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Main Street Chillicothe Hires New Director
C-T 09 18 17
Ben White, who has served as assistant director for Main Street Chillicothe for three years, has been named executive director. He fills the vacancy created by Micah Landes, who announced her resignation last month to become executive director of North Central Missouri Development Alliance. White's announcement was made Friday morning. In addition to serving as assistant director for Main Street Chillicothe, White also served as assistant director for Chillicothe Development Corporation. White brings to the position experience in historic preservation, design expertise, fundraising and more. He began with for Main Street Chillicothe as an intern in the summer of 2014 and graduated with a bachelor's degree in Historic Preservation with Academic Distinction in December 2014. He then began fulltime employment with Main Street and the Chillicothe Development Corporation in January 2015. "I am extremely excited to step into the role of executive director," said White. "I am incredibly passionate about downtown Chillicothe and its continued, sustained growth. Chillicothe is an incredible community, and I'm happy to be living here, doing what I love." The focus of Main Street Chillicothe is to enhance the vitality of the downtown by preservation of its architectural, commercial, and cultural heritage, White said. These objectives are accomplished through education and community awareness of resources available to property and business owners. Main Street Chillicothe stimulates economic development through its design, economic restructuring, and organization committees and promotes Chillicothe as an attractive city in which to shop, dine, play, work, and live. White soon will be seeking applications for the assistant director position.

Main Street Director Resigns; Takes Position with North Central Missouri Development Alliance
C-T 08 22 17
Micah Landes has been hired as the executive director of the newly-formed North Central Missouri Development Alliance. Landes has been serving as director of Main Street Chillicothe since September 2013. She formerly worked with the Jamesport Community Association where she was the economic development and marketing director. Landes is a 2006 graduate of Tri-County High School in Jamesport and a 2006 alumni of North Central Missouri College. With roots in the local area, Landes said she recognizes the many challenges that small rural towns face and looks forward to "hitting the ground running." Micah, her husband Aaron and son Blaine reside north of Jamesport on their family farm. Landes will begin her duties with NCMDA on September 11.

Farm to Table Awards Banquet Fundraiser
C-T Catherine Stortz Ripley 06 26 17

Main Street Chillicothe hosted its first annual Farm to Table Awards Banquet Fundraiser on Friday, June 23, 2017. The evening began with an all-locally grown and produced meal prepared by Uprooted Kitchen and ended with annual awards given to downtown supporters. In just the past year, $1.3 million has been invested in downtown; and because of the support of the many great sponsors, volunteers, and other stakeholders in the community, Main Street was a semi-finalist for the Great America Main Street Award. All money raised is going towards the continued revitalization of Locust Street into an Arts District.


C-T Photo / Catherine Stortz Ripley 06 26 17

A portion of Locust Street was closed to traffic Friday night as Main Street Chillicothe hosted the Farm to Table Awards Banquet Fundraiser. The outdoor dinner was a locally grown meal consisting of a salad, two meats, vegetables, and a dessert, prepared by Uprooted Kitchen. All money raised through the event goes toward the revitalization of that stretch of Locust Street into an Arts District, complete with banners, benches, trees, and new light poles. The second part of the evening was the annual downtown revitalization awards where Main Street Chillicothe celebrated the many accomplishments of downtown from the past year.

THE ECONOMIC VITALITY LONGSTANDING BUSINESS AWARD: Citizen's Bank & Trust
THE PROMOTIONS AWARD: KCHI
THE ORGANIZATION SUPPORT AWARD: Livingston County Commissioners
THE DESIGN AWARD: Original Artworks by Kelly
ECONOMIC VITALITY BUSINESS EXPANSION AWARD: All Strong Fitness
THE VOLUNTEER OF THE YEAR AWARD: Alicia Heidbreder

Main Street Buys Downtown Building
11/02/16

The building located at 504 Washington as one enters the downtown area from the south has recently been purchased by the Livingston County Community Development Corporation (Main Street Chillicothe). Thanks to the Missouri Department of Economic Development, Main Street Chillicothe was awarded $117,827 in 70 percent Missouri Tax Credits to help generate $168,325 in project dollars. "With the help of these funds and our community members purchasing the tax credits, Main Street Chillicothe has purchased the building and plans to renovate the building located at 504 Washington Street in historic downtown Chillicothe," said Main Street Chillicothe Director Micah Landes. The wall, which faces Clay Street and once had a colorful mural featuring Graham's Mill Bridge, will be secured and a mural will be painted once again on this wall. The total project cost is projected to be $216,470.


