Albuquerque, NM (PRWEB) August 1, 2009 -- After years of grassroots and individual effort in revitalizing the community and forging the acceptance of a sector plan, city and state officials announced that Albuquerque's stylish Nob Hill neighborhood would join 20 other Main Street communities across New Mexico as a designated emerging Main Street community.

"The selection of Nob Hill in Albuquerque is a positive step that reflects the pride and commitment of those that live and work here," said Jim Neustel, the president of the Nob Hill Steering Committee. "I am finding a new sense of energy in the area from all sectors. I am confident we will be able to make a tangible difference in the community."  
Albuquerque City Councilor Rey Garduño remarked after the announcement: "I am excited for the opportunity to have Main Street in Nob Hill. Main Street is a great asset for the Nob Hill community to continue the success and growth of the Nob Hill area. I look forward to working with Main Street and our community in Nob Hill."
The process of selecting communities under the New Mexico Main Street organization includes a complete review of business and community conditions that determines whether a community can successfully function as a designated Main Street Community. This review process includes an on-site visit and interviews with local leaders, business and property owners, elected officials and community organizers. During the process the Nob Hill organization waited anxiously as the pool of applicants was reduced from 17 to three. At the end of the process Nob Hill, along with the cities of Belen and Truth or Consequences, were designated as emerging Main Street Communities this year. That designation begins the process of assisting the communities in developing the capacity to create Main Street organizations dedicated to revitalization.

In addressing the designation, Albuquerque Mayor Martin Chavez commented: "Nob Hill is at the forefront of small business innovation and growth, not only for Albuquerque, but for the entire State of New Mexico. I am proud that this eclectic district can serve as a successful model for both urban and small town main street reinvestment and revitalization."
The Main Street Program is an initiative begun by the National Trust for Historic Preservation to revitalize business districts of both national and regional economic and cultural value. With this designation comes technical and other support from the national and state Main Street Centers but the direction and operation of the organization is local. The local Main Street organizations must adhere to a proven, comprehensive methodology to revitalize their district in order to maintain Main Street status. It is a common-sense way to address the variety of issues and problems that face traditional business districts.
Noting the unique role of Nob Hill in the Albuquerque community, Gary Tonjes, President of Albuquerque Economic Development, Inc. remarked: "With its concentration of locally-owned restaurants and stores, its proximity to UNM and CNM, and the tens of thousands of students and others drawn to the area, Nob Hill is an important magnet for the community. We frequently take representatives of expanding companies considering New Mexico for investment to Scalo Restaurant and other venues throughout Nob Hill. The city and region will benefit from continued development of the quality and creativity for which the Nob Hill area is known."
The Nob Hill neighborhood was first made nationally famous through an image shot in 1969 by world-renowned photographer Ernst Haas entitled "Traffic in the streets of Albuquerque, New Mexico after a heavy downpour." The photo has appeared in galleries, restaurants and magazines around the world since its first publication and has become the archetypal image representing American automotive mobility in general and for Route 66 during its heyday from the 1930's through the 1960's. Today the Nob Hill community sports a more diverse image made up of well-preserved structures from its Route 66 role as a major traveler way-station, Art Deco buildings representative of its WPA-built past, revival-style residences built during the periods just after New Mexico statehood, new structures that bridge the transition to New Urban chic and an eclectic mix of local and national businesses and restaurants. Images from its neighborhoods, old motels and businesses have provided the setting for such television series as "Breaking Bad" and "In Plain Sight" as well as dozens of recent movies from the emerging New Mexico-based movie industry that include "No Country for Old Men" and "Terminator Salvation."

The Nob Hill Main Street area is designated to run from Girard Blvd to Washington Blvd and from Copper Ave to Silver Ave. The organization has assumed the website, formerly run by the Nob Hill-Highland Renaissance Corporation, and will post updates and information for the community as it meets its organizational goals. Periodic updates are also posted on Facebook under the user name "Nob Hill Main Street Program" and on Twitter under the user name "Nob Hill Main Street." Utilizing the comprehensive "Main Street Four Points Approach," the Nob Hill Steering Committee is now in the process of selecting a Governing Board.

Responding to the news of the designation, Albuquerque Independent Business Alliance Executive Director Rebecca Dakota said: "We are thrilled that Nob Hill has been designated a New Mexico Main Street Emerging Community. Anything that helps our local businesses succeed and which helps to bring in outside dollars is, to my mind, a great thing. It is so important that local business owners work together to strengthen the identity of their businesses, their neighborhoods and their larger community. Money that is kept in our local economy benefits us all in so many ways."

Commenting on the coalition that brought the designation to Main Street, Jim Neustel concluded: "I am very pleased with the turn-out of volunteers coming from residents, business owners, property owners, restaurateurs, government, developers, faith-based groups and more. It speaks to the desire of many to be involved in their community. There is a lot of work to do and this group is ready for it."