The Heart of Biddeford, founded in 2004, is devoted to revitalizing downtown Biddeford.
In 2005, the 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization received its Main Street Community designation from the Maine Downtown Center, which is a program of the Maine Development Foundation.
Each spring, the Heart of Biddeford Board of Directors updates our Strategic Plan with annual work plans. This plan is designed to reflect the Vision and Goals that were created in The Downtown Master Plan. The Downtown Master Plan was a product of the Orton Family Foundation Heart & Soul process, and included the ideas of hundreds of community residents, and property and business owners.
Then, each fall, we produce an Annual Report to reflect on the results of the previous fiscal year. Please take a moment to read our most recent Annual Report, from the 2015-16 fiscal year.
The Heart of Biddeford, in partnership with the City of Biddeford, the business community, property owners, and residents, fosters economic development and improves the downtown and quality of life within its boundaries by supporting existing businesses, attracting new businesses, promoting the downtown through events, and working to beautify the urban core.
We are a volunteer-driven organization, with a strong board and over 300 volunteers who get involved in our four standing committees, the Adopt-a-Park program, and HOB events. We are staffed by an Executive Director and an part-time Office Manager. Heart of Biddeford works with the City’s various departments and the City Council, the Downtown Development Commission, City Theater, Engine, McArthur Public Library, Public Access TV, and all of the downtown businesses and nonprofits, as well as Biddeford’s wonderful community volunteers.
About the Main Street Program
The Maine Downtown Center’s core program is Main Street Maine, which is a proven Four-Point Approach® to downtown revitalization developed by the National Trust for Historic Preservation in 1980 and is currently used in 44 states in more than 1,200 communities. Currently, ten communities have achieved and maintained Main Street Maine designation: Augusta, Bath, Belfast, Biddeford, Brunswick, Gardiner, Rockland, Saco, Skowhegan, and Waterville.
As a unique economic development tool, the Main Street Four-Point Approach® is the foundation for local initiatives to revitalize their districts by leveraging local assets—from cultural or architectural heritage to local enterprises and community pride. The four points of the Main Street approach work together to build a sustainable and complete community revitalization effort. The four points are 1) Organization 2) Promotions 3) Design and 4) Business Enhancement. Learn more about the Main Street America here.
Since HoB’s formation, it’s hard not to notice how far downtown Biddeford has come. We have unique small businesses throughout our downtown, a handful of excellent international restaurants, a beautifully restored Victorian City Theater, festivals, live music events and a burgeoning arts scene (thanks to Engine and the artists with whom they collaborate!).
Biddeford’s walkable downtown and mill district feature more than two million square feet of mill space being redeveloped into residential and office/studio space. The mills are already home to an exciting group of light industrial businesses, and more retail and service businesses opening all the time. The beautiful Biddeford RiverWalk expanded with the addition of an incredible pedestrian bridge, which gives residents and visitors an up-close view of the Saco River.
The National Main Street Center’s experience in helping communities bring their commercial corridors back to life has shown time and time again that the Main Street Four-Point Approach® succeeds.
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