Johnson City Partners Main Street Plan
About the Johnson City Partners
Johnson City Partners (JCP) is a non-profit organization comprised of neighborhood residents, business and property owners, representatives of non-profit and faith-based organizations, all working together for the economic revitalization of the Johnson City Central Business District. We believe that the condition of this downtown core dictates quality of life in the village as a whole. JCP will follow a nationally recognized comprehensive four-point strategy of organization, public outreach and marketing, physical improvements, and economic development
Johnson City Partners is dedicated to helping residents, businesses and property owners, non-profit organizations, faith based organizations, and other stakeholders work together across the boundaries of race, income, sector, politics, and geography to enhance their respective talents and resources in order to increase the economic competitiveness of the area, to develop, nurture, and support historic preservation in the neighborhood, and to improve the quality of life for everyone. Through the JCP Main Street Plan the neighborhood making up the Johnson City target area will become a more attractive and appealing place for residents and visitors alike to live, work, shop, and pray.
The JCP Main Street target area is roughly bounded by Lester Ave. at the east, the RR tracks on the north, Arch Street on the west, and Willow St. & Corliss Ave. on the south. The organization’s outreach and influence, however, will not be necessarily limited by these boundaries.
Johnson City Partners goal is to establish a sustainable, self-sufficient but integrated business district where residents and visitors can find everything they might need within a vibrant, walkable community. Our Main Street program will support the work of volunteers to make Johnson City’s Central Business District a popular destination for residents and visitors alike.
JCP Main Street Committees
Johnson City Partners Main Street success is dependent on the energy and work of volunteers, focused upon the Main Street Four Point Approach through the work of four committees. Volunteers work on a variety of tasks in these committees, based on their interests and expertise. The committees include design, organization, promotion, and economic revitalization.
- Design:Enhancing the physical appearance of the commercial district by rehabilitating historic buildings, encouraging supportive new construction, developing sensitive design management systems, and long-term planning.
- Organization: Building consensus and cooperation among the many groups and individuals who have a role in the revitalization process and facilitating a comprehensive, sustainable approach to community development.
- Promotion: Marketing neighborhood assets to customers, potential investors, new businesses, local citizens and visitors.
- Economic Revitalization: Strengthening the existing economic base through the retention of existing businesses that add vitality and cultural heritage to the community while finding ways to expand the economic base through recruitment of new businesses to meet new opportunities.
The work of these committees is guided by eight basic principles that have been helpful in assisting communities to bring back their commercial corridors and establish a true village environment for the neighborhoods of their community. These principles include:
- Comprehensive: A single project cannot revitalize a downtown or commercial neighborhood. An ongoing series of initiatives is vital to build community support and create lasting progress.
- Incremental: Small projects make a big difference. They demonstrate that "things are happening" on Main Street and hone the skills and confidence the program will need to tackle more complex problems.
- Self-Help: Although the Johnson City Partners can provide valuable direction and hands-on assistance, only local leadership can initiate long-term success by fostering and demonstrating community involvement and commitment to the revitalization effort.
- Public/private partnership: Every local Main Street program needs the support and expertise of both the public and private sectors. For an effective partnership, each must recognize the strengths and weaknesses of the other.
- Identifying and capitalizing on existing assets: The Johnson City Partners will identify and make the best use of Johnson Citys unique offerings. Local assets provide the solid foundation for a successful Main Street initiative.
- Quality: From storefront design to promotional campaigns to special events, quality must be the main goal.
- Change: Changing community attitudes and habits is essential to bring about a commercial district renaissance. A carefully planned Main Street program will help shift public perceptions and practices to support and sustain the revitalization process.
- Action-oriented: Frequent, visible changes in the look and activities of the commercial district will reinforce the perception of positive change. Small, but dramatic improvements early in the process will remind the community that the revitalization effort is under way.
Individuals interested in participating in Johnson City Partners work but who are unable to commit to serving on committees can still have a voice in decision-making by attending public meetings, responding to surveys, and volunteering in other ways. Ask to be added to the Johnson City Partners mailing list in order to ensure you are advised of the organization’s ongoing activities and progress.
