Los Alamos Among Recipients Of Revitalization Projects Funding In MainStreet Communities

Central Avenue in downtown Los Alamos. Courtesy photo

STATE News:

SANTA FE – Today, the New Mexico Economic Development Department (NMEDD) announced that New Mexico MainStreet (NMMS) will award Los Alamo, Artesia, Clovis, Grants, Mora, Truth or Consequences and Tucumcari a combined $500,000 in MainStreet capital outlay funds for economic revitalization projects.

Street lamps along Central Avenue in downtown Los Alamos. Courtesy photo

“Our MainStreet program has a proven track record of creating jobs, revitalizing New Mexico’s historic areas of commerce, bringing businesses back to city centers and restoring old, historic structures in the heart of our communities,” Gov. Susana Martinez said. “These funds will help us continue to build on the success of this program that enhances our cities, improves quality of life, and creates jobs for New Mexicans.”

“MainStreet capital outlay is a strategic tool to leverage local support for important asset-based economic development,” NMEDD Cabinet Secretary Jon Barela said. “Capital outlay helps improve buildings, streets, preserves historically significant buildings and stimulates economic development in our rural communities.”

Projects were selected through an application process where applicants demonstrated direct positive economic impact and/or job creation in the district. Applications were accepted from eligible MainStreet and Arts and Cultural Districts for the construction of capital, infrastructure and renovation projects, and for downtown master planning in eligible New Mexico MainStreet Districts and Arts & Cultural Districts.

Funded projects include:

  • Los Alamos – The Phase II Streetscape Improvements on Central Avenue project will continue promoting a pedestrian-friendly community by providing benches, trash and recycling receptacles, and bike racks, along with needed street and pedestrian lighting improvements that will be provided by the municipality.
  • Artesia – The Cultural Plan for the Artesia Arts and Cultural District project will help focus Artesia’s economic development around a cultural economy, including a review of ordinances related to historic properties, design, façades, signage, proactive promotion of the designated historic district, recruitment of cultural businesses, and developing cultural components for events organized by partner organizations.
  • Clovis – The Historic Railroad Park project will create a destination focal point for the Historic Railroad District, increasing its visibility by highlighting the Train Depot and Museum, the Harvey House, and many other historic properties.
  • Grants – The Rio San Jose Riverwalk Legacy Trail project will develop 1.5 miles of trail along the Rio San Jose corridor in Grants that will eventually connect downtown Grants with the New Mexico State University.
  • Gants Campus and the Continental Divide Trail – The project uses the San Jose River as a corridor for conservation, recreation, and non-motorized transportation to help revitalize downtown, increase tourism, and encourage economic growth. 
  • Mora – The Cultural Plan for Mora Arts and Cultural Compound (ACC) project will help the Mora Valley Community define goals and objectives for the ACC, and formulate strategies for redeveloping landmarks and real estate. The project will also help offer training and workforce development opportunities and enhance local tourism, and strengthen agriculture, arts and artistic development, and innovative technology.
  • Truth or Consequences – The Healing Waters Plaza project will transform a blighted vacant lot in the downtown area into a vibrant civic space that reflects the unique character of Truth or Consequences, celebrates cultural heritage, and strengthens the economic environment.
  • Tucumcari – The Great Blocks on MainStreet project will renovate and reinvigorate the historical railroad district on the south side of Main Street between First and Third Streets. The project will combine planning, community input, and examples of historic preservation and building renovation to develop a comprehensive design project that includes exterior cleaning, maintenance and repair work, wayfinding and street lighting improvements, pedestrian enhancements, and public art.

“We are grateful to the state for the continued investment in MainStreet Capital Outlay funding to ensure that organizations and individuals engaged in Main Street revitalization can leverage additional resources to further their economic development work,” said Rich Williams, director of New Mexico MainStreet. “Investments in public infrastructure in our MainStreet communities encourage private-sector investment, commercial properties and business start-ups and  expansions, and it is important in rural New Mexico to address streets, sidewalks, and related infrastructure often dating back to the WPA.”

Since 2000, MainStreet programs have applied for and used the NMMS Capital Outlay Fund for economic development projects in their downtowns. Capital Outlay investments have leveraged other funding sources and stimulated private sector investment in the districts. According to the Economic Impact Analysis by PlaceEconomics 2014, Main Street Districts within two blocks of completed NM MainStreet Capital Improvement projects have experienced 60 percent more business expansions, 95 percent more new business openings and 70 percent reduction in building vacancies.

A program of the New Mexico Economic Development Department, New Mexico MainStreet, works throughout the state to help affiliated local organizations create an economically viable business environment while preserving cultural and historic resources. New Mexico MainStreet currently serves 27 affiliated MainStreet Districts, eight state-authorized Arts & Cultural Districts, 14 Frontier Community projects, and six Historic Theater Initiatives.

For more information about New Mexico MainStreet, visit www.goNM.biz or nmmainstreet.org.

Central Avenue in downtown Los Alamos. Courtesy photo

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