Niagara Gazette

Local News

March 10, 2013

Breathing new life into Main Street topic of discussion during Saturday symposium

Breathing new life into Main Street discussed during Saturday symposium

Niagara Gazette — Citizens, urban planning professionals and political leaders gathered at the Rapids Theatre on Main Street to listen to some folks with a great deal of experience in transforming urban environments.

The two planning professionals — Charles D’Aprix and Michael Lydon — were brought into town to speak as part of the Main Street Symposium, an all-day walking tour with lectures and conversation.

People came from around the region to discuss the once-bustling Main Street of the 1950s, filled with shops and entertainment spots that has since become a sleepy stretch of road plagued by vacancy and blight.

Most of the conversation — both from the lecturers and audience members — revolved around what could be done to bring life back tho Main Street and the city, with the often discussed causes of the downfall taking a back seat for the afternoon.

D’Aprix is an economic development specialist with three decades of experience and a knack for helping folks fill empty store front. He said the key to filling blighted areas with profitable businesses is creating an environment that fosters entrepreneurship.

“For economic development you don’t need a lot of money but you do need a hell of a lot of creativity,” he said.

And it’s important for municipalities to encourage people who want to start businesses and offer them a system of support. A key part of a successful effort to encourage entrepreneurship is setting up a centralized office in the target area with a qualified and competent staff — whether volunteer or paid — to offer advice and information to business start ups.

“You need a central location,” D’Aprix said.

The old model of economic development — chasing one company and trying to lure them to your town with incentives — is outdated D’Aprix said, and no longer works in today’s economy.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
Featured Ads
Seasonal Content
House Ads
AP Video
Couple Channel Grief Into Soldiers' Retreat WWI Aviation Still Alive at Aerodrome in NY Raw: Rescuers at Taiwan Explosion Scene Raw: Woman Who Faced Death Over Faith in N.H. Clinton Before 9-11: Could Have Killed Bin Laden Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction Malaysian PM: Stop Fighting in Ukraine Cantor Warns of Instability, Terror in Farewell Ravens' Ray Rice: 'I Made a Huge Mistake' Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN
Opinion
House Ads
Night & Day
Twitter News
Follow us on twitter
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Front page
Poll

Do you think cigarette sales to non-Native American customers should be taxed on reservations?

Yes. Items should be taxed like they are everywhere else.
No, the indian reservations are sovereign land and they are selling them on their land.
Not up to me. Native Americans decide the rules on their land.
Don't care. Smoking isn't good for you.
     View Results