Main Street Cultural District undergoing analysis


Photo: David Derong/Iowa State Daily

Jerusha Cascione, graduate student at Iowa State, browses through a clothing rack at The Loft in downtown Ames. Cascione and her husband spent the afternoon strolling down Main Street and stopped into The Loft on a whim.

Katie Devore

The Ames Main Street Cultural District will host a “Designing Your District” public meeting at 7 p.m. March 29.

As part of the Main Street Iowa Program, downtown Ames receives support from the Iowa Economic Development Authority through technical training and analyses. The Iowa Economic Development Authority will hire a consultant to do a retail analysis. From March 29 to 30, she will visit downtown Ames, meeting with city representatives, business owners and Main Street Cultural District representatives. This analysis is essential to positioning Ames as a retail destination.

“We’re already such a great retail destination; we’re No. 1 in retail sales out of all 48 main street communities,” Tom Drenthe, executive director of Main Street Cultural District said.

At the public meeting, the consultant will present the project ‘Designing Your District’ to the public, and there will be time for a question and answer session. 

The results from the consultant will come at a later date but Drenthe has high expectations.

“We are already doing some really great things in Ames but having an expert of economic development come in and perform a retail analysis will help us optimize our district,” Drenthe said. “We are hoping she can come back with real specific, concrete recommendations that we can do to improve our district.”