Newark Named a Great American Main Street

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Town Celebrates Receipt of Prestigious National Award

Downtown Newark owes much of its success to a devoted chairwoman and board of directors, progressive and supportive city and University administrations, and the hard work, dedication and enthusiasm of hundreds of volunteers!

Governor Jack Markell joined local officials to celebrate the Downtown Newark Partnership, a winner of the 2011 Great American Main Street Awards. The award, which recognizes exemplary downtowns and commercial districts, is a prestigious honor for the city of Newark and a mark of distinction for its business community.

“Newark is my hometown,” said Governor Markell. “This city has one of the best main streets in the country. So many great people and businesses help to make Newark what it is – a great place to live, work and visit. We have new jobs, new businesses and new energy around something that was very good to begin with.”    

The National Trust Main Street Center’s annual Great American Main Street Award is based on criteria such as the amount of active public and private sector involvement in the town to the quality of its long-term achievements. The award takes into account a town’s commitment to historic preservation, its ability to foster small businesses development, and its evolving track record of successful commercial district revitalization. It also considers the level of community support a town receives for its revitalization efforts as well as the economic impact of those efforts.

“The Downtown Newark Partnership has worked skillfully with public and private partners to find creative solutions to downtown’s challenges and to celebrate its assets and opportunities,” said Doug Loescher, director of the National Trust Main Street Center. “With 26 new businesses opening and more than $30 million invested in the last 3.5 years and a popular year-round arts and events calendar that draws from miles around, Newark has emerged as a fun, attractive, and intelligent city for work and play.”

“Working together, we’ve created a renaissance for our downtown,” said Mayor Vance Funk. “It has been great building all these new buildings, preserving old ones, and bringing the residents back to Main Street. The level cooperation is just phenomenal. Everyone loves to be involved in this.”

By bringing together a diverse group of stakeholders, including the University of Delaware, elected officials, business owners and residents, the Downtown Newark Partnership has capitalized on Newark’s business and tourism opportunities without losing its historic identity or small-city roots.

“Downtown Newark owes much of its success to a devoted chairwoman and board of directors, progressive and supportive city and University administrations, and the hard work, dedication and enthusiasm of hundreds of volunteers! ” said Maureen Feeney Roser, DNP Administrator.

The other four winners include Downtown Beloit Association, Beloit, Wis.; Main Street Fort Pierce, Fort Pierce, Fla.; Old Town Main Street, Lansing, Mich.; and Silver City MainStreet Project, Silver City, N.Mex.

The winners were selected by a national jury composed of former award winners, community development professionals, governmental agency representatives who are active in community economic development and historic preservation.

Delaware is fortunate to have produced two winners of this national Main Street award in the past three years. Rehoboth Beach Main Street was a winner in 2009.

About Downtown Delaware
Downtown Delaware, a program of the Delaware Economic Development Office, provides Delaware's historic downtowns, communities, and small businesses with tools to revitalize their commercial districts, increase entrepreneurial opportunity, and enhance quality of place. To learn more about the Main Street program, visit

About the National Trust Main Street Center
Established in 1980, the National Trust Main Street Center helps communities of all sizes revitalize their older and historic commercial districts. Working in more than 2,200 downtowns and urban neighborhoods over the last 28 years, the Main Street program has leveraged more than $44.9 billion in new public and private investment. Participating communities have created 370,514 net new jobs and 82,909 net new businesses and rehabilitated more than 199,500 buildings, leveraging an average of $25.36 in new investment for every dollar spent on their Main Street district revitalization efforts.

About the National Trust for Historic Preservation
The National Trust for Historic Preservation is a non-profit membership organization bringing people together to protect, enhance and enjoy the places that matter to them. By saving the places where great moments from history – and the important moments of everyday life – took place, the National Trust for Historic Preservation helps revitalize neighborhoods and communities, spark economic development and promote environmental sustainability.

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