Archive for the News Category

Citywalk News for December

It’s December. That special month where everyone dreams of bigger and better things. The month where miracles do happen. This month, I would like to dream of what I would like to see my downtown look like. If I was looking to move into this community, how would our downtown and Ferguson Main Street encourage me to make Ferguson my home.

Since we’re dreaming, let’s dream big. If we could have anything we want, what would that look like?

When driving into our downtown, the first impression I would want to see is a bustling area. People walking, riding their bikes, sitting at a sidewalk café enjoying their meal. Tree lined streets with flower pots adding that splash of color along the sidewalks.

Bistros and bakeries wafting the smell of their fare onto the streets. Cafes and diners where we could find a small meal for breakfast or lunch. A corner grocer where we could pick-up something to take home to make for supper or stop and have dinner in a nice restaurant.

On special occasions, we could enjoy music at a local establishment or at an outdoor venue. Maybe even a cultural arts center where we can enjoy a play or a songwriter showcasing their new music. Maybe take in a comedy show or even go dancing to a Big Band Orchestra.

People could be seen just sitting on a bench enjoying the day. Restaurants with outdoor seating where people could enjoy their meal with a beer or a glass of wine while doing a little people watching.

The new modern buildings blend in with the historic architecture of our downtown when it was a destination. Office space and small manufacturing jobs draws people, young and old, to a place where there is not much of a commute. Mixed-use buildings where people can live and work in a business at street level. Young people living downtown making our Main Street the street where it’s happening.

What are these young people looking for in a community? Farmers markets, galleries with rotating exhibits, storefronts with beautiful displays and art, restaurants, craft breweries, and a source of entertainment. The streets and sidewalks would be free of litter. Flower pots lining the sidewalk. Windows in the stores decorated and showing off their ware. Flags would be waving in the breeze. The local business owner out on thessidewalk welcoming new patrons and enticing them into his place of businesss by showcasing the quality of their ware.

These are some things that come to mind when I dream of my perfect downtown. What about you? What are your dreams? What would you like to see as the miracle of our downtown?

Yes, as you know, Ferguson already has a lot of the offerings that I have mentioned in my dream downtown. I hope you make good use of them, because if we don’t frequent these establishments, they won’t be here long. And, if we can’t help a business stay in business, will more businesses be flocking to our door?

Main Street 314-882-1337

Citywalk News for November

I’m guessing that you have been noticing that a different and new logo has adorned this space the past couple of months. No longer the City-Walk logo, but the new and improved Ferguson Mainstreet logo has taken its place. It’s not that we are taking over what has been built up in our downtown since the business district was formed over the past 35 years. Our group plans to work with the business district to continue the revitalization and beautification of our downtown. The idea is that the more all interested parties can work together, the more can be accomplished.

I’m not suggesting that these two groups can make the downtown district an area we wish to be a part of, it will take a lot more than a few to get a lot of work done. We will be needing your help. But before we go into how you can be a part of the continued growth of our Downtown/Mainstreet, let’s discuss what the science of this revitalization entails.

Main Street America is a program that grew out of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. These organizations saw the importance of the preservation of our downtowns as a place that values its history, but looks forward, ready for the future, leveraging both the art and science of downtown revitalization to create a better quality of life for all. The results of these efforts are a community with a strong social cohesion and economic opportunity; a downtown that supports and sustains innovation and opportunity; places where people of diverse perspectives and backgrounds can come together to shape the future by creating a place where people will love to be.

The Mainstreet four-point approach is a comprehensive strategy to commercial district revitalization. The four points are organization, promotion, design, and economic vitality. Over the past year and a half, this approach has been described in the CityWalk article, but what makes this approach unique?

The Main Street approach has eight guiding principles that set it apart from other redevelopment strategies. These principles are;

1. Comprehensive. No single focus, such as lavish public improvements, name-brand business recruitment, or endless promotional events can do the job. For successful, long term revitalization, a comprehensive approach must be applied.

2. Incremental. Baby steps come before walking. Basic, simple activities lead to more sophisticated understanding of the revitalization process and help members of the community develop skills and resources to tackle more complex problems and ambitious projects.

3. Self-Help. Nobody else will save our Main Street. Local leaders must have a will and desire to mobilize local resources. That means convincing residents and business owners alike of the rewards for their investment of time and money on Main Street, the heart of their community.

