Main Street Redevelopment Plan
Urban Land Institute Main St. Recommendations
The Main Street Redevelopment Master Plan contains all the elements you would hope for in a well-conceived plan to reinvigorate a blighted area: sensitive to the history, scale, and environment of the area, designed with sustainability in mind, and centered on creating a space with character that generates excitement and an 'only in Daytona Beach' experience.
Based on the hardscape in place now, you can see that some of these changes were started. But it appears the problems of the Ocean Walk complex, and the subsequent need to dedicate a substantial portion of the Community Redevelopment Area (CRA) revenues to that debt service, sapped the creative energy from the area. The most evident failure in implementing the plan is in the failure to pursue and secure outside sources of funds to assist the small businesses in the Main Street CRA. While today Main Street, in particular, seems to exist almost solely to cater to BikeWeek and Biketoberfest, neither is mentioned in this plan. Instead, the importance of creating aesthetic improvement and developing events for the whole community are stressed. What can we do going forward, to obtain the funds that will bring this plan to fruition?
Several years ago, the Urban Land Institute, the oldest and largest network of cross-disciplinary real estate and land use experts in the world, convened a panel of experts from across the country to make recommendations for improving our Main Street. Its publication just after the punishing hurricanes of 2004 no doubt meant that opportunities to implement these ideas were pushed aside by urgent rebuilding. Now might be an excellent time to reconsider these recommendations. Many of them seem as valid today as they were a decade ago. We have the benefit of a lot of knowledge here in front of us; why not use it?