The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

December 9, 2012

Private reinvestments top $32 million for downtown

By Robert Barron, Staff Writer
Enid News & Eagle

ENID, Okla. — Main Street Enid has reached more than $30 million in private reinvestment since the program began in 1994.

Main Street Enid program Manager Kelly Tompkins said the current total is more than $32.8 million in private reinvestment, with more than $7.3 million coming in 2012 alone. Public investment is not included in the current figures, but Enid Renaissance Project will add to that figure for public-private partnerships.

“Main Street is thrilled about reaching the $30 million reinvested in downtown,” Tompkins said. “The collaboration of the public and private sectors shows how much pride we have in our city.”

The $30 million mark was hit in October, said Tompkins, who has been program director for seven months. Among the private investments made this year are Hiland Tower; Triangle Business Center; One Grand; Surety Abstract, now Paramount Homes Real Estate; and Cliff’s Camera, now Five80 Coffee House.

Other businesses include Garfield Furniture, Gold Spot Ice Cream, Non-Profit Center, Grindhouse Tattoo Parlor, TuTu Sweet Bows, Blissful Bows Boutique, Lola’s Boutique, Wheat Capitol Running Company, and a former restaurant supply company being renovated by Nicholas Real Estate.

Tompkins said private investment is tabulated for the state program every month and a running total is kept. One of the key elements of Main Street Enid is reinvestment in the downtown area. Those reinvestments increase the value of property.

Tompkins does not take credit for the totals; she said many people have been reinvesting in Main Street Enid for the past 18 years, and she has been director since May.

“There has been a big push recently, due to many factors, and I’m glad to be part of it,” Tompkins said. “It shows the success of the downtown in general. Reinvestment and low vacancy shows that we’re accomplishing our mission.”

Statewide, the 38 Main Street programs have raised more than $115 million in private and public reinvestment, nearly 190 building facade renovations, more than 61,700 volunteer hours, more than 450 jobs and nearly 200 business openings, relocations or expansions.

Since the Main Street program was started in Oklahoma in 1985, cumulative numbers show more than $965 million in both private and public reinvestment, more than 4,100 facade rehabilitations, more than 1 million volunteer hours, more than 14,300 jobs, and 4,600 business openings, relocations or expansions.

The Oklahoma Main Street Center is one of 42 coordinating programs across the nation. Those programs operate under the National Trust for Historic Preservation and  Main Streets across the nation, and operate off the Main Street four-point approach, including organization, design, promotion and economic restructuring.