The Ardmore Main Street Authority is in talks to bring in an outside consultant to help recruit and retain downtown businesses, Ardmore Main Street Authority General Manager Jeff DiMiceli said during a board meeting Thursday.
Board Members are set to vote on whether to bring in Hilary Greenberg, an expert based out of North Carolina specializing in planning and economic development along downtown and ‘underutilized’ areas, in the next meeting.
“We don’t need another study, we’ve gotten plenty of studies before,” DiMiceli said. “We need a plan. We need to take action.”
Greenberg is the president of Greenberg Development Services which bills itself as a development firm that works with local governments and redevelopment organizations in the area of retail leasing, property redevelopment and business retention.
The board was presented with a series of potential services, including a downtown market study, a development plan, an on-site workshop for technical assistance and training for economic vitality.
The development plan would include strategies for working with owners of vacant properties, marketing and financial incentives to recruit the specific kind of business that would benefit Ardmore’s downtown area and tips for strengthening existing businesses.
Greenberg Development Services has a long list of clients ranging from Alabama to Wyoming including work in Ponca City.
Depending on what plans the Ardmore Main Street Authority could potentially agree on, the estimated cost DiMiceli said would range between $8,000 to $12,000.
DiMicelli offered alternatives to Greenberg, including reaching out to Main Street America and another unnamed organization that had been in talks with the AMSA.
“We’re to the point to where we really have to start putting feet to the pavement and come up with a plan, we can’t just talk, we need somebody that knows how to put the roadmap together,” DiMiceli said. “I wish I did, but currently. I don’t know anybody that does other than bringing in a professional in the field.”
DiMiceli added that regardless of who the AMSA decides to bring in, that it’s imperative that the consultant has the support of the board.
“The study and the plan will be the easy part, before we vote yes or no, whoever we end up with they have to know we’re behind them. [Putting the plan into action] they won’t make that happen, it’s not what we’re hiring them for,” DiMiceli said.