Downtown Development

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People and businesses are once again relocating into downtowns.  Businesses that locate in downtowns generate jobs and contribute to a significant part of the tax base. 

The goal of downtown development is to create a vibrant downtown that has people doing activities everyday throughout the day and evening.


A general rule of thumb says a downtown portfolio ideally looks like:

  • Governmental 20%

  • Professional 20%

  • Commercial (Retail & Service) 20%

  • Residential 20%

  • Other (Art, Culture, Recreation, Religion, and Tourism) 20% 


During the last few decades, the most common types of downtown improvement organizations in Georgia are

  • Downtown Development Authorities (DDA)

  • Georgia Department of Community Affairs’ Main Street Program

  • Georgia Downtown Renaissance Partnership

    • Georgia Municipal Association

    • Georgia Cities Foundation

    • Carl Vinson of Institute of Government

The Georgia Downtown Renaissance Partnership

The Georgia Downtown Renaissance Partnership combines resources of university and municipal organizations to help community-led efforts to refresh Georgia downtowns. The Partnership pairs our resources and expertise with the assets and skills of our partners. The Partnership works with cities and local citizens to provide necessary tools and planning to revitalize downtowns.


The Partnership has three signature components:

  • a strategic visioning and planning process that includes a short-term work program

  • a Fellows program that provides technical expertise for downtown revitalization projects

  • a 14-week practicum class that pairs students with municipal leaders to solve community-identified problems



Mary Beth Horton


Barbara Kesler