4. Partnerships. Both public and private sectors have a vital interest in the district and can work together to achieve shared goals. Each sector has a role to play and each must understand the other’s strengths and limitations to forge an effective partnership.

5. Assets. Business districts must capitalize on the assets that make them unique. Every district has unique qualities like distinctive buildings and human scale that give people a sense of belonging. These local assets must serve as the foundation for all aspects of the revitalization program.

6. Quality. Emphasize quality in every aspect of the revitalization program. This applies to every element of the process, from storefront designs to promotional campaigns to educational programs. Shoestring budgets and ‘cut-and-paste’ efforts won’t do the job.

7. Change. Skeptics turn into believers. Almost no one believes Main Street can really turn around at first. Changes in attitude and practice are slow but definite, public support for change will build as the programs grows and consistently meets its goals.

8. Implementation. Activity creates confidence in the program and ever greater levels of participation. Frequent, visible changes are a reminder that the revitalization effort is under way. Small projects at the beginning of the program pave the way for larger activities as revitalization efforts matures.

These principles make a lot of sense to me as I hope they make on you. Like I said earlier, as well as last month, this cannot be done by a few. So, this is your call to action. We can’t expect that if we report something that we don’t like to the city that it will get taken care of, sometimes we have to take the matter into our own hands. That doesn’t mean that we can stop everyone driving through our community with expired tags, that is the job for our police department. But if we see some trash on the street, we can pick it up and dispose of it in a proper receptacle.

Next month at the Northern Lights Festival, we will be manning a booth asking for volunteers for multiple projects that are needed in our downtown district as well as other possibilities in other parts of our community. Stop by the booth and lend a hand to help get our downtown as well as the whole of our community headed in the right direction. Remember though, this will not be a one-time opportunity but an ongoing venture to insure that our community and the Ferguson Mainstreet is a place we can be proud of and happy that we are part of the development. See you at Northern Lights.

314-882-1337

Citywalk News for October

Volunteering

“Volunteering is the ultimate exercise in democracy. You vote in elections once a year, but when you volunteer, you vote every day about the kind of community you want to live in”. ~Author Unknown

Okay, this is what you’ll want to do. . . Close your eyes; click your heels together three times; and say, “I love Ferguson.”

Did you do that? If you didn’t, then maybe this isn’t the article that suits you right now. And if that is the case, don’t worry, you’ll come around.

As you probably know, one person cannot make a community that is the community where you would want to live. It takes everyone. Have you seen the movie; ‘Beauty and the Beast’? Well during one of the opening songs, everyone in town is performing their jobs that made up their village. The butcher, the baker, I don’t remember if there was a candlestick maker, but you get the gist. I know what you’re thinking, “but those are their jobs and I have my own job to do.” Everyone has their own jobs but the era that this movie is set, if it wasn’t for the butcher, not everyone would be able to put meat on their table, the baker made sure everyone had fresh baked goods, and they wouldn’t have been able to see when the sun went down if it wasn’t for the candlestick maker. It takes everyone to be able to pitch in to help make their community home.

So, what does that have to do with Ferguson? A lot!

If we were to count on our elected officials to instruct our administrative staff to take care of everything, there wouldn’t be enough time to get the things that were needed done. Let alone, the things that we take for granted and the things we enjoy. Those are the things that wouldn’t get done if it wasn’t for volunteers.

Would there be a Streetfest? What about Northern Lights? These are just a couple of things that wouldn’t get done without volunteers. The ‘Ferguson Farmers Market’ wouldn’t have even been considered without volunteers.

Today, I’m asking for your attention to consider volunteering. Let’s think of it as, ‘Helping to create the Ferguson that I would want to move into, if I didn’t already live here.’ That’s it. Step up, pitch in, and make our community something we can be proud of.