JCP Design Committee
The JCP Design Committee will encourage visual improvements in the commercial corridor by rehabilitating historic buildings, encouraging supportive new construction, developing sensitive design management systems, and carrying out long-term planning that will result in a safe, clean, and attractive business district.
The mission of the JCP Design Committee is to work with the Johnson City community to support commercial activity and strengthen neighborhood pride by enhancing the appearance, safety, cleanliness and historic character of the Lester Ave.-Arch St. corridor.
Design Committee Goals for the next 2 years:
- Use design to unify the disparate elements of the corridors.
- Emphasize the historic and cultural heritage of Johnson City.
- Create a safe, appealing, walkable, and vibrant commercial corridor that is inviting to residents and visitors alike.
- Seek funding to assist business/property owners in making improvements to their buildings or to make improvements to public areas (2011 NYMS Program Award of $457,000).
JCP Design Committee Work Plan
- Create a Photographic Inventory and Streetscape Mural for each block of the Lester Ave.-Arch Street corridor for planning and marketing purposes.
- Develop and publish a Commercial Facade Design/Historic Preservation Guide Brochure for educating local businesses and property owners about the restrictions and obligations imposed by historic district or landmark status on what is allowed to be done to their buildings. Much of the text for this brochure will be provided by the Historic Preservation Office staff. This project will emulate other US Main street local programs.
- Inventory of Storefronts along Lester Ave.-Arch Street corridor that need façade improvements to provide data for development of a “Façade Improvement” funding application for the Johnson City commercial corridor.
- Design and Install JCP “Buy Local” Street Banners along commercial corridors.
- Install bronze plaques describing neighborhood history to help promote community pride and heritage tourism.
- Work with village officials to develop code that would not allow existing store fronts to become eyesores and would prohibit vacant store fronts from being void of window décor and cleanliness.
- Plan, fund, and implement a “Clean & Green” Team to serve as Johnson City ambassadors. Project needs to be sustainable. Will positively impact cleanliness, public safety, the pedestrian experience, build relationships with business owners, and promote local business.
- Play a leadership role in developing Streetscape standards for Lester Ave.-Arch Street and working to implement streetscape improvements. Conduct community meetings on design in conjunction with DOT, and work with other community stakeholder groups and public officials to get improvements scheduled and completed.
- Serve as sponsor for inclusion of Johnson City’s Main Street corridor and CFJ Park into the National Historic Register. Demolition and inappropriate alterations would have a devastating impact on the historic character of the Johnson City Main Street corridor (EJ Workers Arch to Rte 201) and Lester Avenue corridor (Harry L Drive to Main Street). The State Historic Preservation Office will handle preparation of nomination, but JCP will need to perform community outreach and gather support for the nomination. (Listed 2011 as a result of Niama Kradjian's Health and Cultural District Study efforts. Our many thanks to Niama for this important state and national recognition.)
JCP Organization Committee
The JCP Organization Committee will get everyone working toward the same goal by using the common-sense approach of a volunteer-driven program that builds consensus, cooperation, and capacity among many groups and individuals who have a role to play in the revitalization process.
The Mission of the JCP Organization Committee is to encourage an adequately funded and expertly managed organization that will promote the well being of the commercial district and surrounding neighborhood.
Organization Committee Goals for the next two years:
- Identify the needs of the neighborhoods and develop unrestricted sources of funding to help JCP fulfill those needs.
- Attract and retain a variety of volunteers for JCP.
- Provide guidance for the organization to establish and maintain appropriate legal structures and fiscal responsibility.
- Provide feedback to the Board to assist in the smooth operation of the JCP.
JCP Organization Committee Work Plan
- Create a Membership Program (“Friends of Johnson City Partners”) with different dues levels.
- Develop a project-oriented Fund-Raising Strategy for JCP based on work plan priorities.
- Develop a strategy for an on-going Downtown Business District outreach program.
JCP Promotion Committee
The JCP Promotion Committee will support the neighborhood business district as the community’s social, cultural, and economic center by marketing the district’s unique characteristics to shoppers, investors, new businesses, and visitors through advertising, retail endorsement, special events, and promotion campaigns.
