and is primarily accesible through a tunnel. It is in a narrow valley and runs along Ringold Road from east to west.

I can definitely see a unique, artsy, maybe a little bohemian, community developing in this area because of the scenery and layout.

But, to make it happen, here's what they need to do:

1. Rebuild Ringold Road to become a landscaped boulevard with roundabout intersections and lined with sidewalks and parallel on-street parking. Include lots of street furniture such as benches, ornamental street lights, aesthetically pleasing signal poles and possibly brick lined crosswalks.

2. Change the zoning laws to require all new development within a block of Ringold Road to be mixed use, 3 to 6 story low rise and built to the sidewalk with no surface parking at the front of the property next to the street. The mixed use would be retail, office and residential.

3. Obviously, pass liquor by the drink to encourage development of classy restaurants.

I truly believe, with these changes you would start to see that area develop. A few developments would be built, then the word gets out and East Ridge gets a reputation for being cool, classy and convenient. People are clammoring to live in walkable new urban type settings with close-by services and Chattanooga is no exception.

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