Cedar Rapids, Iowa – Czech Village New Bohemia Main Street District has been designated as an accredited Main Street America™ program for meeting rigorous performance standards set by the National Main Street Center. Each year, the National Main Street Center and its partners announce the list of accredited Main Street America programs to recognize their exemplary commitment to preservation-based economic development and community revitalization through the Main Street Approach™
“We are proud to acknowledge this year’s 840 nationally accredited Main Street America programs that have worked tirelessly to strengthen their communities. said Patrice Frey, President & CEO of the National Main Street Center. “These programs deserve recognition for generating impressive economic returns, preserving community character, and celebrating local history. Main Street America Accredited communities are part of a powerful movement of changemakers, and their dedication to improving quality of life in the places they call home is inspiring.
In 2018 alone, Main Street America programs generated $4.93 billion in local reinvestment, helped open 5,310 net new businesses, generated 25,301 net new jobs, catalyzed the rehabilitation of 8,146 historic buildings, and clocked 2.2 million volunteer hours.
The Czech Village New Bohemia Main Street District performance is annually evaluated by Main Street Iowa under the Iowa Economic Development Authority, which works in partnership with the National Main Street Center to identify the local programs that meet ten national performance standards. Evaluation criteria determines the communities that are building comprehensive and sustainable revitalization efforts and include standards such as fostering strong public-private partnerships, documenting programmatic progress, and actively preserving historic buildings.
CVNB Main Street Committee structure supports local businesses, property owner assistance, district wide promotion and communication, and engagement of both residents and tourists. A highlight of 2018 was when the Iowa Economic Development Authority awarded Czech Village – New Bohemia Main Street District a $60,000 Challenge Grant for the Czech Cottage Rehabilitation. The upcoming extensive restoration of the Czech Cottage, a major gateway building into the Czech Village neighborhood, will dramatically improve the physical appearance of a key contributing historic structure. Several later, non-historic modifications will be removed and replaced with historically appropriate materials. In addition, a second-story apartment unit will be dramatically renovated to meet the current needs of the high-demand urban housing market in Cedar Rapids.
“Going into our Tenth Year as a Main Street District, we are thankful for so many projects that have been accomplished. With help from great people and business partners in Cedar Rapids we have grown significantly into a thriving district after near ruin from the flood of 2008. We are grateful for local support and dedication to our mission of providing small business assistance, developing regional partnerships, supporting infill development, historic preservation, and enhancing quality of life factors.” – Scott Kruger CVNB Board President
The Czech Village New Bohemia Main Street Building Improvement Fund has successfully assisted more than 25 rehabilitation projects, leveraging more than $250,000 in private investment. The goal is to provide financial assistance to property owners and sponsored tenants who demonstrate a strong dedication to district revitalization. In 2018, Mad Modern received a $4,000 Grant for improvements including: stucco repair, replacing “terra cotta style” roof tiles, and historically appropriate garage door. Little Bohemia also received a $4,000 Grant for exterior woodwork repair & new paint.
The Board has also recently seized this 10 Year Milestone as a time to redouble efforts to ensure that its neighborhoods — some of the community and region’s most vibrant — retain their charm as they continue to develop into even better places to live, work and play. To achieve this vision, the Board has recently hired two positions to support the growth of the area. Abby Huff joins the CVNB Main Street as the Executive Director, who focuses efforts on in district support and Main Street collaboration and growth. The board also created a new position to drive and facilitate the strategic vision and development of the district. Monica Vernon joined the organization as the Czech Village New Bo Main Street Executive Director of Strategic Development.
Continuing on to the second decade of the organization, the district has endless potential in developing and redeveloping its built environment and continuing to build on eclectic culture and its reputation for being an energizing and vibrant place for residential neighborhoods, a fun place to work and an exciting place for experiencing art, culture and entertainment of all types.
Czech Village New Bohemia Main Street District, established in 2009, is a vibrant urban neighborhood focused on historic preservation and economic development. The mission is to encourage economic growth and promote preservation by working together toward a shared vision through implementation of the Main Street Four-Point Approach®. Building on its unique history, the District is a dynamic arts and culture venue that provides interesting, authentic and enriching experiences that complement the downtown with a variety of shopping, dining, arts, and cultural entertainment opportunities that can only be found here.
ABOUT MAIN STREET AMERICA
Main Street America has been helping revitalize older and historic commercial districts for more than 35 years. Today, it is a network of more than 1,600 neighborhoods and communities, rural and urban, who share both a commitment to place and to building stronger communities through preservation-based economic development. Since 1980, communities participating in the program have leveraged more than $79.12 billion in new public and private investment, generated 640,017 net new jobs and 143,613 net new businesses, and rehabilitated more than 284,936 buildings. Main Street America is a program of the nonprofit National Main Street Center, a subsidiary of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.