Still unconvinced that preservation initiatives can spark revitalization?  Here’s what the Detroit News had to say in the article, Main Street Plan Aids Downtowns:

In 2004, more than $97 million in public and private investments were pumped into the 10 communities involved in the revitalization program (Main Street Oakland County program). Communities like Pontiac, Rochester and Farmington are a few areas that are enhancing their downtowns while preserving historic buildings.

In addition to the investment, Main Street Oakland created 238 jobs last year, and 25 new businesses. Some 105 housing units were also developed, adding more than 198,000 square feet of floor space, according to Bob Dustman, communications officer for Oakland County.

And in the four-year history of the program, more than $273 million has been filtered into the area.

“This is tremendous news for a great program that has proven its worth in just four short years,” said County Executive L. Brooks Patterson.

The News also gives a nice overview of the program:

The Main Street Oakland County program is a partner of the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s National Main Street Center. It provides communities with technical assistance and advice to enhance their downtowns while preserving historical buildings. During the first three years, the county steers the equivalent of $60,000 to $100,000 in free consulting to selected communities. All can stay a part of Main Street as long as they follow the program standards and make improvements, giving them access to about $25,000 a year after the initial three-year start-up phase. The following communities are in the program:  Farmington, Ferndale, Holly, Lake Orion, Ortonville, Oxford Township, Pontiac, Rochester, Royal Oak, and Walled Lake.