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City of Auburn / Businesses / Economic Development / Downtown Revitalization

Downtown Revitalization

In any city, the downtown area is often seen as the front door of the community—the welcome mat... a gathering place... a preview of what the community has to offer. Auburn's downtown has long played an important role in the social and economic vitality of the city. After all, it was on the main streets of downtown that the "Home of the Classics" really began to take shape.

Auburn's downtown will play an even greater role in our future. Downtown will be where our small, yet progressive, community continues to thrive—and creates a sustainable and economically feasible future for the residents and businesses of Auburn.

Champions for Downtown

The Downtown Auburn Business Association (DABA) has partnered with Auburn Main Street (AMS) to champion downtown revitalization efforts. The groups partnered with the City of Auburn Building, Planning & Development (BPD) Department to conduct an extensive feasibility study and outline plans for redevelopment and enhancement. The plans—now part of the City of Auburn's master plan—include a number of organizational, promotional, design and economic restructuring objectives that will:

  • Build upon Auburn's strengths and assets, as well as leverage the community's "Home of the Classics" legacy
  • Create a viable retail, business and government center
  • Enhance the tourism base by leveraging existing events and festivals such as the Auburn-Cord-Duesenberg Festival, Auctions America by RM and other downtown events
  • More easily connect and link downtown to adjacent neighborhoods and community resources

DABA and AMS have also partnered together to implement the Auburn Downtown Facade Improvement Program. As a matching grant program (up to $2,500), the program focuses on the improvement of existing buildings in the downtown area. Grants may be used for exterior building improvements, exterior lighting, and new or renovated signs and awnings.

Downtown Facade Improvement Program Brochure

More Information

Downtown Revitalization Plan PDF
AMS: Auburn Main Street
DABA: Downtown Auburn Business Association


   Downtown Revitalization Sustainable Guiding Principles

The vision for Downtown Auburn is being guided by a number of elements that we believe lend itself to a sustainable and economically viable future.


   Building Character

  • Adaptive re-use of existing buildings
  • Promote context-sensitive infill buildings
  • Maintain building lines and setbacks
  • Encourage creative use of massing for passive solar heating and natural cooling
  • Promote the use of reflective roofs and roof gardens
  • Promote the use of natural light

   Water Quality

  • Minimize irrigation within urban areas
  • Promote planting of native landscaping
  • Promote water quality enhancement features: rain gardens, bio-swales, porous pavements
  • Encourage blueways and greenways program

   Air Quality

  • Improve air quality by promoting green space and landscaping
  • Promote the reduction of vehicle emission to EPA standards
  • Promote the use of clean fuel
  • Reduce building emissions

   Open Space

  • Create interconnected network of parks and green spaces
  • Connect with trail systems
  • Promote development of parks within walking distance (1/4 mile radius)
  • Create conservation land to protect environmentally sensitive areas
  • Encourage community gardening

   Energy Efficiency

  • Promote efficient usage of existing infrastructure
  • Utilization of available capacity of utility infrastructure
  • Encourage waste recycling practices
  • Explore renewable and alternative energy generation systems: solar, wind, geothermal, biomass
  • Promote the use of LEED standards and energy star appliances

  Alternative Transportation

  • Promote walking and biking
  • Provide sidewalk accessibility
  • Promote street connecitivity
  • Encourage road-diet and accommodate all forms of transportation
  • Promote Safe Routes To School (SRTS) Program

   Sustainable Site

  • Development density contextual to City character
  • Higher density development and mix of land use within core
  • Preserve agricultural land and natural areas on the edges and fringe areas
  • Promote low impact development
  • Provide appropriate buffer and minimize curb-cuts
  • Promote shared parking behind commercial buildings
  • Promote brownfield remediation and reuse

   Organized Initiative

  • Organized effort for revitalization between ADAC, City and stakeholders
  • Collaboration to perform simultaneous efforts
  • Clear communication between interested stakeholders for efficient use of resources
  • Be proactive in general maintenance of buildings and public realm spaces
  • Promote downtown-wide clean-up drives and other collaborative events

   Culture & Diversity

  • Elevate the "Home of the Classics" niche
  • Expand the brand to appeal to wider audience
  • Enhance the aesthetic outlook
  • Provide amenities for different market segments

   Housing Mix

  • Opportunities for different income ranges and market niches
  • Higher density within core/downtown with lower density in fringe areas
  • Life cycle housing to meet needs for all ages
  • Universal design to provide accessibility options

Mayor's Corner

August 21, 2019
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  • August 23, 2019
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