Winning Downtown Revitalization Strategies

Winning Downtown Revitalization Strategies Main Photo

17 May 2023

WEDC honors best Main Street promotions with awards

LA CROSSE, WI. APRIL 21, 2023 – The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) recognized the best downtown revitalization projects of 2022 at the 32nd Wisconsin Main Street Awards ceremony held Friday at the La Crosse Center in downtown La Crosse.

“Powered by dedicated business people, volunteers and government officials, Wisconsin’s Main Street and Connect Communities are working hard to make our downtowns more vibrant and prosperous places,” said Missy Hughes, secretary and CEO of WEDC. “These thriving communities with exciting places to work, beautiful outdoor recreation opportunities and safe, affordable housing are some of our state’s best talent attraction tools.”

Projects honored Friday include business and community development initiatives, historic preservation, community celebration and revitalization success stories from communities across Wisconsin.

“The Main Street Awards offer a chance to celebrate some of our communities’ most creative downtown efforts and hopefully inspire a few new ideas,” Hughes said.
Wisconsin Main Street is a community development program administered by WEDC that targets Wisconsin’s historic commercial districts. WEDC provides technical support and training to the 34 Main Street communities to help them revitalize their business districts based on guidelines developed by the National Main Street Center.

Since the program’s inception in 1987, Wisconsin Main Street community projects have resulted in the creation of more than 3,200 new businesses and nearly 16,500 net new jobs. In addition, over $2.1 billion in private investment has occurred in Wisconsin Main Street communities.

During fiscal year 2022, Wisconsin Main Street communities added 215 new businesses and 647 net new jobs. None of this activity would be possible without the nearly 33,000 volunteer hours that were dedicated to the Main Street effort by passionate individuals from around the state.

Also represented at the awards event were members of WEDC’s Connect Communities Program, a companion program to Wisconsin Main Street created in 2013 to provide access to resources and training to help communities pursue revitalization and redevelopment efforts. Over the years, 133 participating communities have added 700 businesses, 3,100 new jobs and attracted about $3.6 billion in private investment.

2022 Main Street Award winners

Best Special Event
Winner: Party on the Pavement, Racine
Honorable Mention: Viroqua Kids Market, Viroqua

Best Business Success Story
Co-Winner: Stateline Mental Health Services, Beloit
Co-Winner: Copper State Brewing Company, On Broadway, Green Bay

Best Public-Private Partnership
Winner: Watertown Public Library, Watertown

Best New Business
Co-Winner: Natural Heritage Art Centre, Osceola
Co-Winner: HoneyBee Sage Wellness & Apothecary, Historic King Drive, Milwaukee

Best Façade Rehabilitation Under $20,000
Winner: Sideways Wine & Craft Beer, Tomahawk

Best Digital Marketing Effort
Winner: Downtown History Minute Video Series, Wausau

Best Cooperative Business Marketing
Winner: Fashion Show on Monument Square, Racine

Best Business Development/Retention Program
Open Flags/Security Cameras/Photo Sessions, Downtown Fond du Lac Partnership
Connect Communities Award-Best Revitalization Initiative-Under 5,000 Population
Winner: Kevin and Yariba Gonzalez, Hillsboro
Connect Communities Award-Best Revitalization Initiative-Over 5,000 Population
Co-Winner: Stone + Suede LLC, Waupun
Co-Winner: Streetscape Improvements, City of Jefferson

Best Interior Renovation Under $50,000
Winner: Trademark Restorations, Beloit

Best Volunteer Engagement
Winner: On Broadway, Inc., Green Bay

Best Private Placemaking Improvement Project
Winner: The Smockettes’ Spring Ephemeral Mural Project, Viroqua

Best Public Placemaking Improvement Project
Winner: Cheese, Glorious Cheese, Monroe

Best Retail Event
Winner: Doe on the Go, Osceola

Best Façade Rehabilitation Over $20,000
Winner: Northern States Power Building, La Crosse

Best Storefront Display
Winner: Diamond Rock Glass Studio, Tomahawk
Diversity & Inclusion Award
Co-Winner: Wausau Pride, Wausau
Co-Winner: Black History Month, Racine

Best Upper Floor Development
Winner: House Blend Lighting & Design, Chippewa Falls

Best Promotional Marketing Campaign
Winner: Downtown Holiday Gift Guide, Marshfield

Best Creative Fundraising Effort
Winner: High Five, On Broadway, Green Bay

Best New Building
Winner: Wright & Wagner Lofts, Beloit

Best Historic Restoration Project
Winner: Hotel Wausau/Landmark Apartments, Wausau

Best Interior Renovation Over $50,000
Co-Winner: Toad in the Hole, Eagle River
Co-Winner: White Oak Design & Build, Watertown

Wisconsin Main Street Hall of Fame 2022 Inductee
Hope Oostdik – Lake Mills

Individuals recognized for exemplary service included:
Executive Director Years of Service Awards
Kaelie Gomez – Marshfield (5 years)
Kelly Kruse – Racine (5 years)
Blake Opal-Wahoske – Wausau (5 years)
Shauna El-Amin – Beloit (12 years)
Teri Ouimette - Chippewa Falls (13 years)
Dianne Eineichner - West Allis (15 years)
Amy Hansen - Fond du Lac (16 years)
Craig Tebon – Ripon (31 years)
2022 Wisconsin Main Street Volunteers of the Year
Danielle Clifton – Beloit
Donna Rogers – Cuba City
Michael Brodhagen – Green Bay
Andrew Steger – La Crosse
Kelly Korth - Marshfield
Janet Treleven - Omro
Jane Maki - Osceola
Bob Stauffacher – Platteville
Pat McLain – Tomahawk
Michele Williams – Viroqua
Candy Stramara – Watertown


The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) leads economic development efforts for the state by advancing and maximizing opportunities in Wisconsin for businesses, communities and people to thrive in a globally competitive environment. Working with more than 600 regional and local partners, WEDC develops and delivers solutions representative of a highly responsive and coordinated economic development network. Visit or follow WEDC on Twitter @WEDCNews to learn more.

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