Are you ready to fully utilize and rehabilitate your community’s historic downtown buildings, but wondering where to start?

Or is your community heavily involved in downtown development and ready to tackle new steps in the revitalization journey? 

You’re in luck! Rethos is hosting its very first Buildings on Main Street Conference April 20 – 22 in Faribault, MN! The Buildings on Main Street Conference is an opportunity for Minnesota Main Street districts and communities interested in revitalizing their aging downtown buildings to obtain tools, knowledge, and resources to help their communities flourish. 


This conference is geared towards Minnesota Main Street staff, board, and volunteers; Heritage Preservation Commissioners; city staff; building owners; and anyone interested in downtown revitalization! No matter how big or small your community is, the Buildings on Main Street Conference is for you! This two-day event will offer several unique sessions, including:  

  • Demystifying Building Inspection 

Does the idea of a commercial building inspection scare you? Fear no more! Learn what an inspector looks for during a commercial building inspection and how to identify some violations yourself before an inspection. Get the lowdown on some basic maintenance and observation best practices. Presenter John Mika is the owner of Minnesota Inspections LLC and has completed thousands of commercial, industrial, multi-family and residential inspections.

  • Real Estate Finance Basics 

Real Estate Finance Basics will serve as an introduction to financing a building rehabilitation. Participants will gain a baseline understanding of who to call, where to look, and what to do when they are interested in undertaking a new project. This session will cover commercial real estate loans, development incentives, and cash flow. 

  • Maintenance Planning 

Developing a maintenance plan is a crucial step in avoiding significant breakdowns or unforeseen problems that sometimes come with owning or caring for an old building. Learn what goes into a good maintenance plan so that you can reduce the risk of things going wrong, and be prepared when they do. 

  • Historic Building Basics

A fun and interactive trivia session that will highlight the basic vocabulary of commercial buildings and why those words are important in describing and maintaining those buildings. It’s trivia, so yes, there will be prizes! It will be lead by emcees Todd Mahon & Ryan Maciej from Minnesota Historical Society's Local History Services. Come show off your knowledge and learn something too.


  • Why Old is Green: Sustainability in Old Buildings

Beyond the buzzwords, this session breaks down the how and why of sustainability in old buildings. This session talks about sustainability as it relates to materials, community, and quality of life. Presenter Alissa Pier of ADL Pier Design Inc. will show you how old homes can adapt to change and reduce cost of living, and you'll get a thorough introduction to traditional building materials, good design, and energy efficiency. 

  • Redevelopment Success Stories 

Get your creativity flowing with some exciting stories from these Minnesota towns! Panelists from Wabasha and Red Wing will be sharing the projects, events, and development opportunities that have helped their communities flourish. Hear how these towns have set themselves up for long-term success, with fun and thought-provoking stories that will get you thinking about what's next for your downtown! 

  • Materials: Salvage, Supply Chain, Codes 

Did you know that you can reuse building materials from old buildings in new construction projects? Materials like lumber, hardware, light fixtures, and more, can be given new life by reincorporating them in your building. It's cheaper, more sustainable, and adds character and charm to a space! 

  • Main Street Essentials

What's the big deal with Minnesota Main Streets? Maybe your community recently joined the Main Street program, maybe you're interested in joining, or maybe you just want to learn more! Join this comprehensive training that covers Main Street program basics from beginning to end, showcasing flexible tools and guidelines for achieving community vitality. Lead by Rethos' own Emily Kurash Casey, you won't want to miss it!

  • Evening Networking and Excursions and more! 


Register at: Questions on which registration level is for you? Click here. We can’t wait to see you in beautiful, historic Faribault! 
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