C-T Photo/Catherine Stortz Ripley

The project will be a lot exterior renovation focusing on physical revitalization, Landes said. Main Street's economic motivation for this project is to prevent one building's unchecked deterioration from moving building by building down the block in a domino fashion. This domino effect could potentially threaten the other seven building owners on the block, Landes said. The renovation of the building, with some support from NAP credits, will concentrate on the exterior of the structure with repairs to the south outside wall, roof and rear of the building. Repairs to the south wall included removal of existing plaster, tuck pointing, reapplication of a cement based stucco material, repair of a brick column, and framing of the west end of the wall allowing installation of dense glass sheathing. Steel doors will be installed to replace plywood doors at the rear of the building. Roof repairs will included installation of heat welded modified bitumen membrane along the entire south wall and placement of new flashing on the top of the wall (parapet). The roof will be inspected for leaks and those areas will be repaired. The west lower roof section will be removed and replaced with a new roof system including roof insulation. Non-NAP funds will be used to install a new mural to the south exterior wall to replace the mural removed in 2012. Non-NAP funds will also be used to update the downstairs retail space and the upstairs apartment to prepare them for lease. After renovation, the top floor will be used as a residential rental apartment and the bottom floor as rental retail.

The building is two stories in height, has a 20-foot storefront width and is 112-feet long. The second story has a spacious two-bedroom 2,000 square-foot apartment with front and rear access. The street level retail space is 20 by 112-feet (2,240 square feet) with street level and rear alley access. "Both uses will fill a need in the local community and provide income to sustain Main Street Chillicothe activities," Landes said. "Main Street Chillicothe has been working on this project since 2013 and thanks to the perseverance of the board, staff, Community Fund Works and realtor Ed Turner the project is coming in to fruition," Landes added. Renovations will start in the coming weeks and an open house is planned for spring 2017.

Main Street Chillicothe Semi-Finalist for National Award
2017 Great American Main Street Award

As the birthplace of sliced bread, Chillicothe knows a thing or two about greatness. In just the last six years, Main Street Chillicothe has received an impressive 16 awards from their coordinating program, Missouri Main Street Connection, Inc., as well as The Missouri Creative Community award for their many collaborative partnerships from the Missouri Arts Council. Founded in 2001, Main Street Chillicothe is credited with creating more than 90 new jobs, while reducing the downtown vacancy rate by 83 percent. Each year, Main Street America recognizes exceptional Main Street communities whose successes serve as a model for comprehensive, preservation-based commercial district revitalization. Award-winning communities demonstrate exemplary achievement in the process of strengthening their downtowns and commercial districts based on the following selection criteria:

  • Overall strength of the Main Street program and documented success in creating an exciting place to live, work, play and visit;

  • Demonstrated impact aligning with the Main Street Approach;

  • Commitment to historic preservation;

  • Active involvement of the public and private sector;

  • Model partnerships, including inclusive engagement of community members and local stakeholders in the downtown revitalization process.

"We are beyond thrilled and feel very honored to be chosen as a semi-finalist among the top downtowns in the nation," said Michal Landes, executive director of Main Street Chillicothe. "We are so excited that Main Street Chillicothe has been chosen as a semi-finalist for the 2017 Great American Main Street Award." The winning community will be announced in May in Pittsburgh, PA.