In the very near future, we’ll be asking for your help. If you love Ferguson, you’ll want to be the first in line. Keep your eyes open. This will be your call to action. fergusonmainstreet.org. 314-882-1337

“Volunteers do not necessarily have the time; they just have the heart.” ~Elizabeth Andrew

Citywalk News for September

Our scars show proof our resilience

By Mayor James W. Knowles III

“Scars show toughness: that you’ve been through it, and you’re still standing”

Theo Rossi– American Actor

By now most people know that being Mayor is not a full-time job, of course some days it seems to take up all or most of my time. As my full-time profession, I work for a company that owns and operates motor vehicle license offices across the state of Missouri. Though I’m an executive in the company, dealing mainly with administrative issues, from time to time I still find myself training managers in our offices and even working the counter processing transactions when needed. It’s that time, doing the most basic job in our company, that I still love the most. It’s and opportunity to interact with the general public all day. Most everyone must come through the license office at some point during the year. People of all ages, races, and backgrounds come to take care of their business, and, for me, those interactions and conversations with customers are often enjoyable, and sometimes enlightening.

Last month, while working the counter in the Florissant Office, a customer came through my line that made me ponder things that were then transpiring in our community. It was the week of the 5-year anniversary of Michael Brown’s death and the ensuing unrest. Media from all across the world had taken this opportunity to spend the previous weeks trying to relive the events of the past and pick at the scars that exist in our community and with some of our residents. While most of us wished to talk about the healing and the future, others (especially the media) simply wanted to re-live the pain of the past.

That week, in walks a customer to my line; an African American woman, probably in her late 50s. She is cheerful and pleasant with a glowing smile and a personality to match. All this even after waiting for 30+ minutes in line at the DMV, which is not enjoyable for anyone. I watched her hands as she proceeded to reach into her bag to grab her paperwork and I immediately noticed that her hands and arms were covered with scars and her fingers were mangled from what appeared to have been some severe trauma. As I waited on her I found myself momentarily speculating about her injuries and wondering about their source. What happened in this woman’s life to leave her visibly scarred and debilitated? How long ago did this happen? Is she still in pain? I could not imagine my reaction if I had undergone such pain and left with terribly visible scars.

But in that moment of introspection, I was suddenly struck by how she carried herself so confidently, without hesitation or shyness of her scars. Instead of covering her wounds or handing her head in shame, she acted as if her hands and skin were as perfect and unblemished as a models. As I processed her transaction I felt as if her example gave me perspective about things in my life, and certainly about things we went through in our community.

I imagined what life would be like for this woman if she spent her days staring at her scars and reliving the trauma that caused them. I imagined how her life would be and what her demeanor walking into my office would be, if she were constantly reminded of the trauma, the pain, and agonizing over the scars that it left behind. It seemed she was clearly better off viewing those scars as proof of her strength, and resilience. A badge of honor over what she has overcome and how she has persevered, not a Scarlett Letter of shame over what had happened to her.

Five years after our community endured its own trauma, this community has done a great deal to heal and persevere. He have our scars, some visible and some not. No matter what is rebuilt in our community, as long as the internet and the media replay images of the events that happened here, we will always have that visible reminder of our trauma. But scars don’t have to be a painful reminder of the trauma you faced, but rather a reminder about the obstacles overcome, the victory over adversity. And tearing at those scars are never productive, as that never truly allows for permanent healing to occur.

As a community, we shouldn’t be self-conscious or embarrassed by our scars, but rather confident that they exist because we still exist; and that we have overcome and in large part have moved forward. I was glad to see that during

the 5-year anniversary, those who wished to pick at the scar, point fingers, and stir emotions where overshadowed by those of us who wish to look forward and not relitigate the past. We shall always have the memory of the unrest that occurred here, but as long as this community stands tall and strong in its present day, the scars will continue to tell a story of triumph, not just be a reminder of tragedy.

Citywalk News for August

We have many opportunities available for those of you who would like to lend a hand and volunteer your time for the betterment of our community.

Look for future information in this space as to how Ferguson Main Street and you can contribute to the improvement of Ferguson.

Citywalk News for July

Greetings from CityWalk,

The Ferguson Special Business District has an opening for a board member position effective July 1, 2019.

This is a three-year position with a monthly commitment of 1.5 hours every second Thursday of the month. The board meets from 5:30pm-7:00pm at the Thomas Professional Building located at 910 S. Florissant Rd. 63135.

Our goal is to grow and maintain a strong business community that focuses on economic development, business professional development, and entrepreneurship. This position is open to current business owners within the Ferguson Special Business District.

Our next board meeting is scheduled for Thursday, July 11, 2019. Board members will be available to answer any questions you may have about joining. You may also contact any current board member for additional information.

4th of July Parade Starts at 10:00 a.m. at Paul Avenue and Florissant Road – then proceeds North on Florissant Road to January-Wabash Memorial Park. See you there!

