Coordinating community-based downtown revitalization efforts

The Main Street Iowa program works with a select group of communities committed to exceptionally high standards for downtown economic development. As a Main Street AmericaTM Coordinating Program, the over 50 communities in Iowa are connected to a network of 40 programs across the country representing over 1,200 communities.

Utilizing the Main Street Approach, communities capitalize on the unique identity, assets and character of their historic commercial districts. The Main Street Approach consists of tightly integrated components making up a common-sense, strategy-driven framework that guides community-based downtown revitalization efforts. Locally developed strategies are implemented through comprehensive work in four broad areas, known as the Four Points: Economic Vitality, Organization, Promotion and Design.

Assistance from the Main Street Iowa team includes training workshops, architectural and design assistance, business assistance, and a number of other technical assistance opportunities.

Through this partnership Main Street Washington offers a variety of services both locally and from our partners at Main Street Iowa and Main Street America. Some of these include the following. Contact MSW for more information and learn what we can do for you.

What are Main Street Washington services?

  • Free façade and building design consultation
  • The Washington Incentive Fund (WIF) seeks to provide building owners an incentive for building improvement projects within our National Register listed Historic Downtown. The grant allows Main Street Washington’s Design committee to offer dollar for dollar matching grant funds to private property owners who show a need for improvements to their building whether assessing the structural integrity, removing contemporary facade materials, repairing building elements, interior rehabilitation or repairs, and/or new infill construction.In the past 5 years Main Street Washington has given away $325,750 in matching grants through a partnership with the Washington County Riverboat Foundation which in turn have been used to 100% fund the WIF program. In the four completed grant rounds 39 buildings have been impacted and over $8 million in private matching dollars have been spent. That is a return on investment of over $9 to $1. The WIF program’s goals are to stimulate economic growth and social interaction in the community through Historic Preservation and Community Reinvestment.
  • Downtown Investment Grants (DIG) provide large projects of $100,000 or more an incentive that provides a greater and more streamlined benefit directly versus Tax Increment Financing (TIF) which takes longer and is a smaller benefit to a existing property. The match is 3:1 with a minimum investment of $100,000. Main Street Washington can recommend up to $50,000 in benefits per project. This program generously funded through the Municipal Grant program partnership between the City of Washington and the Washington County Riverboat Foundation.
  • Free window display consultation
  • Clean Sweep’s to open downtown sidewalk improvements

Main Street Iowa Services:

MSW as a part of the Main Street Iowa network receives benefits from the staff of Main Street Iowa and the Iowa Economic Development Authority.

  • Design Assistance
  • Business Improvement