Creating Thriving Places – Raton’s Historic First Street

Raton became the first Great Blocks on MainStreet project designed to catalyze three core blocks of their MainStreet District. The pilot-project addresses deficiencies identified in their Metropolitan Redevelopment Area (MRA) Plan, which cited failing public infrastructure dating from the early 1900s as a barrier to commercial building redevelopment. Raton MainStreet/ACD partnered with the city to apply for this comprehensive redevelopment program to capitalize on a $1.4 million appropriation from USDOT to complete a multi-modal transfer station in the rail yard. Construction documents for pedestrian improvements, right of way and safety infrastructure for three blocks adjacent to the rail yard have been completed through funding by NMMS.

Most of the funding for the $1.4 million streetscape revitalization project is now assembled and construction is set to begin in the fall 2017/ spring 2018. Funding for the project includes various local, state, and federal sources. NMMS also completed a 5-year building and business development profile to leverage private sector reinvestment and the district is already seeing positive results. The Great Blocks project, the completion of the multi-modal center, Highlands University establishing a branch with its “Center for Sustainability,” the city’s renovation of the Wells Fargo Postal office and acquisition of the Historic Rail Depot from BNSF, grant funding to replace aging storm sewers ($480,000) and repave historic First Street ($280,000) have collectively spurred private sector investment confidence and increased commercial building sales, renovations, and new businesses including the historic Marchiando’s Dry Goods Store Trading and the historic Palace Hotel.