Citywalk News for June

Hello Ferguson! My name is Kawana Waddell, I’m the owner of Style-Taneous Styles Boutique, located in the heart of Ferguson.

The boutique is very fashionable in women and men’s clothing ranging from casual to formal, accessories and more. We also specialize in personal wardrobe styling and custom made styling. If you have a picture or sketch . . . we can bring it to reality. We are located at 425-427 S. Florissant Rd. and we absolutely love it. Our boutique was previously located in Chesterfield prior to moving into our current location, which is much more fitting for us since we have lived in the Ferguson community for over 8 years.

Having a small business here in Ferguson, has literally been a life changing event for my family and I. My clientele has tripled; and we recently celebrated our 1 year anniversary being a small business in the Ferguson area. We outgrew our previous space and expanded into what was Corners Frame Shop. I couldn’t have asked for a better location.

Speaking of location, in celebration of our 1 year anniversary, we opened our men’s boutique in the space that we previously had and it’s off to a wonderful start. Please stop by and see us!

We are open Monday by appointment only and Tuesday through Thursday from noon to 7pm; Friday and Saturday 10am-8pm. We carry women sizes Small to Plus Size and Men’s Sizes Small to Big and Tall. We also host private Shopping with Twist Parties (which are so rewarding and fun) on Sundays.

Mark your calendars for our upcoming fashion show at the Ferguson Farmers Market on August 10, 2019 from 10am-noon. Hope to see you soon!

Contact: Kawana Waddell
styletaneousstyles@gmail.com
314-378-3443

Citywalk News for May

Angie Carron, owner of the OmTurtleYoga, Spa & Cafe, lived a high stress, low self-care lifestyle consequently leading to a multitude of physical and mental conditions. Rather than surrendering to pharmaceuticals, she chose the holistic practices of yoga, meditation, massage therapy and superfoods. With perseverance and patience she was able to regain her life. During the process, however, she learned there were so many others suffering in silence… just like she did. She was tired of driving outside of North County for therapeutic practices so she became determined to bring it all here. Compassion led to training. Training led to opportunity. Opportunity fueled passion. Passion led to carrying a yard sign and a yoga mat in Sioux Passage Park. People came.

She saw in her students the same healing she endured during her own practice and by the grace of God and support of her family, in 2013 she opened up her first yoga studio in Florissant to help support a healthier lifestyle for her community. In 2014, she quit her corporate job and built another yoga studio in Ferguson during the unrest to help provide a place of peace. In 2016, she expanded her Florissant location to include a therapeutic wellness spa. Finally, after 18 months of building, refurbishing and restoring, she expanded the Ferguson studio to include OmTurtleCafe. April marked the Grand Opening month and so far she’s off to a great start.

OmTurtleCafe is a rare gem in the citywalk district that provides high quality, healthy foods designed to nourish and heal the body. The atmosphere is refreshingly unique and welcoming. The staff is super friendly and the food is amazing! There’s even an urban market in which you can shop local artists. On the menu includes Kaldi’s Coffee, Smoothies, Juice Bar, Fresh Baked Goods, Homemade Soups, Superfood Salads, Bagel Sandwiches, Munchies and Boozies. All made with superb ingredients so that you can eat with purpose.

Phase 1 Hours are: Monday closed; Tue – Fri 8 AM -6 PM; Sat 9 AM- 2 PM; Sun 10 am – 2 PM. Live music on Saturdays.

Angie Carron E-RYT Certified
Founder OmTurtle Yoga + Spa + Cafe

www.omturtleyoga.com
www.facebook.com/omturtleyoga

Citywalk News for April

Hello from FSBD. So, you want to know more about Main Street? Well here is a glimpse of what the Main Street director roles encompass. This article is credited to Todd Wolford, Executive Director, Downtown Wytheville Inc.


Main Street directors are a one-of-a-kind group of individuals. They play many roles and wear every hat imaginable to make sure the job gets done. If you are a manager, you have to be okay with the fact that you are never not working. At the grocery store, the gym, even on vacation, people want to talk about projects, events or just general information about the organization and community; exhausting, yes, but part of the job.


The three P’s of the Main Street world are people, personalities and politics. Not mentioned as part of the job description is behavioral specialist or personal mediator, to name a few, but it sure does seem like directors are doing quite a bit of this from time to time amongst people. It is so important to get the right people involved who have the best interest of Main Street and FSBD in mind.


