We at the Downtown Racine Corp. could not be more enthused about the truly unprecedented opportunities that exist for our Downtown, city and community. What a truly exciting time for Downtown Racine. We have made tremendous progress, the current momentum is incredibly strong and the best is yet to come.
DRC has created the following new vision statement to communicate its excitement and to reflect these opportunities: Downtown Racine, with its scenic lakefront and historic Main Street, is the true heart and economic engine of our community; a vibrant and diverse destination to live, shop, explore and conduct business.
We have many truly exciting catalysts that we’re leveraging as we pursue this vision, including:
- The arrival of Foxconn is a major benefit to our local community and our downtown. We are thrilled that Foxconn has purchased two buildings Downtown for the location of its “smart city initiative.”
- The announcements of projects that will significantly increase our dense, market-rate residential housing at North Beach, the Lake Avenue/Gaslight Point site, Sixth Street at Root River, Fifth and Wisconsin Street and the YMCA project. This is a game changer for our existing Downtown business and new business opportunities.
- The announcement of a Sheraton Hotel and Convention Center adjacent to Festival Hall will bring thousands of visitors to our community on both weekdays and weekends.
- The influx of unique foodie, jewelry, arts and crafts and other businesses which increase the diversity of offerings Downtown. To date, 2019 has seen 11 new businesses open in Downtown.
- Our incredible and unique assets of proximity to the lake, tremendous architecture (the best in the state per renowned downtown expert Roger Brooks) and the easy walkability of our Downtown.
- Our power as the economic engine for our city, as it is our greatest opportunity to attract new development, significantly increase property values, create increases in tax revenue and support vital programs throughout the city.
- The accreditation as a Wisconsin Main Street Community, which provides access to free resources and best practices.
- Mutually beneficial partnerships with the City of Racine and Racine County, including inclusion in the city’s 2019 budget for an independent consultant’s review of Monument Square for a potential redesign and for a traffic calming and parking study.
- Tremendous partnerships with our corporate sponsors who recognize the significant value of a vibrant downtown and its critical value to our community.
- The development of an outstanding marketing, tourism and economic development plan by the DRC leveraging all of the above including a reach of more than 13,000 followers on social media, via email blasts and with text marketing.
- Programming of more than 120 event days in Downtown planned in 2019.
With this plethora of new and exciting great news for Downtown, the Downtown Racine Corp. is working extremely hard to capitalize on all of it and make us the best downtown in the state of Wisconsin. Our mission is to foster economic, social and cultural diversity by stimulating business development, programming events, and marketing downtown to the community, developers and tourists. We believe a truly vibrant downtown will spread to the city’s other economic districts over time including uptown, West Racine, Douglas Avenue, State Street, etc.
Bench scavenger hunt
The Downtown Racine Corp.’s 18th annual public art project of benches with celebrating, “Racine’s Past, Present & Future,” has officially been unveiled to the public. To make this year’s public art as interactive as possible, a free self-paced scavenger hunt called Bench Marks The Spot will be available all summer long.
During this scavenger hunt, participants will tour Downtown Racine in search of 33 benches, answering questions that pertain to each individual bench. If 25 questions are answered correctly, participants will receive a $5 Downtown Racine gift certificate. The “Bench Marks The Spot” scavenger hunt question cards and map are available at the Downtown Racine Corporation office, 425 Main St., or they can be downloaded at racinedowntown.com/benchmarksthespot.
For information on how you can volunteer or donate to the Downtown Racine Corp., email Kelly Kruse at firstname.lastname@example.org. We would love to hear from you. To join our email list visit racinedowntown.com. To join our text club, text the keyword: Racine to 95577.
Kelly Kruse is the executive director and Dave Kamm is the chairman at Downtown Racine Corp.
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