MainStreet Cleveland
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

| Board Members | Application |

vertical line


Sharon Marr
Sharon Marr
MainStreet Executive Director

On the Local Level
Main Street Cleveland is committed to improving all aspects of the downtown or central business district area, producing both tangible and intangible benefits. Improving economic management, strengthening public participation, and making downtown a fun place to visit are as critical to MainStreet Cleveland's future as recruiting new businesses, rehabilitating buildings, and expanding parking. Building on downtown's inherent assets: rich architecture, personal service, and traditional values and most of all, a sense of place.

MainStreet Cleveland has adopted a strategy that is tailored to local needs and opportunities, in four broad areas:

Promotion & Events: Marketing the traditional commercial district's assets to customers, potential investors, new businesses, local citizens and visitors. Providing family oriented events that bring people downtown like the Cruise In, Halloween Block Party, Christmas parade and Carols in the City.

Design: Getting Main Street into top physical shape. Capitalizing on its best assets – such as historic buildings and traditional pedestrian-oriented layouts - is just part of the story. An inviting atmosphere, created through window displays, parking areas, building improvements, street furniture, signs, sidewalks, street lights and landscaping, conveys a visual message about what the commercial district is and what it has to offer.

Economic Development: Enhancing the physical appearance of the commercial district by rehabilitating historic buildings, encouraging supportive new construction, developing sensitive design management systems, and long-term planning. We strive to strengthen the district's existing economic base while finding ways to expand it to meet new opportunities -- and challenges from outlying development.

Organization: Using a volunteer-driven program with an organizational structure of a governing board and committees can ease the challenging work of building consensus and cooperation among the many groups and individuals who have a role in the revitalization process.

vertical line

St Lukes

Successful Stories
first street squareFirst Street Square
is already showing promise for downtown retail. Four new businesses have recently opened in the square’s immediate vicinity. These include ReDecor & More, an upscale consignment furniture and home decor establishment; Catch Bar & Grill, a seafood restaurant; Hyderhangout Quilt Fabric & More; and Ever After Bridal and Formal Wear.

The former laundry building located on First Street was demolished to develop the park and landscaped parking in the heart of the Five Points business district. Mainstreet partnered with the City of Cleveland to purchase the unused building and make way for a greener downtown. Mainstreet’s funding for the project was made possible by private donors to the Vision 1000 fundraising campaign which was created by Mayor Tom Rowland.

A Way Finding program was completed in 2010. It was funded by an Innovation Grant from the Tennessee Main Street program. Way finding signage now directs motorists to downtown from the interstate and key arteries around the city.

An important milestone for Mainstreet Cleveland was the development of the downtown master plan in 2004. The plan was created with input from the community and business owners during a series of town hall meetings. It provides design goals to help make downtown Cleveland a more desirable destination by creating a stronger visual and cultural identity.

Courthouse Plaza renovation in July 2005 was a collaborative effort between Bradley County, the City of Cleveland, Mainstreet Cleveland, and private donors. It offers much improved space for pedestrians and festivals.

The second phase of the Courthouse Plaza renovation was completed in October 2007 when Bradley County added sidewalk improvements to the west entrance of the Courthouse.

Decorative stop sign posts have been installed at 32 major intersections downtown. The decorative poles also tie in with 55 sign systems added in the Historic Neighborhood. New black sign posts and signage have recently been installed in the downtown area.

Beautification efforts supported by Mainstreet Cleveland include funding for the knock-out rose bushes in the island on Ocoee Street in front of the History Branch of the Cleveland Public Library. Mainstreet also purchases seasonal flowers for the Courthouse Plaza to compliment the landscaping.


vertical line

Why Should We Invest In Downtown?
Here are a few reasons why downtown Cleveland is an important and worthwhile investment in the economic health and quality of life in your community.

MainStreet Cleveland is a symbol of community economic health, local quality of life, pride, and community history. These are all factors in industrial, commercial and professional recruitment.

A vital downtown retains and creates jobs, which also means a stronger tax base. Long-term revitalization establishes capable businesses that use public services and provide tax revenues for the community. Downtown Cleveland is also a good incubator for new small businesses ­ the building blocks of a healthy economy. Strip centers and malls are often too expensive for new entrepreneurs.

MainStreet Cleveland, along with a healthy and vibrant downtown, protects property values in surrounding residential neighborhoods. The traditional central business district is an ideal location for independent businesses, which in turn:

  • Keep profits in Cleveland.
  • Supports local families with family-owned businesses
  • Supports local community projects, such as ball teams and schools
  • Provide an extremely stable economic foundation, as opposed to a few large businesses and chains with no ties to stay in the community

A revitalized Main Street increases the community's options for goods and services: whether for basic staples, like clothing, food and professional services or less traditional functions such as housing and entertainment.

MainStreet Cleveland provides an important civic forum, where members of the community can congregate. Parades, special events and celebrations held there reinforce intangible sense of community.

Our goal is for the downtown area, the MainStreet Cleveland district, to become a tourist attraction by virtue of the character of buildings, location, selection of unique businesses, and events held here.

On the National Level
The National Main Street Center's experience in helping communities bring their downtowns back to life has shown time and time again that successful efforts are always combined with the following eight principles:

Comprehensive: A single project cannot revitalize a downtown or commercial neighborhood. An ongoing series of initiatives is vital to build community support and create lasting progress.

Incremental: Small projects make a big difference. They demonstrate that "things are happening" on Main Street and hone the skills and confidence the program will need to tackle more complex problems.

Self-Help: Although the National Main Street Center can provide valuable direction and hands-on technical assistance, only local leadership can initiate long-term success by fostering and demonstrating community involvement and commitment to the revitalization effort.

Public/private partnership: Every local Main Street program needs the support and expertise of both the public and private sectors. For an effective partnership, each must recognize the strengths and weaknesses of the other.

Identifying and capitalizing on existing assets: One of the National Main Street Center's key goals is to help communities recognize and make the best use of their unique offerings. Local assets provide the solid foundation for a successful Main Street initiative.

Quality: From storefront design to promotional campaigns to special events, quality must be the main goal.

Change: Changing community attitudes and habits is essential to bring about a commercial district renaissance. A carefully planned Main Street program will help shift public perceptions and practices to support and sustain the revitalization process.

Action-oriented: Frequent, visible changes in the look and activities of the commercial district will reinforce the perception of positive change. Small, but dramatic improvements early in the process will remind the community that the revitalization effort is under way.

vertical line
300 spacer 300 spacer 300 spacer

| Home | Our Story | News | Membership | Preservation | Events | Dining & Shopping | Tours | Property | Gallery |

MainStreet Cleveland: 160 Second Street, NE, P.O. Box 304, Cleveland, Tennessee 37364-0304, Phone: 423-479-1000