Representatives from the Farmington Downtown Development Authority were on-hand to accept two recognition awards at the Main Street Main Event, held on Friday, March 4, 2011.

Receiving honors were the Village Mall, Outstanding Façade - Building Rehabilitation (Over $50,000) in the Design category, and the Grand River Avenue Streetscape Promotion Campaign, Outstanding Brand & Imaging Campaign, in the Promotion category.

Main Street Oakland County (MSOC) hosts the Main Event each year to celebrate achievements made toward revitalizing the downtowns of its participating communities.   Numerous awards are given in each of four categories, Organization, Design, Promotion and Economic Restructuring.  Communities must complete a rigorous application process to nominate a project or program for an award.  Selections based on merit are made by a panel of individuals named by MSOC.

The Village Mall

The partners in the Farmington Holding Company agreed it was the perfect time to take a bit of a financial risk, piggyback on the excitement of the newly completed downtown Streetscape and invest in a major renovation of the exterior of the Village Mall. The approved design honors the historic features of the original 1921 bank building while giving the Village Mall an attractive, new look. The completed renovation supplies a significant piece to the improvement of downtown Farmington. It again presents Farmington with a worthy focal building at the main intersection of town, Grand River Avenue and Farmington Road.

"Farmington Holding Company is pleased to have completed a project that compliments the streetscape,” reflected Managing Partner David Cornwell, who was quick to identify other contributors to the project.

“A large part of the recognition should go to Steve Schneemann and S3 Architecture for its creative work,” said Cornwell.  “We would like to thank the City of Farmington for its willingness to accommodate our work crews who were forced at times to barricade sidewalks and interrupt traffic patterns to get the job done.”

Ideas were generated for the façade project when Cornwell participated in the Design Assistance Program sponsored by Main Street Oakland County.   The project also was a recipient of financial assistance through the Farmington DDA’s Façade Incentive Program.

Grand River Avenue Streetscape Promotion Campaign

In May, 2009, work on the Grand River Avenue Streetscape began in Downtown Farmington.  To keep the community informed and excited about the project, the Farmington DDA executed the “It’s Happening” promotion campaign.   The campaign included print materials, giveaways, a web site, a video, a retail promotion and special events geared toward creating a positive image and enthusiasm for a construction project, which normally is seen as an inconvenience and deterrent to business.  Residents, merchants and volunteers united to make Downtown a “happening” place while the 9-month project progressed.  The result was a well-informed public and an active business climate.

“We’re so excited to receive this award,” said Dana Dunlop, former DDA Promotions Assistant.  “Working on the streetscape promotion was so rewarding.  It helped to keep the community engaged and inspired during the project and to support the downtown businesses during construction.”

The program was so popular and recognizable that the Farmington DDA continues to capitalize on the momentum the “It’s Happening” campaign created.

Each awardee was given a plaque featuring a unique Pewabic pottery tile in a distressed wood frame.