Apr. 13, 2019

Downtown Lee’s Summit Main Street is once again a nationally and state accredited Main Street community following a program visit from representatives of National Main Street Center and Missouri Main Street Connection (MMSC). Accreditation is the highest level a downtown revitalization program can achieve.

To receive National and State Accreditation status a community must meet or exceed the 10-point criteria established by the National Main Street Center, a subsidiary of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. These criteria are utilized across the country to recognize high achieving Main Street programs.

The 10-point criteria cover various aspects of revitalization work that help create a sustainable, community-driven Main Street program. These criteria ensure a broad-based community support for the program, a strong historic preservation ethic, active Board of Directors and committees, as well as other technical aspects that help the program function at a high level.

MMSC Community Development Coordinator, Keith Winge noted, “Downtown Lee’s Summit Main Street works diligently with its partners to create the vibrant downtown that is the heart of the community.”

The Accreditation process includes a self-evaluation and submission of materials from the program that support their work for each criteria. This is followed by a site visit for meetings with program staff, Board, committee members, and city officials. Though it is a critical moment for a Missouri Main Street community to become Accredited, it is equally important for the community to maintain the Accreditation status once it has been earned.

Throughout 2018, Downtown Lee’s Summit Main Street saw public and private investment of over $1 million in the historic district from 29 projects. The district saw a net gain of 7 new business and 35 new jobs. Additionally, volunteers for Downtown Lee’s Summit Main Street donated 4,103 hours of their time.

“We are honored to once again receive national and state accreditation,” said Donnie Rodgers, executive director of Downtown Lee’s Summit Main Street, Inc. “This community came together in 1989 to revitalize our downtown and from the very beginning worked closely with the National Main Street Center and Missouri Main Street to empower our volunteers to lead those revitalization efforts. Our success would not have been possible without their support and leadership.”

The Missouri Main Street Program’s purpose is to create vibrant communities across the state. This effort is based on recent studies showing that empowering individuals to develop their downtown motivates high achievement. Revitalized downtowns where people want to live, work, and invest makes our State economically stronger. The goal of the National Main Street Center and Missouri Main Street Connection is to encourage preservation-based economic development through the Main Street Four-Point Approach®.

Gayla Roten, MMSC State Director, noted, “Missouri Main Street Connection works diligently to equip our communities with the tools they need to revitalize their historic districts and make them the economic and cultural heart of their community once again. Achieving Accredited status, showcases that Downtown Lee’s Summit Main Street is realizing this goal through their work and doing so at an elevated level. We are proud of all they have accomplished.”