Downtown Pontiac 2013 Year In Review
Downtown Pontiac continues to show incredible strides of transformation with vibrancy in business and sense of community.
Glen Konopaskie, President and Executive Director for the Pontiac Downtown Business Association summarizes yet another incredible year in Downtown Pontiac.
A message from Glen Konopaskie, President of the Pontiac Downtown Business Association
The Pontiac Downtown Business Association (PDBA) has shown another strong year of leadership for the Downtown and the City of Pontiac. Beginning early this year with recognition from Main Street Oakland County for "Leadership & Integrity" as well as awards for "Workplans & Execution" and "Team Spirit" amongst other Downtown Main Streets within Oakland County. Our program last year set a new standard for Work Plans, and in 2014 the Promotions Committee sets yet another new standard with the first two year Work Plan from an Oakland County Main Street community.
Your Pontiac Downtown Business Association’s leadership commits to continue delivering an environment that supports a high level of support and execution. We look forward once again to our incredible membership to continue to have Responsible Participation and volunteering as we build up downtown and the surrounding neighbourhoods.
Next year represents almost 2 decades of the Downtown Business Association’s work in the City. Since 2011 we have seen a massive change in our leadership and responsibilities in Pontiac, and both our growing pains & accomplishments have shown that.
In late 2010 the association was taken out of mothballs after a couple of rough years for the City. We (PDBA) came back to support a private sector initiative which brought in almost 60 new businesses in the first quarter of 2011. Since then we have seen almost 160 new businesses come and go with a net gain close to 100 calling Downtown their permanent home, plus 60 new lofts which are now full.
We have seen over 2 dozen buildings purchased and under some level of renovation or planning, and over $30 million of investment. 2014 already shows no plans of slowing down!
This year the strong foundation the Downtown Business Association built in 2011 and 2012 showed it’s strength as leaders not only in downtown but at the city level. We have shown the strength of partnerships with companies, government entities and dozens of other organizations to make connections that have impacted the Downtown and City wide. Your Board of Directors and Committee Chairs have advocated for you at the City, County, State and Federal levels including numerous trips to Lansing and Washington DC. The PDBA also has representation on the Mayor Elect's Transition Advisory Committees and is part of the group putting together the Quarterly Pontiac Business Conference series.
In 2013, our Main Street Program achieved National Accreditation in our first year of taking the program over from the City of Pontiac. We also purchased two blighted properties and have started construction on a new community park. 2013 was also the culmination of parking talks with the City resulting in the PDBA securing street parking control, and we now have vendor proposals under review. Join us at our January 15 meeting as this and many key items will be address in our first Quarter of 2014.
This year has also seen significant changes in our city as we emerged from 4 years of Emergency Management. With our new BBB+ bond rating and stable financial outlook we are attracting investors and businesses to our City, which in turn pay taxes to help fund City operations and support our residents and businesses.
Many great new projects including the M-1 Concourse; the largest auto-enthusiasts venue in North America, the Wesson Tennis Club; the first major lawn tennis club built in the United States in 100 years, the Oliver Street Farms & Vineyards, yes chardonnay grapes for wine can grow in our weather, and more! As we attract more businesses and residents to our city, as we form more public/private partnerships to strengthen our city, and as our residents continue to build up more and more Pontiac Pride and convert that into ACTION to uplift their neighbourhoods, we see amazing potential in 2014 and beyond. We have a lot of work to do yet, but we have the foundation in place, and the resilience of a great city to achieve our goals of full recovery.
To stay up to date with our Facebook sites, and visit our new website for Downtown Pontiac at www.PontiacDBA.com.
Happy New Year to all and to an incredible 2014,
President, Pontiac Downtown Business Association