Main Street Connection Awards
August 2, 2016

CAPTION: A local delegation attending the Main Street Connection awards program and on hand in Washington, Mo., to receive three state awards were Robin Westphal, Ben White, Micah Landes, Susan Thorne, Pat Thorne, Vilma Holt, Steve Holt. They are shown here with Sen. David Pierce.

Missouri Main Street Connection launched as a non-profit organization in 2006 is designed to help communities preserve their historic buildings and reinvigorate their downtown districts. Through this work, the communities actively participating in the Missouri Main Street Program have successfully created 526 net new businesses and 2,936 net new jobs. Based on economic data collected from the communities in the top three tiers of the Missouri Main Street program, since 2006, $683 million of private investments have been made in the Main Street communities. Public investments by municipal governments have totaled $140 million in improvements to infrastructure. A ceremony Thursday night honored communities, individuals, businesses and civic organizations that have completed exemplary work in downtown revitalization. The Missouri Main Street Connection hosted the Evening of Excellence Awards at the St. Francis Borgia Parish Jesuit Hall in downtown Washington, Missouri. Awards were presented in 16 categories. Livingston County Library was honored with the Best Building/Business Branding award. The Livingston County Library has always been an anchor destination in downtown Chillicothe since it moved into the former federal courthouse and post office in 1966. In many communities, the library brings together multi-generational patrons for not only books and reading but events and activities. Main Street Chillicothe received the Creative New Event Award in the over 5,000 population category for their Memory Tree Dedication and Lighting Service. Last holiday season, three committees from Main Street Chillicothe worked together to host a new event in the Silver Moon Plaza in their downtown. This event was called the Memory Tree Dedication and Lighting Service. The event offered a way for the community to honor loved ones who had passed away. Clear ornaments sparkled from the tree placed in the plaza. Each ornament contained the name of person to be honored. Outstanding Community Education Campaign award was presented to Main Street Chillicothe for their Historic Preservation Education Program. During the past year, Main Street Chillicothe (MSC) and their Design Committee made historic preservation education their goal. In order to educate the community members on the importance of preserving and enhancing the historic resources of downtown, the Design Committee used a few different methods to reach out to the community. One method was a facade improvement and upper story showcase presentation organized by MSC's Assistant Director Ben White and intern Nick Powell to highlight MSC's Facade Renovation Program. It provided examples of the benefits of residential upper story developments in downtown buildings and resources available to complete these projects. As a result, over half of the attendees have either completed a building improvement project or are in the process of doing so. To celebrate Preservation Month, MSC organized an Architectural Scavenger Hunt to not only educate participants on the architectural features located in downtown Chillicothe but to also encourage more people to visit downtown. The campaign also focused on conversations with stakeholders in downtown to be sure that any specific questions were answered. These personal visits allowed business and building owners to feel more comfortable asking questions and enabled MSC to connect people to preservation in a stronger way."We are so excited and honored to receive these awards. We have a beautiful and vibrant downtown and we are being recognized as the best in the state. We are up against tough competition and much bigger communities than ours," said Micah Landes, Main Street Chillicothe Executive Director.

Main Street Receives National Accreditation for Second Year
July 7, 2016

C-T Photo / Brittany Tutt

CAPTION: Pictured is a little "slice" of downtown Chillicothe. Main Street Chillicothe works hard to continuously maintain and improve the downtown area.

Main Street Chillicothe has again been designated as an accredited Main Street America program for meeting performance standards set by the National Main Street Center. Each year, the National Main Street Center and its coordinating program partners announce the list of accredited Main Street America programs in recognition of their exemplary commitment to preservation-based economic development and community revitalization through the Main Street Approach. The organization's performance is annually evaluated by The Missouri Main Street Connection which works in partnership with the National Main Street Center to identify the local programs that meet 10 performance standards. Evaluation criteria determines the communities that are building comprehensive and sustainable revitalization efforts and include standards such as fostering strong public-private partnerships, securing an operating budget, tracking programmatic progress and actively preserving historic buildings. "Our organization, community and volunteers have a lot to celebrate" said Micah Landes, executive director. "We absolutely have one of the most beautiful and thriving communities in not only North Missouri, but the entire state. We are getting a lot of recognition across state and even at the National level for our downtown efforts. Our active downtown that continues to build momentum through broad-based community involvement, active support from both public and private sectors, and an active board and volunteers. So many of our wonderful citizens care about the future of our town. I feel confident that our community is committed to continued success downtown, and I'm honored to be a part of it."

