Uptown Columbus Inc. semifinalist for Great American Main Street Award

Uptown Columbus Inc., and Business Improvement District President Richard Bishop, 65, has told his boards he will be retiring next year.
Uptown Columbus Inc., and Business Improvement District President Richard Bishop, 65, has told his boards he will be retiring next year. Columbus

For the second time in three years, Uptown Columbus Inc. has been selected as a semifinalist for the Great American Main Street Award.

National Main Street Center selects 10 semifinalists each year and from that will name three winners. There are a number of reasons to pursue the recognition, said Uptown Columbus Inc. President Richard Bishop.

“To be able to have that shield, it says that you have a great downtown,” Bishop said. “If we can get it, it will be good for the city, good for the Chamber of Commerce and good for the community. And it is something we can use in marketing.”

Uptown Columbus, which has been at the center of downtown and riverfront development for nearly three decades, is a non-profit downtown redevelopment organization.

Each year the National Main Street Center recognizes exceptional Main Street communities whose successes serve as a model for comprehensive, preservation-based commercial district revitalization. These 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.

“They are looking at what you have done to revitalize your downtown,” Bishop said.

In the last two years, major changes are taking place. Columbus State University is in the final stages of construction of the College of Education and Health Science complex at Broadway and 12th Street. This has spurred retail, commercial and residential growth and plans in the 1000 block of Broadway. The Chattahoochee whitewater course is in full operation, and a zip line across the river has been added.

The most recent winners of the Great American Main Street Award were Audubon Park, Orlando, Fla.; Dahlonega, Ga.; and Shaw District, Washington, D.C.

The winners should be announced by the end of the year. Only three of the 10 semifinalists have been announced: Uptown Columbus, Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard Main Street in New Orleans and Czech Village/New Bohemia Main Street District in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Chuck Williams: 706-571-8510, @chuckwilliams