Leveraging Main Street as a Real Estate Amenity: Retail Corridor Revitalization and Residential Property Values


Downtown revitalization has become a nearly ubiquitous undertaking throughout the municipal landscape of the United States. In the hope of curtailing the effects of twentieth-century downtown disinvestment, suburbanization, and deindustrialization, local coalitions of public and private stakeholders have decided to reverse these trends and restore the vitality and character of their historic business districts. One such endeavor, the Main Street Program, equips smaller towns and cities with the resources and know-how to leverage their dense, walkable retail corridor(s) as an economic development asset. In this paper, I look at the relationship between active Main Street Programs in Ohio and the sale prices of nearby residential properties, specifically focusing on the property’s distance to its respective downtown, or “Main Street” district. I find that home sale prices are higher for properties sold in a community that actively participates in the Main Street Program. Furthermore, I find that there is an additional premium in the sale price for properties that are located in close proximity to a downtown business district with an active Main Street Program.

Jan 2, 2021
American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association (AREUEA) January Meeting
Andrew J. Van Leuven
Andrew J. Van Leuven
Assistant Professor of Community and Rural Development