Since Main Street Chillicothe began in 2001, the program has renovated over 30 facades. Downtown now has 20 murals, 2 ghost signs, and a new set of mini murals along Washington Street with a total of well over $200,000 in downtown investment. In 2015 alone, Downtown had over $30,000 in building investment, over $55,000 in public improvements, added 6 new businesses, and 15 new jobs were created. In 2016, downtown is on track to having over a million dollars in investment.

Main Street America has been helping revitalize older and historic commercial districts for more than 35 years. Today, it is a network of more than 1,000 neighborhoods and communities, rural and urban, who share both a commitment to place and to building stronger communities through preservation-based economic development. Since 1980, communities participating in the program have leveraged more than $65.6 billion in new public and private investment, generated 556,960 net new jobs and 126,476 net new businesses, and rehabilitated more than 260,000 buildings. Main Street America is a program of the nonprofit National Main Street Center, a subsidiary of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Directional Signage Installed
By Brittany Tutt / C-T
May 19, 2016

CAPTION: The installation of directional signage began May 18. The signs are being installed to assist motorists in finding specific destinations within Chillicothe. The signs are being funded by Main Street Chillicothe and are being installed by the Chillicothe Street Department.


C-T Photo / Brittany Tutt

It was reported last fall that Chillicothe would soon get directional signage through town to assist motorists (visitors and residents) in finding specific destinations within Chillicothe. The Chillicothe Street Department began installing those signs Wednesday morning. The project is being funded by Main Street Chillicothe and the city is helping by providing the labor to erect the 18 signs along Washington Street. According to Chillicothe Street Superintendent Barry Arthur, the signs on the north and south ends of town measure four feet by six feet, and the signs in the downtown area will measure four feet by four feet. Signs will be on both the east and the west sides of Washington Street but will be easy to follow because they are all uniform. The signs are a maroon color with white writing and include arrows pointing the way to various venues in Chillicothe.

According to Main Street Chillicothe Director Micah Landes, the locations to which the signs give direction include historical downtown, the murals, Cultural Corner Art Guild and Gallery, Livingston County Library, the police department / sheriff office, Chillicothe parks, the football stadium, the Litton Ag Center, and more. The signs have both the city and Main Street Chillicothe logo on them as well. Landes said Main Street Chillicothe wanted to fund these signs so they could be able to "direct visitors to downtown, our murals, and other wonderful assets in our community."

According to Arthur, the street crew ran into difficulties and was only able to install one sign on Wednesday which is located on the south end of town by Taco Bell. Arthur predicts all 18 to be completed in two to three weeks. He expects the ones downtown to take longer because there are many water and electrical lines to work around and concrete has to be penetrated in order to install the break away posts (which hold up the sign). Landes said as of now there are 18 signs total but a few signs along the side streets will be installed later. "Our new wayfinding signage is not only attractive, it is vital for visitors," said Director of the Greater Chillicothe Visitors Region, Amy Supple, said. "We have so many amazing places in Chillicothe, and the new signs make it easier for people to navigate our community. We are grateful to Main Street Chillicothe and the City of Chillicothe for turning this great idea into action."

