In This Together case study - Central Ave. Marshfield, Wood
The 2009 reconstruction of downtown Marshfield's South Central
Avenue required crews to close Marshfield's main street to
pedestrian and vehicle traffic for four months. With dozens of
businesses lining the street, a complete road closure had the
potential to significantly impact each business's bottom line.
Main Street Marshfield, a non-profit group of local business
people, professionals, and city officials with the goal of
revitalizing downtown Marshfield, created a committee to plan for
construction impacts. The committee included representatives of the
Marshfield Area Chamber of Commerce and Industry (the Chamber), the
city of Marshfield, and any business owners or community members
that wanted to help.
In October 2008, the group used In This Together principles to
determine how they would lessen the impact of the construction to
the adjacent businesses. Their efforts went into full force when the
project was expedited by one year.
During construction, storefronts were inaccessible and businesses
needed to spruce up their back entrances. Businesses that didn't
have a back entrance worked with the construction staff to make sure
customers could still get to their establishments. Main Street
Marshfield encouraged downtown businesses to improve their alternate
entrances, even offering loans and grants to help businesses prepare
the entrances for customers' use.
The committee determined that parking would be a primary concern
once construction was under way. To address this issue, the city
added parking and extended time limits in parking lots. Additional
parking was added to side streets. Signs were placed in the lots,
indicating which businesses were closest. Maps of the interim
parking plan were available at each business or online.
Keeping customers informed
The committee came up with several strategies to make sure
customers knew that, even while the road was closed, it was possible
to get to downtown stores. They developed a successful combination
of print, television, and radio ads to use in and around the
Marshfield area to remind customers to "Shop Downtown
Main Street Marshfield funded print, radio, and television
advertising that featured a construction ant and the slogan,
"Marshfield Digs Progress!" Their advertising also
reminded shoppers that, "It's Right Here!" in downtown
Signing was an important element in communication efforts. The
committee developed special signing to direct motorists and
customers to the downtown businesses. Coming into Marshfield from
all directions, there was a "Marshfield Digs Progress!"
sign assuring customers that downtown businesses were open.
In addition to the general advertising, Main Street Marshfield
and the Chamber included information about the construction progress
in their monthly newsletters. The Chamber offered free advertising
in their newsletter for businesses affected by construction, and the
local newspaper featured an impacted business each week to give them
more exposure. The city of Marshfield created a construction page on
its Web site. Many individual businesses also used the Internet and
their own Web sites to alert customers about the construction so
they could come downtown prepared.
Bringing customers downtown with coupons and special events
To complement the ad campaign, Main Street Marshfield created a
"Marshfield Digs Progress!" coupon book
coupons for 34 downtown businesses. The coupon book was available at
all downtown stores.
The coupon books also contained raffle tickets for gift
certificates sponsored by the Chamber. Winners were chosen at each
of three brat fries held downtown during the closure. The brat fries
were big draws for customers and business owners alike.
A final drawing, with much larger gift certificates, was
conducted during Marshfield's annual Hub City Days; this coincided
with the opening of half the roadway.
Main Street Marshfield, the city of Marshfield and the Marshfield
Area Chamber of Commerce and Industry invested a great deal of time
during the road closure keeping businesses informed and optimistic
about the construction. Their hard work and endurance paid off when
crews opened half of South Central Avenue a week ahead of schedule.
Even though the construction wasn't entirely complete, the impact on
businesses was greatly reduced.
In the end, using the In This together principles before and
during construction helped minimize impacts to the city's
businesses. And, now, Marshfield has a brand new roadway that
complements their revitalized downtown.
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email@example.com Last modified: November 6, 2012
Strategically placed signs direct drivers to open
A billboard tied to the "Marshfield Digs
Progress!" advertisements alerts potential customers to open business