Main Streets across America have declined due to the evolution of consumer preferences and economic landscapes. The convenience offered by shopping malls and, more recently, online platforms has redirected spending away from the small, local establishments that traditionally lined Main Streets. As populations shifted and suburbs expanded, commerce changed, leaving many Main Street businesses struggling to adapt. However, there is a renewed focus on community development and revitalization efforts, with a recognition that preserving the unique character of Main Streets is essential for fostering vibrant, resilient, and connected communities. Pleasant Grove Utah's historic main street has succumbed to this unfortunate decline, however, there's still hope. NVR Development LLC has jumped head first in taking on this monumental project.
Designing with purpose:
The design concept for Pleasant Grove's Main Street is a nod to the town's historical narrative, a living tribute to the stories that have shaped this community and draws inspiration from the city's rich history and cultural heritage. The quaint charm of early structures, the stories of local heroes, and the town's agricultural roots have all been carefully considered. Architectural elements pay homage to the town's heritage, while the color palette reflects the natural beauty that has surrounded Pleasant Grove for generations.
For example, our research revealed stories about Big Springs, springs where water seeped from the base of Mt. Mahogany. Native American Indians would stop here to water their horses. Little Denmark, believe it or not, Scandinavians that arrived started to settle in the outlying ground and in a small enclave later called Little Denmark.
Continued research uncovered that somewhere around 500 East and 500 North was considered one of the most cohesive neighborhoods, which had proudly been named Monkey Town. As a designer and storyteller, coming across a story like this is pure gold, it's inspiration for uncovering ideas. You can get very creative and begin to wrap such historical stories into the project in lots of colorful ways.
For example, the Monkey Town Toy Store on Main Street ended up as a concept. Placing an iconic street lamp, the same era's streetlamp, near the storefront. With a play on the word Monkey Town, we can come up with stories that help drive our designs. For example: Four mischievous monkeys with a knack for turning everyday activities into whimsical escapades. Whether it was swinging from the tallest branches, using banana peels as makeshift skates, or organizing impromptu acrobatic contests, Monkey Town monkeys knew how to infuse fun into their Main Street home. Below is a concept image that depicts the historic street lamp with the four monkeys. These stories help people connect with real history, provide meaning, and give people a sense of pride in their history.
At the very same time creative ideas are being tossed around there is an economic component happening with the project. 1 - Market analyses, such as conducting a comprehensive analysis of the local market to understand demand, demographics, and consumer behavior. Another important one, evaluate the competition and identify unique selling propositions to attract customers. 2 - Feasibility, undertake a detailed feasibility study to assess the viability of the project, and analyze the economic indicators, including projected costs, revenue potential, and return on investment.
When creative planning and design happen in conjunction with economics, you end up with a project created in harmony, and much more synchronized.
Similar to a magnet, projects like this require elements that attract visitors, drawing them back to the location for all the right reason. Quality food options, unique retail, atmosphere, and an elevated ambiance, all supporting a memorable experience.
The future of this project rest is yet to be determined. The Pleasant Grove city officials are thrilled to have NVR Development LLC bringing a vision that has the potential to change the face of Pleasant Grove forever.
Design Intent worked closely with MLD Worldwide and PRS Associates in the planning and design of this fantastic project.