Ashland’s Downtown Revitalization

Our Vision for Ashland

Ashland shall promote its architecture to both residential and commercial opportunities. Ashland will also enhance and market its historical and cultural resources for tourism. Located at the intersection of Routes 54 and 61, Ashland will serve as a western gateway into the region.

Ashland shall build upon its potential for tourism by connecting local historical and cultural sites through a coordinated transportation and consistent “wayfinding” system within the region. Ashland shall become the arts and heritage hub of the region.

About Ashland Downtown, Inc.

Ashland Downtown, Inc. seeks a vibrant, attractive and historic downtown Ashland by preserving its architectural charm, promoting economic vitality and marketing its historic and cultural resources.

Ashland Downtown, Inc. (ADI) has an action oriented Board of Directors and Committees focusing their attention on downtown Ashland, but it works with numerous other entities to initiate, catalyze, and coordinate positive change. Since its founding in January of 2004 through Upper Schuylkill Downtowns, ADI has brought together three original collaborators-the Borough, Ashland Area Chamber of Commerce and Ashland Area Historic Preservation Society with many other relevant entities to address the critical challenges and opportunities facing the commercial district and its environs. Since that time ADI has many additional community partners. Planned and existing efforts to keep the downtown vital will merely link to create even stronger alloys.

During the next five years, ADI will secure the strong foundation established in its founding phase and will begin to tackle new and bigger projects. Using the proven National Main Street Four Point Approach-Design, Economic Restructuring, Promotions and Organization, ADI will strive to accomplish its goals and objectives. PA Main Street designation is at the forefront of our goals and will include a Downtown Façade Improvement Program along with many excellent opportunities for Ashland and the Upper Schuylkill region. The principle of strong organization will remain front and center, including both full-time program administration and a well-structured, well-managed board and committees.

Priorities identified in the recent Upper Schuylkill regional town meetings included: preserving Ashland’s Victorian architectural charm, shaping the downtown business mix, improving sidewalks and landscaping, pedestrian safety and traffic control, communication and signage, clean and green program, and enhancing our tourism opportunities.

Promotional activities will continue to expand including both those that enhance interest in the growing number of Ashland’s special events and those that more generally increase awareness of Ashland’s many appeals. Downtown aesthetics will remain a focus of ADI, through streetscape planning and façade improvements.

Ashland Downtown, Inc. meets on the 3rd Monday of every month at the Ashland Downtown Center next to Community Banks. New members are always welcome. To contribute to “The Campaign for Ashland” complete and mail the attached form to Ashland Downtown, Inc. Community Bank Building, 733 Centre Street, Ashland, PA 17921.

Key ADI accomplishments since January 2004

  • “The Campaign for Ashland” has exceeded over $201,000 since February 2006.
  • Design of professional Ashland Downtown logo
  • Ashland Downtown office and meeting room compliments of Community Bank
  • Ashland Downtown office and meeting room furnishings compliments of M&T Banks
  • 501(c)(3) non-profit status
  • Successful introductory “Town Meeting” in May 2004
  • Successful Downtown Events and Fundraising
  • “AppleFest” held the 3rd Saturday in October
  • “Old Fashioned Christmas” 3rd Saturday in December
  • “Spring Fling” 2nd Saturday in May
  • “Christmas Decorating Contest” 3rd Friday in December
  • “Downtown Farmers Market” every Saturday morning from Spring to Fall
  • “Match the Daily Number” Calendar sales every May
  • Downtown and Tourism Banner Program
  • Upper Schuylkill “Welcome to Ashland” outreach program for new businesses
  • Market Research to identify downtown shopper and demographics
  • Completion of Ashland Downtown Profile for submission to PA State Main Street officials
  • Upper Schuylkill/Ashland Pedestrian and Motorist Safety Program
  • Clean and Green program-Gateway landscaping, downtown planters and clean sweep.
  • Successful visioning process through Upper Schuylkill Downtowns and the Pennsylvania Downtown Center
  • Assisted in securing grant awards for Downtown Ashland and Borough of Ashland with Upper Schuylkill Downtowns in an amount of $175,000
  • Successful participation in all Upper Schuylkill trainings and promotional activities
  • Secured over $30,000 through volunteer fundraising and downtown events since 2004
  • More than $50,000 worth of time contributed by ADI volunteers (2,500 hours)
  • Incubation of “Upper Schuylkill Homecoming” and decision to share the opportunity with the regional program to further strengthen the family-like bond of Upper Schuylkill’s Six Great Towns
  • Held successful “Town Meeting” on May 17, 2006 for public approval of Downtown Vision, Mission, Goals and Objectives
  • Member PA Downtown Center
  • Submitted Main Street Application to DCED on June 13, 2006
  • Designated as a PA Main Street Community by the PA Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) in October, 2006

2007-2011 Goals

  • Main Street Designation by the PA Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) – $175,000 grant over a five year period
  • Hiring of a Main Street Manager
  • DCED Downtown business district Design Challenge Matching Grant Program – $90,000 over a five year period
  • DCED Anchor Building Program – $250,000
  • Streetscape Improvement Projects
  • Downtown Business Recruiting and Retention Program
  • Downtown Bench and Receptacle Program
  • Joint marketing and promotions with Upper Schuylkill Downtowns and Ashland tourism attractions
  • The increase of Ashland’s Tax Base
  • Sustainability of the Main Street program beyond a five-year period
  • Continued volunteer development and recruitment
  • Continue active participation in the Upper Schuylkill regional program