It’s always big news in the sports world when your favorite team re-signs its star player and frankly that’s sort of how I felt earlier this month when the City Council extended our agreement with Main Street Kent for another 2 years. Certainly there are pro’s and con’s to loaning an employee off of City staff to serve as the Executive Director of Main Street, and I’ll be the first to say that it’s been a sacrifice to loan Mary Gilbert to Main Street, but if you step back and look at the before and after in our downtown it’s hard to argue that the sacrifice hasn’t been worth it. Councilman Wayne Wilson probably summed it up the best when he said he was not originally a fan of the loan arrangement but seeing the results today he said he’d sign up 100 more Main Streets if he could. And so would I.
At a time when we’ve really got to pick our investments carefully, Main Street stood out in the crowd with what will end up being a whopping $27 return for every dollar spent at the conculsion of the Phoenix Project downtown next summer. But let’s not be greedy, we’re already getting close to $4 for every dollar spent and anytime I have a chance to legally quadruple my money I’m going be a big fan.
Here’s a look at some of the highlights from the powerpoint presentation that Main Street gave Council last week.
You can also download the full presentation here: Main Street Powerpoint Presentation
Main Street has proven to be a great catalyst for downtown Kent and I’ve continued to argue that investing in Main Street has been one of the best economic decisions we’ve made. Is everything about Main Street perfect? Has everything worked out as planned? Of course not, but I’ve never seen a group of people come together and work so hard for the common purpose of our downtown, and at the end of the day, they’ve delivered results not just promises.
Here’s hoping for another 2 great years!