Coronado MainStreet

MainStreet LTD Coronado


Public Art


Our Mission: To revitalize Coronado’s downtown through preservation and beautification for the benefit of the entire community”

Coronado MainStreet Ltd. was started by the City of Coronado in 1988 when our downtown was deteriorating and had a vacancy rate of 35%. The City adopted the successful “Four Point Approach”, a program developed by the National Main Street Center, part of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, as the strategy to revitalize our commercial area. This unique approach identified and solved our particular problems through community consensus building, making Coronado the diverse and vibrant meeting place that it is today. We consider our constituents to be all residents, businesses, property owners and visitors. Perhaps founding Board Member Chris Ackerman, AIA, said it best: “Coronado’s Main Street has become the community’s living room and, more importantly, a family room.”

In 2000, Coronado was awarded the Great American Main Street Award and the first California Renaissance Award. Coronado was recently named one of the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Dozen Distinctive Destinations. Main Street is a revitalization strategy used in over 1,700 cities and 40 states to keep the heart of the community healthy, to save its historic buildings, revive its commercial core, strengthen business, control community-eroding sprawl, and keep a sense of place and community life in America. Developed by the National Trust for Historic Preservation‘s National Main Street Center, the program encourages imaginative use of business and government resources to support local downtown and neighborhood commercial district revitalization efforts.

Why Are Main Streets Important? 

Main Street advocates are commonly asked by city governments and businesses, “Why should we invest in downtown?” In response, here are a few reasons why a downtown or neighborhood commercial district is an important and worthwhile investment in the economic health and quality of life in your community.

Main Street is a symbol of community economic health, local quality of life, pride, and community history. These are all important factors in industrial, commercial and professional recruitment. A vital Main Street retains and creates jobs, which also means a stronger tax base. Long-term revitalization establishes capable businesses that use public services and provide tax revenues for the community. Main Street is also a good incubator for new small businesses — the building blocks of a healthy economy. Strip centers and malls are often too expensive for new entrepreneurs. A vital Main Street area reduces sprawl by concentrating retail in one area and uses community resources wisely, such as infrastructure, tax dollars and land. A healthy Main Street core protects property values in surrounding residential neighborhoods. The traditional commercial district is an ideal location for independent businesses, which in turn: Keep profits in town. Chain businesses send profits out of town. Supports local families with family-owned businesses. Supports local community projects, such as youth activities, sport’s teams and schools. Provides an extremely stable economic foundation, as opposed to a few large businesses and chains with no incentives, other than fiscal, to stay in the community. 

A revitalized Main Street increases the community’s options for goods and services: whether for basic staples, like clothing, food and professional services or less traditional functions such as housing and entertainment. Main Street provides an important civic forum, where members of the community can congregate. Parades, special events and celebrations held there reinforce intangible sense of community. Private developments like malls can and do restrict free speech and access. Many Main Street districts become tourist attractions by virtue of the character of buildings, location, selection of unique businesses, and events held there. What is the Main Street “Four Point Approach” to Downtown Revitalization? The Main Street program’s success is based on a comprehensive strategy of work, tailored to local needs and opportunities, in the following four broad areas:


Enhancing the physical appearance of the commercial district by rehabilitating historic buildings, encouraging supportive new construction, developing sensitive design management systems, and long-term planning.


Building consensus and cooperation among the many groups and individuals who have a role in the revitalization process.


Marketing the traditional commercial district’s assets to customers, potential investors, new businesses, local citizens and visitors.

Economic Restructuring

Strengthening the district’s existing economic base while finding ways to expand it to meet new opportunities — and challenges from outlying development.

What is the organizational structure of Coronado MainStreet Ltd? 

Coronado MainStreet has been established as a 501(c)(3) Non Profit Organization serving the Orange Avenue business corridor in the City of Coronado, California, USA.It is a member in good standing of the California Main Street Alliance and the National Main Street Center and under the aegis of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Board of Directors

The organization is governed by a 11 to 15-member Board of Directors. Board of Directors' meetings are conducted on the first Tuesday of every month at 7:45 AM in the Crown Conference Room of the Coronado City Hall located at 1825 Strand Way. The public is always welcome to attend.


The administrative offices are located at 1013 Park Place, Coronado, CA 92118. Hours are Monday through Friday, 9 am to 5 pm. Coronado MainStreet employs 1 full-time employee, an Executive Director.


The organization has 4 standing committees with 4 to 6 members each. Committees include the Economic Restructuring, Design, Organization and Promotion based on the Main Street Four-Point Approach and meet on an as-needed basis.

Program Description

The organization adopted By-Laws in 1988 and is funded primarily through a contract with the City of Coronado and through private/public fund-raising activities. There are 6 main activities/events that promote the organization’s mission:

MotorCars on MainStreet

400 pre-1973 Rods, Trucks, and Classics Car Show. Usually held on the last Sunday in April. Free to the public. Aerial MotorCars

Downtown Goes Ghostly

Costumed children trick-or-treat to local merchants on Orange Avenue on Halloween. Rooftop Lights. In 1993, as a way to entice residents and visitors to our downtown at night, MainStreet installed white rooftop lights on the store roofs of the main section of downtown. This project was funded by a loan from the City of Coronado and private donations. The project has created a warm, inviting ambiance in our commercial district and encourages evening strolling, shopping and conversation.

Orange Avenue Gardens

Orange Avenue, our downtown main street is fortunate to be bisected by a beautiful, grassy park/median. Coronado MainStreet sought and received support to install 16 differently themed gardens in different areas of the park. Each garden is funded by private donors and the design is approved by MainStreet’s Design Committee and the City Council. Main Street Median Garden

Garden Party

Coronado MainStreet’s annual fund-raising event supports the median garden maintenance and usually occurs in the late summer in the gardens of one of Coronado’s historic homes. The gathering of over 400 full-time and part-time residents includes a Silent Auction, music and a “Taste of Coronado” featuring donated appetizers from local restaurants.

Information & Advocacy

MainStreet serves as a clearinghouse for information, technical assistance, research and advocacy on preservation-based commercial district revitalization. Staff and members provide reference and resources to the community and the City of Coronado. Members of the Board of Directors and staff participate in community forums, advisory groups, workshops and committees. The organization produces a newsletter, maintains an active Retail Available Space Inventory, demographic information and keeps abreast of national trends and innovative solutions through an active network of MainStreet resources. Staff has been instrumental in formulating outside dining guidelines, a Downtown Specific Plan governing zoning, use and design elements, a Vacant Premises Ordinance and Formula Fast Food and Retail Ordinances. As a member on the active Downtown Task Force, MainStreet was responsible for creating pedestrian-friendly Adella Plaza and Rotary Plazas and streetscape improvements.

Coming together is the beginning

Keeping together is progress

Working together is success