In 1995 Winter Haven was designated a Florida Main Street City and Main Street Winter Haven, Inc. was established to carry out the National Main Street Approach , a successful revitalization strategy used in over 2,200 cities across the United States.
Main Street Winter Haven, Inc. is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization that involves the entire community in revitalizing downtown. Our objective is to improve the image of downtown by facilitating change and growth in four distinct areas: Organization, Promotion, Design and Economic Development.
Part of the Main Street philosophy is that downtown belongs to the entire community. Everyone has a stake and a role to play in the revitalization of their downtown.
One element that all downtowns have in common is that the physical, social, and economic character will change. The challenge for Winter Haven in 1995 was to keep change from translating into decline. Main Street Winter Haven’s response was to become directly involved in causing positive change. The following is a sampling of some of those changes:
- Strong public/private partnership with the City of Winter Haven
- 1997 Fifth Street streetscape
- Façade grant program
- USF Study of Façade Renovations
- Downtown Façade Guidelines
- Inventory of available buildings for sale or lease
- Market Analysis and Redevelopment Recommendations for retail & residential uses
- Downtowns Development Design Strategy – LDR Plan
- Partnership with City of Winter Haven and Greater Winter Haven Chamber of Commerce for the Florida Outdoor Sculpture Competition and “Central Park Stroll”
- Leedy Lifetime Works Tour brochure, audio tour, and website
- Developed a downtown Sign Ordinance draft
- South Central Park Design – Martin & Vargas Design firm
Re-investment in Downtown Winter Haven since 1995
Over $30.6 million in public and private investment
Net new businesses of 77
Net new jobs of 406
Total number of projects – 97