Ocala Main Street has been selected to host next year’s annual state conference for Florida Main Street programs.
The 2023 Preservation on Main Street Conference, which is organized by Florida Main Street and the Florida Trust for Historic Preservation, will bring over 500 individuals together to celebrate the accomplishments of development and revitalization of the hosts’ historic district.
Ocala Main Street submitted a proposal to the state with letters of support from the City of Ocala government officials, Marion County Commission, and the Ocala/Marion County Visitors and Convention Bureau.
The week-long conference will utilize many assets within the district, allowing attendees to experience, explore, and be exposed to the many businesses and history that makes downtown Ocala a unique destination.
“We applaud the efforts of the Main Street organization for their effort and dedication for preservation-based economic development and revitalization programs or historic commercial districts,” stated City Manager Pete Lee and City Councilwoman Kristen Dreyer in their letter of support.
In the letter, Lee and Dreyer added, “It is through continued endeavors of Ocala Main Street, and sister organizations across the state, that we are able to strengthen the economic vitality and historic preservation of the hearts of our communities.”
Within the Ocala Main Street district, there are two major sections: Historic Downtown Ocala and Midtown Ocala/Tuscawilla Park. Over the past several years, a great deal of commercial development has taken place, which has pushed downtown Ocala from an 80% vacancy rate to its present-day 90% occupancy rate.
This growth in historic downtown has reallocated Main Street as the heart of the community – driving economic development throughout the entire county.
Jessica Fieldhouse, Ocala Main Street’s Executive Director, stated, “This is a unique opportunity to highlight our beautiful historic downtown and businesses while celebrating the accomplishments of all our partners who have been instrumental in creating the downtown we have today.”
Fieldhouse continued by stating, “Bringing a conference of this size and notoriety will make a substantial economic impact – from generating tourism and revenue to providing a cultural exchange between our communities. We are honored to host the 2023 Preservation on Main Street State Conference.”
The Preservation on Main Street Conference is slated to be held in late July 2023.
For more information, visit the Ocala Main Street website.