Next Step Underway for Sparta Downtown Revitalization

On March 11, between 7 and 9 p.m., local residents may be receiving a phone call for a survey about downtown Sparta. Be nice – this isn’t a telemarketer.

This will be a call from Sparta business representatives, as well as many Sparta High School Interact Club members, to conduct a short phone survey to ask questions about downtown businesses.

The questions will include topics such as why shoppers visit downtown Sparta, how often do they visit downtown Sparta, where do you do most of your family shopping, and why do you choose to shop in other areas.

The purpose behind this anonymous survey is to collect information about current downtown Sparta to current and new potential shoppers from as far as 20 miles away. Working with the national consultants HyettPalma, downtown Sparta business representatives are kicking off the residential phone survey project as part of the blueprint process.

The blueprint process is a program designed to give a community a market-based downtown action plan, used to guide downtown’s revitalization efforts of the next five years. The blueprints program was a grant awarded to the Village of Sparta as one of six eligible communities.

The “Blueprint for Michigan’s Downtown” program is a grant award from the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA).

In addition to the phone survey, Sparta area business representatives, as part of the Blueprint Committee, are scheduled to host a Sparta area town meeting on Tuesday, March 24, 2009 at the Sparta Civic Center at 7 p.m. The town meeting is open for community members, business representatives, organization leaders, and residents to voice their thoughts of the future for downtown Sparta. Working with the consultants, the community will answer questions such as:

If the residents, business community, and government were to work together over the next five years to make downtown Sparta the best it could be, what would you like to see result from that effort?

For you to consider those efforts a success, what kind of an experience would you like to be able to have in downtown Sparta five years from now?

What would be the type of businesses found in downtown? Who would the customers and users of our successful downtown be in five years? What kinds of goods and services would you find here? What would you like downtown’s image to be five years from now?

The blueprint plan is sponsored by the Sparta Downtown Development Authority in participation with the Village of Sparta.

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