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D.6.3 Building Setbacks

D.6.3 Building Setbacks

Action

Advocate for zoning that prevents future setback developments and improve pedestrian flow between setback buildings.

Why

Zero feet setback create a street wall that helps define and enclose the street corridor, adding to a sense of activity and fostering an interactive relationship between the pedestrian and commercial activities in the building.

How

If it is established that the district is conducive to zero feed setbacks, zoning should be drafted to require it for any future development particularly is buildings are being replaced.

Resources

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D.7.4 Public Art Maintenance

D.7.4 Public Art Maintenance

Action

Improve public art maintenance.

Why

As art installations increase throughout the district, it is important to establish a maintenance protocol in case of damage, wear, or vandalism

How

Identify a responsible party or organization that will be charged with maintaining, caring for, and repairing public art installations including care for and the landscaping of surrounding land and location.  The designated organization or individual should have access to the inventory of art installations, contact information for the artist, and applicable information on the care and maintenance of the installed art.

Resources

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D.7.3 Public Art Inclusion

D.7.3 Public Art Inclusion

Action

Improve the diversity and inclusion of the artists represented in public art.

Why

Public art should be made from artists who represent various identities within the community.

How

Working with art organizations, museums, and schools, establish a mechanism for recruiting and compiling a roster of artists representing all identities from the community at large.  This could be in the form of “a call to action” or a related to a specific community project.

Resources

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D.7.2 Public Art Promotion

D.7.2 Public Art Promotion

Action

Improve the promotion of your district’s public art.

Why

Public Art often identifies the personality of a community, celebrates heritage and tradition, enhances the pedestrian experience, and provides color and vibrancy to the district.

How

Many times, public art becomes the identifying feature of the district.  Installed public art can be promoted through the district’s website, on social media, in all printed materials, in annual reports, through photography, and specific promotional video footage.

Resources

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D.6.2 Window Displays

D.6.2 Window Displays

Action

Develop initiatives and/or programs to improve merchant window displays.

Why

Window displays are a merchant’s first line of marketing. Visual merchandising is a great way to pique curiosity and encourage foot traffic.  A good window display should be visible from across the street, well lit, neat, tasteful, colorful, changed seasonally, and with no handwritten signage.  Professional standards should be the goal and the rule should be “less is more”.

How

There are many examples of effective window displays.  The intent of the display is to ultimately get a pedestrian and shopper to enter the store.  With basic fixturing, cost effective lighting, backdrop treatments, props, and regular maintenance, a good window display could add to the success of a business.  Researching examples as it relates to the products offered, can be a first step in cultivating ideas for an effective window display.

Resources

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D.6.1 Building Façades

D.6.1 Building Façades

Action

Develop initiatives and/or programs to improve the appearance of building façades.

Why

Many downtown districts have historic and older buildings that need façade improvements and renovations.  Ensuring that buildings are well maintained, restored and safe for access and occupancy should be the goal.  In addition, keeping the buildings restored and updated according to standards and guidelines will add equity to the building, enhance the downtown visual appearance and experience and promote more development and investment. The process, however, could at times be cumbersome and costly.  To encourage responsible stewardship of district buildings, façade rehabilitation and improvement programs should be enacted.  This should include the allocation of dedicated funds, derived from various sources, that can be used as matching grants to encourage building owners to act.

How

When dealing with historic buildings, it will be necessary to refer to the Secretary of Interior Standards and Guidelines for rehabilitating historic buildings.  Also, a specific application process should be created that includes a review and approval process and clear instructions on building owner requirements.

Resources

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D.5.3 Storefront/Building Signage

D.5.3 Storefront/Building Signage

Action

Improve ordinances and guidelines for storefront and building signage.

Why

Having updated ordinances and guidelines for storefront and building signage, establish standards for building owners and businesses to follow, enhance the visual downtown experience, and promote value and equity for the district.

How

Working with municipal officials, review existing guidelines to ensure they are current and up to date.  When dealing with historic buildings and storefronts, many communities have historic districts or zones that require specifics with regard to retail signage design, size, and placement.

Resources

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D.5.2 Gateway Signage

D.5.2 Gateway Signage

Action

Improve district gateway signage.

Why

A welcoming gateway sign can significantly identify the neighborhood and help to brand the district.

How

Locations for gateway signage should be determined and approved by the municipality.  Gateway signage design should align with district visual identity in terms of color palette, typography, and imagery where possible.

Resources

CMSC Professional Affiliates

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Downtown Decorations, Inc.

Downtown Decorations, Inc.

CUSTOM DESIGN. Endless Possibilities.

For over 20 years Downtown Decorations, Inc has been working in partnership with Main Street’s all across the country as a supplier and designer of commercial holiday décor programs, lighting and all year round light pole banners.

If you are looking for décor for spring, summer, or fall, or even to be the best-decorated city on National Tortilla Chip Day, don’t hesitate to call on them. They are also one of the leading producers of light pole banners, and like all aspects of their company, provide customization on every level. If you can draw it, photograph it, or write it, they can print it.

Services

Services include: Supply & design of commercial holiday décor programs, lighting and all year round light pole banners.

Visit their website

Contact

Ted Peterson
309 Wavel Street
Syracuse, NY 13206
accounting@downtowndecorations.com

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D.4.6 Wi-Fi and Hotspots

D.4.6 Wi-Fi and Hotspots

Action

Locate Wi-Fi or hotspots in public green spaces and other common gathering places.

Why

Providing Wi-Fi or hotspots in public spaces gives flexibility for business people on the go, provides a service to residents who otherwise wouldn’t have internet access, and boosts tourism as visitors can look up public transportation options or search for places to eat, shop and explore. 

How

  • Consider surveying residents, business people and visitors to gain insightful feedback.
  • Create partnerships with professionals, organizations and other communities who can support this effort. 
  • Utilize any previous studies or community engagement feedback to create, fund and implement a Wi-Fi or hotspot plan for the downtown.

CMSC Professional Affiliates

  • Link to MP PA post

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