Downtown Vision nabs five Kansas Main Street awards


By The Telegram

By The Telegram

Garden City Downtown Vision was the recipient of five Kansas Main Street awards during the annual Main Street Symposium banquet held in Independence Oct. 11. This brings Downtown Vision's total number of awards to 28 in seven years.

"One of our annual goals is to strengthen an existing or develop a new partnership with a community entity," Beverly Schmitz Glass, Downtown Vision's executive director, said. "The awards this year reflect that effort and we are thrilled we could include them in our recognition of excellence."

The Paint the Town for the Holidays project won for Excellence in Public/Private Partnerships. This award is given in recognition of an outstanding local partnership between Main Street and another organization. Working with the Garden City High School Art Club under the direction of Andrea Kirchoff, 23 art students painted holiday scenes and festive borders to add to downtown's Christmas spirit.

The Excellence in Business development Award, given to recognize outstanding efforts to improve the downtown business climate, retention, and recruiting efforts was awarded to Downtown Vision for its Economic Development Portfolio developed by the economic restructuring committee. The portfolio contains demographic information, market analysis, a CD depicting second story residential possibilities and completed projects, color-coded maps indicating potential retail, commercial and mixed use properties, incentives, and a community profile.

The Kansas Community Award was handed to Garden City Mayor John Doll, who accepted the award on behalf of the city. This award is given to recognize individuals, businesses, and organizations that have made an outstanding contribution to the local Main Street association. The city has been a benefactor-level member of Downtown Vision since 2004, works in tandem with the design committee on streetscape projects, helped develop second story residential incentives, provides countless hours of setting up Main Street for FallFest and parades, plus changing out banners, and works closely with committees on ordinances.

To recognize local promotions, events and activities that result in sales, increased business, and/or in-store promotions and advertising that promotes downtown as a whole, the Excellence in Business Promotions Award was given to Garden City Recreation Commission and Downtown Vision for their cooperative efforts in launching the Downtown Wellness Program. The project featured the development of walking and biking trails in and around Main Street, an architectural wonders contest, weekly special classes held in Stevens Park and Lee Richardson Zoo, and a treasure hunt with clues hidden in retailers' display windows.

Giving a nod to Downtown Vision's surpassing an economic milestone, Kansas Main Street presented Glass and Doll with the $5 Million Downtown Reinvestment Award. This award represents the combination of public and private reinvestment into building facades, streetscapes, interior renovations, artwork, new signage, new product lines and services, volunteer hours, public works and new jobs created within the central business district.

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