“Main Street directors in particular serve an important role in cultivating, inspiring and empowering people within their organization and extended volunteer base to see long lasting results.” –Norma Ramirez de Meiss, Leading Main Street.


Selling the locals of all people, can be one of the most challenging things as an organization. Some locals give feedback and voice what they think needs to happen but want to snap their fingers and see it on a project that may take years to materialize. If most knew the details of what goes into revitalization and economic development, I think it would be rather eyeopening for a lot of folks. Some locals want to criticize for what your town has not done, rather than celebrate what you have. It can be frustrating as a director. We have to stay the course, trust the process and focus on bringing positive change. Results will come and the numbers alone will validate the achievements. The naysayers become believers when the vision becomes reality.


Why Main Street? Is what is heard at times. Why are you focusing so much time and effort on Main Street and those old outdated buildings that are falling apart and have no parking as it is? Well, my question to these folks is, “why not?” Why not change the perception of our community and the way that our downtown is viewed? Why not create a culture that promotes bringing people together in an atmosphere that is walkable and where people can gather? Why not focus on the heart of our community and preserve the unique history from the past that many of the younger generation will not have the opportunity to know about? Lastly, what is the alternative? A vibrant downtown says a great deal about the well-being of a community as a whole.


How was Todd able to do it you ask? Well, from his standpoint, bridging the gaps between people, finding common ground, keeping everyone excited about projects, goals and events, but most importantly, leaving egos and personal agendas at the door.


Thank you Todd for that insight.

Citywalk News for March

As we continue to discuss Main Street and the important role it plays in developing a strong, resilient downtown, we are going to focus on the “Organization” this month. Organization involves building a governing framework that includes a diverse representation. Including all stakeholders, business and property owners, bankers, citizens, historians, public officials, chambers of commerce, and other preservation organizations, to meet the needs of the community and form a well-rounded Main Street. Everyone must work together in a long-term effort to renew downtown and maintain its stability into the future. The organization committee also trains and develops leaders for the community’s revitalization effort. Activities of a start-up Organization Committee begin with creating a not-for-profit organization, establishing priorities through comprehensive work plans, providing the organization with sustainable sources of revenue, and volunteer development.


Ferguson Main Street board members have completed the non-profit paperwork, bylaws and recently spent several hours developing their strategic plan for the next three years. We are working on developing a volunteer handbook and focusing on new revenue streams.


The Main Street Board has decided to focus on the Airport Road area in the business district. Several meetings have been held and several more planned to meet with business owners and prioritize their needs. The Main Street Director will present these findings to FSBD in a meeting next week and together we will begin to set a plan.


Recently, our Ferguson Main Street Director finished up a three-course program, “Funding Revitalization”. The classes discuss recruiting board members, committee leads and funding your organization. It was an in-depth look at who you need to involve, what it takes to be successful, and how to fund your organization to last for years. The information will be presented to the FSBD Board at the next meeting.


The Ferguson Main Street (FMS) Organization Committee is looking for merchants and property owners, residents, media, civic groups, accountants and legal professionals. The FMS Design Committee is a great fit for architects, real estate professionals, planners, designers, history buffs, and artist. The FMS Promotion Committee: is a great fit for marketing and tourism pros, downtown merchants and students; while the FMS Economic Vitality Committee is great for merchants, development pros, consumers, business students. For more information on Ferguson Main Street, contact marveena@fergusonmainstreet.org.


FSBD business owners have a standing invitation to attend meetings of the Ferguson Special Business District Advisory Board, which meets the 2rd Thursday of the month from 5:30-7:30 p.m. FSBD meets at Baked Wood-Fire Pizza, 235 S. Florissant Rd. For more information, please contact Marveena Miller at 314-324-4298 or marveenamiller@hotmail.com.


FSBD would like to welcome new Board President, Carita Douglas.


FSBD currently has an opening for the Ferguson Special Business District Advisory Board. The board is set up to promote the Central Business District of Ferguson to the public. For more information, please contact Marveena Miller at 314-324-4298 or marveenamiller@hotmail.com.

CONTACT

FERGUSON CITYWALK
110 Church Street
Ferguson, MO 63135
(314) 524-5197
EMAIL

 

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