The Heart of Biddeford, founded in 2004, is devoted to revitalizing downtown Biddeford. The 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization received its Main Street Community designation from the Maine Downtown Center, which is a program of the Maine Development Foundation.
The Heart of Biddeford, in partnership with the City of Biddeford, the business community, property owners, and residents, fosters economic development and improves the downtown and quality of life within its boundaries by supporting existing businesses, attracting new businesses, promoting the downtown through events and working to beautify the urban core.
We are a volunteer driven organization with one paid Executive Director. We work with the City’s various departments and the City Council, the Downtown Development Commission, City Theater, the Community Bicycle Center, Community for Children and Youth, McArthur Public Library, Public Access TV, all of the downtown businesses nonprofits, and all of Biddeford’s wonderful community volunteers.
About the Main Street Program
The Maine Downtown Center’s core program is Main Street, which is a proven Four-Point Approach® to downtown revitalization developed by the National Trust for Historic Preservation in 1980 and is currently used in 44 states in over 1,200 communities. Currently, nine communities have achieved and maintained Main Street Maine designation: Bath, Biddeford, Gardiner, Rockland, Saco, Sanford, Skowhegan, Van Buren and Waterville.
As a unique economic development tool, the Main Street Four-Point Approach® is the foundation for local initiatives to revitalize their districts by leveraging local assets—from cultural or architectural heritage to local enterprises and community pride.
The four points of the Main Street approach work together to build a sustainable and complete community revitalization effort. The four points are 1) Organization 2) Promotions 3) Design and 4) Economic Restructuring. Learn more about the Main Street Four-Point Approach® here.
Volunteer! Each committee is made up of four to eight members, and each member attends two or more meetings a month. Our committees develop and design projects and create work plans to implement each project. Each committee has a chair whom manages the group processes of the committee; recruits committee members; delegates tasks to members in a way that produces a positive volunteer experience; ensures that all committee members participate in the work plan process; and represents the committee at board meetings.
Progress. Since the HoB’s formation, it’s hard not to notice how far downtown Biddeford has come. We have unique small businesses throughout our downtown, a handful of excellent international restaurants, a beautifully restored Victorian theater, the Annual Chalk on the Walk Festival, live music events and a burgeoning arts scene.
Biddeford’s walkable downtown and mill district features over two million square feet of mill space being redeveloped into residential and office/studio space. The mills are already home to an eclectic group of light industrial businesses including many custom woodworkers. The beautiful Biddeford RiverWalk is breaking ground in early summer of 2011 and will give residents and visitors a view of the might Saco that has been inaccesible to-date. There are exciting things going on here. Come be part of it.
The National Trust Main Street Center’s experience in helping communities bring their commercial corridors back to life has shown time and time again that the Main Street Four-Point Approach® succeeds. That success is guided by the following eight principles, which set the Main Street methodology apart from other redevelopment strategies. For a Main Street program to be successful, it must whole-heartedly embrace these time-tested Eight Principles.
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