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DETROIT-Farmington and Pontiac have been chosen to participate in the third year of Main Street Oakland County, a county-wide downtown revitalization program, based upon their commitment and readiness. The economic development program was instituted by Oakland County planning and economic development services to provide assistance for downtown revitalization and historic preservation.

As partners with the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Main Street Center, Oakland County is the first county in the nation to use the Main Street principles and to provide downtown design, promotion, organization, business recruitment and counseling services on a county-wide basis.

Both Farmington and Pontiac have previously applied for Main Street designation. Farmington and Pontiac join Ferndale, Holly, Lake Orion, Rochester, Royal Oak and Walled Lake as Main Street Oakland County communities.

Pontiac is definitely the most needy of all the communities. Vacant storefronts and office buildings fill the Downtown area. Even entertainment venues struggle with massive turnover in the city, which saw its heyday in the earlier part of the 20th century, when General Motors established plants that helped build the city. Now, the central Oakland County city is the one of the poorest communities in the area.

Farmington already has a quaint Downtown in a well-developed, posh area.

The cities will also benefit from the resources of the Downtown Design Studio in Pontiac. The studio serves as a showcase for downtown redevelopment programs, as well as classrooms for students from Lawrence Technological University’s College of Architecture and Design.

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