OUR ORGANIZATION

 

In 2003, a broad coalition of Dupont Circle stakeholders gathered together under the leadership of the Dupont Circle Merchants and Professionals Association (DC MAP) to develop a Main Streets program for Dupont Circle.

The Historic Dupont Circle Main Streets (HDCMS) is a volunteer-driven, commercial revitalization organization that serves to educate businesses about government relations, business issues, and historic preservation. It promotes businesses through events, branding, and advertising; and improves the value of commercial building owners through economic enhancement.

HDCMS is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization governed by a Board of Directors who represent the full spectrum of professional and community interests in the Dupont Circle Commercial Corridors. The full Board meets monthly to review the business of the organization. The committees also meet regularly to discuss the progress of their projects. The day-to-day activities of HDCMS are carried out through its committees, made up of active volunteers from all walks of life. The HDCMS board and committee activities are supported by the executive director, who keeps all the parts moving forward.
 
HDCMS’s financial support comes primarily from grants, contributions, events, and sponsorships. Our largest grant funder is the Department of Small and Local Business Development, launched by the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development, which emphasizes strengthening organizations engaged in revitalization activity, promoting and marketing business districts, and improving the physical appearance and economic health of neighborhood business districts.

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OUR VISION

HDCMS’ vision for the Dupont Circle commercial district is to create a strong neighborhood identity, distinctive historic character, clean and well-maintained public areas, a safe and attractive environment, and a balance of small, independent businesses and national chains.

OUR MISSION

The mission of Historic Dupont Main Streets is to promote and plan the improvements of the cultural, physical, and economic qualities of Dupont Circle, and maintain those improvements, to make the neighborhood an exemplary place to live, work, and play.

OUR COMMITTEES

The Main Streets model for commercial revitalization uses a committee based Four Point Approach:

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DESIGN

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PROMOTION

ECONOMIC

ENHANCEMENT

ORGANIZATION

This revitalization approach is active in over 1,600 communities nationwide. The Main Street Four-Pont Approach is a model reliant on a small staff and hundreds of community volunteers who simultaneously work on the four fronts to achieve comprehensive success.

OFFICERS

Mandy Warfield, Chair
Tim Touchette, Vice-Chair
James Gebara, Treasurer
Sue Taylor, Secretary

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

James Gebara, PNC Bank
Rob Halligan, Halligan Projects
Colleen Hawkinson, DC BID
Michael Kain, Kain & Associates
Paul London, Washington Sports Clubs

Robert Meins, Dupont Underground
Susan Taylor, Scientology Church of DC
Tim Touchette, Corporate Housing
Mandy Warfield, Dupont Circle Rotary
Mesha Williams, Resident

BOARD OF ADVISORS

David Chalker, TD Bank
John Jedzinak, Dupont Circle Conservancy
Paul Kuntzler, Gay Men’s Chorus

Doug Loescher,  Civic Strategies
Kathy Luu,  SpaLogic

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Bill McLeod is the executive director of Historic Dupont Circle Main Streets working to build organizational capacity and fund raise. Prior to that, he was the executive director of the Mount Vernon Triangle CID, a business improvement district on the East End of Washington, DC for six years. And before that, he was the executive director of Barracks Row Main Street for four years. He also worked for the National Trust for Historic Preservation's National Main Street Center for seven years and the Heritage Tourism program for one year. Mr. McLeod earned his MBA from George Washington University and an undergraduate degree from Houghton College in Social Science.

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The National Main Street Center is a program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Created by a Congressional Charter in 1949, the National Trust is a leading advocate of historic preservation in the United States. Today, the preservation movement involves more than just saving historic buildings; Economic growth, urban revitalization, and the creation of new jobs are all issues the National Trust addresses through the rehabilitation of historic structures.
 
Established by the National Trust in 1980, the National Main Street Center (NMSC) has worked in 44 states and Puerto Rico. Through these efforts 226,900 net new jobs have been created, $16.1 billion have been reinvested in Main Street commercial districts, 56,300 net new businesses have been created, 88,700 buildings have been rehabilitated, and 1,668 communities have built strong organizations to revitalize their commercial districts.
 
The NMSC offers a professional membership program for organizations involved in commercial district revitalization. It produces publications, newsletters, and special reports on revitalization and preservation issues and serves as a clearinghouse for information on community redevelopment issues. The NMSC accomplishes its mission through the Main Street Four-Point Approach: design, organization, promotion, and economic restructuring.
 
DESIGN takes advantage of the visual opportunities by directing attention to all of its physical elements: public and private buildings, storefronts, signs, public spaces, landscaping, merchandising, displays, and promotional materials. Its aim is to stress the importance of design quality in all of these areas, to educate people about design quality, and to expedite improvements downtown.
 
PROMOTION takes many forms, but the goal is to create a positive image in order to rekindle community pride and improve retail sales events and festivals and create a positive public image in order to attract investors, developers build healthier merchants, and attract new businesses.
 
ECONOMIC RESTRUCTURING strengthens existing economic assets while diversifying its economic base. This is accomplished by retaining and expanding existing businesses to provide a balanced commercial mix, converting unused or underutilized space into productive property, sharpening the competitiveness and merchandising skills of businesspeople, and attracting new businesses that the market can support.
 
ORGANIZATION establishes consensus and cooperation by building partnerships among the various groups that have a stake in the community. This will allow the Main Street revitalization program to provide effective, ongoing management and advocacy of downtown. Diverse groups from the public and private sectors (local government, bankers, merchants, property owners, community leaders, and others) must work together to create and maintain a successful organization.

TRANSFORMATION STRATEGIES – generated through meaningful community engagement and informed by an analysis of the district’s market position — help to guide a revitalization program’s work. An effective Transformation Strategy serves a particular customer segment, responds to an underserved market demand, or creates a differentiated destination.

Some "ready-to-use" strategies — called Catalyst Strategies — fall into two broad categories: those that are focused on a specific customer segment and those that are focused on an industry, product, or service segment.

Examples include:

-  Workers and Residents
-  Elder Friendly and Aging-in-Place
-  Family-Friendly
-  Agriculture Center
-  Arts (performing and visual)
-  College Town
-  Convenience Goods and Services
-  Entertainment and Nightlife
-  Knowledge-Economy

Transformation Strategies are implemented through comprehensive work in four broad areas, known as the Four Points.

ECONOMIC VITALITY focuses on capital, incentives, and other economic and financial tools to assist new and existing businesses, catalyze property development, and create a supportive environment for entrepreneurs and innovators that drive local economies.

DESIGN supports a community’s transformation by enhancing the physical and visual assets that set the commercial district apart.

PROMOTION positions the downtown or commercial district as the center of the community and hub of economic activity, while creating a positive image that showcases a community’s unique characteristics.

ORGANIZATION involves creating a strong foundation for a sustainable revitalization effort, including cultivating partnerships, community involvement, and resources for the district.
 
To learn more about the National Main Street Center, visit their website at www.mainstreet.org.