The mission of the JCP Promotion Committee is to promote Johnson City’s commercial corridor and the Johnson City Partners Main Street Plan.
Promotion Committee Goals for the next 2 years:
- Promote Johnson City’s commercial corridors as the social, cultural, and economic center of the community.
- Communicate Johnson City Partners activities and objectives to all stakeholders.
- Solicit the input of all stakeholders into the organization’s activities and objectives.
- Market the Main Street commercial district to new businesses and investors.
- Help market existing businesses.
JCP Promotion Committee Work Plan
- Website-The Promotion Committee will develop a project plan for a JCP website.(www.jcpartners.org)
- Rack card/brochure-The Promotion Committee must develop a project plan and appoint a sub-committee chair to create a rack card for JCP. The rack card will provide a general overview of JCP and its mission, as well as provide contact information. Development of the brochure, which will promote Johnson City history and attractions, will follow.
- Quarterly newsletter-JCP will publish a quarterly newsletter both in print and online. A sub-committee chair will work toward JCP’s ultimate goal of publishing a weekly newspaper for the Johnson City community.
- Promotion event-We must plan to hold an event to promote JCP and raise funds.
- Business directory to promote a “Shop Local” campaign. The directory will describe Main Street businesses and eateries and will be available both on-line and on paper.
- Business Development “Meet and Greet”-a long range goal of the committee is to hold a business development “meet and greet”. The JCP Promotion Committee along with the Economic Revitalization Committee would sponsor this event. The purpose of the event is to bring together business owners, property owners, developers, and entrepreneurs to show them potential opportunities within the commercial corridor.
- Farmer’s market-Begin a sustainable farmers market or other type of street type sale.
- Annual House Tour-Plan and conduct an annual JCP Holiday House Tour of historically significant Johnson City homes and architectural styles.
- Design, construct, and keep an updated power point presentation available for area organizations, schools, etc. The power point would describe JCP and its accomplishments for presentation at meetings/conferences.
- Develop a village wide annual “Front Porch” contest to encourage community pride.
- Continue to develop and expand the annual “Carousel Day” to promote our local EJ history.
JCP Economic Revitalization Committee
The JCP Economic Revitalization Committee will strengthen and broaden the economic base of the neighborhood business district by helping existing businesses expand and recruiting new ones to respond to the changing local market demand in a way that sharpens the competitiveness of the commercial district.
The mission of the JCP Economic Revitalization Committee is to provide resources and economic stimulus for present and future businesses in the Johnson City commercial corridor.
Economic Revitalization Committee Goals for the next 2 years:
- Work to improve Johnson City business retention and recruitment.
- Work with the village government to develop and enforce a beautification code for the business district.
- Create a viable retail / service environment that expands the economic base of Johnson City.
- Support mixed use development in Johnson City
- Attract increased consumer spending in the Johnson City downtown commercial corridor.
- Maximize internal and external investment in Johnson City.
JCP Economic Revitalization Committee Work Plan
- Establish a relationship with corridor business owners to enhance partnerships in the Lester Ave.-Arch Street revitalization.
- Design, collect data on and computerize, maintain, and track Commercial Corridor Property Inventory.
- Develop a Johnson City Partners’ Small Business Development Assistance Program.
- Training & Mentoring
- Roundtable networking
- Small grants program
- Banking institution partners
- Business promotions & “buy local” campaigns
- Technical assistance & cost effective equipment referrals
- Business plan development consulting
- Plan and conduct surveys for needed data collection:
- Survey of what corridor businesses need to be sustainable
- Survey of what commercial real estate brokers need to effectively market the JC commercial area
- Survey residents, UHS employees, and BU staff & students to find out what types of services and businesses they would utilize. (2010 BU CBD Study)
- Develop a strategy for an on-going corridor business outreach program that would assign JCP volunteers to each block of the Lester Ave.-Arch St. corridor. JCP volunteers would take the responsibility for being the liaisons between JCP and the business and property owners on specific blocks, keeping them updated on JCP activities and initiatives, regularly obtaining their input and feedback, and soliciting their involvement.
- Work closely with the JCP Promotion Committee to develop small and large industry interest and investment by promoting our central location and skilled, readily available workforce.