Nearly a year ago to the day I wrote an article about how the Midway could be reaching a tipping point in terms of turning into an area that Fort Thomas residents could be proud of. In the article I listed the street scape improvements, Earth Mother Market, and the amphitheater as being developments that are creating some real momentum towards a thriving business district. Interestingly enough I also included the Nevada building and the military homes in the list; both of which have failed to really contribute much.
The Midway has also reached a few additional milestones with Optimistic Outlooks hitting their second anniversary and Sarelli's follows behind later this year with their second anniversary
Despite all the positive momentum all the hard work could be for naught if the city is not able to sustain the momentum. They can do this by focusing on two main components that can really push the Midway past the tipping point.
- Creating an identity. In 2009 the only identity that the Midway district had was that of a small struggling downtown that has been the trademark of small communities during the 90's. While the streetscape is a huge improvement over the tangled mess of wires and narrow sidewalks it doesn't fill storefronts. A retail district must have an identity. Buxton, the retail experts, recently did a profile of Roanoke Texas that reviews how they created an identity and then moved aggressively to find retailers that support that identity.
- Aggressively pursuing successful business owners that fit the newly formed identity. This doesn't mean putting a print advertisement in the Enquirer but targeting the types of businesses that would work best in the Midway with the newly created identity. If, as has been suggested by readers on this site, the identity involved a destination for all things kids then going after businesses that have been successful with that market creates an environment where momentum grows quickly and successfully. Mapcap Puppet Theater is a great example of the type of business that would support a child themed identity.