America's Main Street Contest

Main Streets are really the heartbeat of America's cities and towns. They play an important part in the long-term success of communities and really help build a sense of place. When Main Streets are strong, so are the communities that surround them. The goal of the America's Main Streets contest is to help promote the importance and strong economic benefits of these Main Streets and the small businesses that help them thrive. Please help us by nominating and telling us about a deserving Main Street. The winning Main Street will receive $25,000 in cash and related prizes to help revitalize that Main Street. There are many deserving local organizations that are working to help improve Main Streets and many of those are affiliated with Main Street America. Main Street America is a program of the nonprofit National Main Street Center, a subsidiary of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

ENTRY: In Chillicothe, we believe that our past is the pavement to our future. That's why we've invested heavily in making our historic Main Street a vibrant and growing part of our community. Beautiful historic buildings mix with new, contemporary developments to create a city that is modern, yet true to its roots. The focus of Main Street Chillicothe is to enhance the vitality of the downtown by preservation of its architectural, commercial, and cultural heritage. Main Street Chillicothe stimulates economic development through its design, economic restructuring, and organization committees, and promotes Chillicothe as an attractive city in which to shop, dine, play, work, and live. Main Street Chillicothe spearheaded the design and build of the Silver Moon Plaza, an open-air, multi-use pocket park in downtown that features fountains, benches, stage and plenty of room for concerts, entertainment and cultural events. Come visit this gathering space in the heart of our community. The Main Street Chillicothe mural program began in the mid 1990's and has included nearly $200,000 toward repairing or adding to this unique treasure of our local landscape, painted by local artist Kelly Poling. Main Street Chillicothe has commissioned 20 murals. Our program has awarded over 30 facade renovation grants with additional ones completed each year for improvements to downtown buildings, helping to beautify and renew the character of our city. Facade improvements have ranged from new paint and awnings to full-scale restoration. Main Street Chillicothe has also supported major renovation projects, including the renovation of the Strand Hotel into 32 apartment units. We currently have a $550,000 downtown building renovation project in progress for the Cultural Corner Art Guild & Gallery. This space will provide art education in many forms to an 11-county area in north Missouri. VOTE HERE >>

Main Street Chillicothe Earns National Main Street Accreditation
April 13, 2015

CAPTION: Main Street Chillicothe board and staff - (Left to Right, Back Row) Amy McDonald, Pam Jarding (President), Ed Milbank (Secretary/Treasurer), Staci Baker (Past President), Steve Franke, & Pat Thorne. (Left to Right, Front Row) Steve Holt, Ben White (Executive Assistant), Micah Landes (Executive Director), Ed Robertson (Vice President), Ed Douglas, and Chuck Haney.


Submitted Photo

Main Street Chillicothe has been designated as an accredited National Main Street Program for meeting the commercial district revitalization performance standards set by the National Main Street Center, a subsidiary of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Each year, the National Main Street Center and its partners announce the list of accredited Main Street programs in recognition of their exemplary commitment to historic preservation and community revitalization through the Main Street Four Point Approach. The organization's performance is annually evaluated by Missouri Main Street Connection which works in partnership with the National Main Street Center to identify the local programs that meet ten performance standards. These standards set the benchmarks for measuring an individual Main Street program's application of the Main Street Four Point Approach to commercial district revitalization. Evaluation criteria determines the communities that are building comprehensive and sustainable revitalization efforts and include standards such as fostering strong public-private partnerships, securing an operating budget, tracking programmatic progress and actively preserving historic buildings. Micah Landes, Executive Director of Main Street Chillicothe advises, "We have a beautiful and active downtown that continues to build momentum through broad-based community involvement, active support from both public and private sectors, and an active board and volunteers. So many of our wonderful citizens care about the future of our town. I feel confident that our community is committed to continued success downtown, and I'm honored to be a part of it."

Established by the National Trust for Historic Preservation in 1980, the National Main Street Center helps communities of all sizes revitalize their older and historic commercial districts. Working in more than 2,000 downtowns and urban neighborhoods over the last 35 years, the Main Street program has leveraged more than $61.7 billion in new public and private investment. Participating communities have created 528,557 net new jobs and 120,510 net new businesses, and rehabilitated more than 251,838 buildings, leveraging an average of $26.52 in new investment for every dollar spent on their Main Street district revitalization efforts.

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