Albion Downtown, Inc., 1985-1988
Not too many years ago, downtown Superior St. was populated by a number of national chain retailers. Among them were J.C. Penney, Sears, Gambles store, McCrory-McClellan, Murphys, and most recently a Montgomery Ward catalog store. All of these retailers have ceased operations in Albion, leaving many vacant stores on Superior St.
Almost two years ago, a group of public spirited citizens embarked on a program to try to reverse that trend. The goal was to make our downtown business district the thriving center of commerce that it once was. It was recognized early that the decline of downtown didnt happen overnight nor would the problems be solved overnight.
It seemed that the best chance for success was in obtaining designation as a Main St. City. The National Main Street Program has a proven method for revitalization of downtown business districts in small communities. Being designated a Main Street City would allow us to tap into that expertise at the state and national level.
Appropriate steps were taken and our application was filed with the Michigan Chamber of Commerce. Announcement of our success came in March 1985. From among those who started the process, fourteen agreed to serve as board members of Albion Downtown, Inc. to implement the Main Street Program in Albion.
Revitalization of the Central Business District and maintenance of that vitality is a concern which will continue after ADIs three year life span is over. Some long range goals are:-To consider developing a downtown property owners consortium with perhaps a paid manager for downtown property.-To plan for the continuance of downtown development after 1988.-To make plans for sign removal on buildings that become vacant.-To work toward the involvement of minority and township people in our work.-To become an active participant in the State Sesquicentennial (1987).-To seek ways of utilizing the Stoffer Market Place more as a means for getting more people downtown more often.
Current Board Members of Albion Downtown, Inc. (May 1986)
Tom Feldpausch, President
Sam Friia, Vice President
Paul Bedient, Secretary
Paul Hickey, Treasurer
Craig Hoernschmeyer, Project Manager
Source: Albion Downtown Inc, Newsletter, No.1, May-June 1986.