Frederick reveals "star" idea for downtown revitalization

Frederick reveals "star" idea for downtown revitalization

FREDERICK, Okla._The 'Food for Thought' campaign in Frederick revealed a winning idea to revitalize their downtown business district.

Monday night, they held their fundraising dinner and revealed the winning idea. Pam Johnson's "Star Square" concept will attempt to bring visitors and businesses around the intersection of South 9th Street and Grand Avenue.

The idea focuses around a big star in the middle of the road. Johnson hopes this will give people a starting point when they walk around the town. From there, the plan is to paint murals on buildings, install Wi-Fi and other landscaping. The thought is after this process is started, more businesses will occupy the surrounding buildings.

The intersection of South 9th Street and Grand Avenue in downtown Frederick is between the Ramona Theatre and Pioneer Town Site Museum. Pam Johnson says that's why she put the star where she did.

"It just made sense to me, because so many people go from one to the other, that we just make it an appealing place to start. And to encourage people to walk around and see what we have," said Johnson.

Johnson says that when she heard she won, her first thought was to get the names of the voters and ask for their help to get started immediately. She is hoping that Star Square can become a focal point for a night on the town, which wouldn't only benefit visitors.

"I think once we show some TLC to this little area that business people are going to be encouraged and realize we have something special downtown. They are going to want to jump on the bandwagon with us," said Johnson.

Frederick Main Street Inc. president Cacy Caldwell says she was pleased with the idea and event as a whole, and that the group will try to hold more idea contests in the future.

"There was a lot of stuff that a lot of us knew about, but then there were some things brought up that maybe one person hadn't really considered. So, I think it was a good night for the city to get together and brainstorm a little," said Caldwell.

There were about 100 people at the event Monday night, which well surpassed Caldwell's anticipated total of about 40. The money raised from the sale of tickets went straight to the winning fund. The Star Square project has $1,200 to start.

Although Johnson won, there is still plenty of work to do. If the project isn't underway in 90 days, the funds will be awarded to the second place finisher.