Looking Back...and Forward
Downtown Partners, Inc. continues to see an amount of activity unprecedented since Burlington's Main Street program was established in 1986. From landmark redevelopments to new businesses to beautification, downtown's momentum is unstoppable. At the beginning of a new year, it's fitting to look back on what has been accomplished. In 2017, Downtown Partners:
  • Completed roof work on 300 Washington and placed the building on the market, preparing the formerly abandoned building for redevelopment.
  • Tripled vendor numbers for the second year of A Very Vintage Market and drew visitors from as far away as Des Moines and Dubuque.
  • Worked with The Som, a semifinalist grant awardee in Main Street Iowa's Open 4 Business competition.
  • Continued growth for the Jefferson St. Farmers Market, including a record number of new vendors for the second year in a row.
  • Worked with the City to achieve Iowa Great Places designation, opening up eligibility for special project grants.
  • Began Downtown Coffee & Conversation, an informal quarterly get together for downtown business owners and employees.
  • Received a $75,000 Main Street Challenge Grant to complete the restoration of the grand waiting room floor and whitebox the former diner space at the historic depot, preparing it for commercial use.
This flourish of activity indicates the ongoing success of the Main Street approach to downtown revitalization. Businesses are realizing that it makes sense to invest in resources such as historic buildings and existing infrastructure in a downtown with plentiful amenities, an attractive setting, and a growing population. In addition to its regular program of work, Downtown Partners will be working diligently on a number of significant projects this coming year, including:
  • Completing cleanup and repair efforts at 300 Washington and review efforts to sell the property for redevelopment
  • Assisting in marketing spaces available for lease or sale, including creating and updating an inventory of listing sheets
  • Creating a Public Art guide and assist in efforts to add new public art and/or enhance public spaces
  • Hosting the Main Street Iowa Model Community fa├žade workshop in June
  •  Revamping event and general promotion efforts and develop a branding concept to align with marketing strategies
  • Working with the City of Burlington and other stakeholders to support the redevelopment of the riverfront and other catalyst sites identified in the brownfields plan
Considering everything that has been accomplished and everything that is in the works, Downtown Burlington has plenty of reason to toot its New Year's horn a little louder in 2018!   
The Holidays Are Over... 
...but your downtown merchants are still here! Winter weather and the post-Christmas lull can be challenging for our restaurants and retailers. Here's a New Year's challenge for you - shop at least one new downtown store and visit at least one new downtown restaurant this month. Your local, independently owned businesses will really appreciate it.  
The Latest News...      
  • Thanks to event organizer Gretchen Walls, presenting sponsor Pritchard Broadcasting, and all those who made Living Windows such a success last month. We had more activities than ever and look forward to making this event even better.  
  • Vendor applications for A Very Vintage Market on July 21 will be available this month at GreaterBurlington.com   . Keep an eye on the AVVM Facebook page for news about the third annual event.  
  • The next Downtown Coffee & Conversation will be Wednesday, January 24 at 8 AM at the Gallery Lounge, 301 Jefferson. Mallory Riffel of Bee's Knees PR will give a presentation on Tips to Manage Your Facebook Marketing. And of course, we want to hear about what exciting happenings are going on with you! All downtown business and property owners, employees, and residents are welcome.  
  • Get it on your calendar - Downtown Partners presents the third annual Chocoholic Frolic on Saturday, February 10 from 2 to 5 PM, with samples of a wide variety of chocolate treats available at 18 businesses in downtown Burlington. Advance tickets are $10 at The Iowa Store and Weird harold's, or online at www.greaterburlington.com . Thanks to State Farm Insurance - Gary Roberts Agency for making this event possible.  
  • Don't the new parking lot signs look fantastic? And there are more of them to come.
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"The mission of Downtown Partners is to preserve and revitalize downtown Burlington by enhancing its economy, infrastructure, and historical and cultural features."
A Main Street Iowa Program

A Division of the Greater Burlington Partnership
RiverPark Place
610 N 4th Street, Suite 200
Burlington, IA  52601

Steve Frevert, Director of Downtown Partners, Inc.
sfrevert@greaterburlington.com  -  319-208-0056