Cassidi Kendrick is just moving in — and her office shows it.
No photos, very little furniture and those brainstorming sheets of poster-sized paper — four of them — taped to a wall in the basement of City Hall indicated a work in progress. That goes hand in hand with her position as Enterprise’s Main Street director.
Her first day on the job was Nov. 13 when Main Street Alabama officials unloaded a ton of information for Kendrick as she helps form Alabama’s newest Main Street city. The first presentation was 250 slides.
“I was so glad they were here,” Kendrick said. “It was a lot, but I’m really, really excited.”
Main Street Alabama is a non-profit program geared around downtown revitalization. Kendrick was hired to help implement Main Street’s program. She will be working closely with Enterprise Tourism Director Tammy Doerer.
“The big, key thing is it’s a four-point approach,” Doerer said about the Main Street Alabama system. “They have an approach to how you do revitalization — organization, design, economic vitality and promotion. So it branches out so that you’re covering every facet of what makes a downtown work.”
Just becoming a Main Street Alabama city wasn’t easy. Doerer went through a five-month application process to get approved. But she learned a lot about the city as she went through the process.
“You learn that it takes everybody being involved,” Doerer said. “I can’t find out who those buildings are owned by unless you have a source from the county. I don’t know the price a building sold for unless I’m working with the commercial real estate people. You couldn’t finish their application by sitting at this desk and Googling.
“We worked with engineering folks, economic development, historical groups and developers — then business owners, which is what this is all about.”
She said that process to become a Main Street Alabama city was a collaboration of the chamber of commerce, economic development, the Downtown Enterprise Business Association and the city.
Kendrick brings some experience working with Main Street when she was in college at Georgia Southern. The Augusta, Georgia, native saw first-hand the benefits Main Street had on a thriving downtown in Statesboro, Georgia.
“When I was there I was just a public relations assistant, but we got to help with everything in the office — all four of those main points,” Kendrick said. “We ran all the First Friday events downtown, we did our annual meeting, we did everything.
“When this opportunity opened up here, I was like, yes. This is what I want to do.”
Of course, Main Street was well established before she started working in Statesboro. This is literally a ground-floor challenge.
“Right now, we’re in the Catalyst phase, the very beginning,” Kendrick said. “When I was in Statesboro, they were in Stage 3, where we were doing the loft apartments in the businesses downtown. We had façade grants. That’s what I really look forward to bringing here.”
Her experience will help the Enterprise project.
“Just having that vision, when we really haven’t seen that here,” Doerer said. “We don’t know what ‘right’ looks like. It’s helpful to have that. You always need that outside eye looking in.”
Kendrick said she’s looking forward to “pouring the foundation” on this project. In addition to a Board of Directors, each of those four major areas — organization, design, economic vitality and promotion — will have its own committee.
“Job 1 is to make a Board of Directors for the program and after that we can get each of the four committees started up and then really get it going. The first step is to get the board,” Kendrick said.
The goal is to have a board in place by January, when Main Street Alabama’s state coordinators return for a second visit.
Kendrick is looking for property owners, business owners, even people outside of the Main Street district — from Fort Rucker and ESCC, for example — to get a broad community-wide representative board.
“There’s a lot of outside interest,” Doerer said. “This whole thing won’t work if it’s just downtown. It’s centered on downtown, but it’s meant to encompass the entire Circle.”
Doerer has heard questions about why Enterprise’s downtown needs this program, and she agrees there is a great foundation downtown already.
“We’re super proud, the city is super proud of the commitment of those individual business owners, what they’ve done and how it looks,” Doerer said. “This is a commitment to them. They built the foundation.
“This is making that infrastructure so we can add that next floor. Each year, Main Street will help us build another floor. They do branding, they come down and do design.
“We want to be sure the businesses are well served, that the citizens are served with promotional stuff and some excitement in downtown. That’s how Cassidi and I will work together. She will put together her board, her committees. To get this next layer set so that we can take something that’s really great and make it even better.”
Anyone interested in getting involved with Enterprise’s Main Street program can contact Kendrick at 334-406-1274, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.