Del Mar Village Association joins National Main Street list


By Kristina Houck

Less than a year after being designated as a California Main Street community, the Del Mar Village Association has now been designated as an accredited National Main Street Program.

Each year, the National Main Street Center and its partners announce the list of accredited Main Street programs in recognition of their commitment to historic preservation and community revitalization through the Main Street Four Point Approach. Only 700 programs nationally have attained this accreditation.

“We’re very proud of Del Mar,” said Carolyn Dellutri, senior director of programs and services of the National Main Street Center. “Nationally accredited Main Street programs are dedicated to revitalizing their districts. It’s an honor to have Del Mar as part of our program.”

For the past 34 years, the Main Street Four Point Approach has been used in roughly 2,000 communities, producing $59.6 billion in investment, creating 502,728 jobs and resulting in the rehabilitation of more than 246,158 buildings, according to the National Main Street Center’s website.

The Del Mar Village Association has followed the Main Street Four Point Approach for nearly 10 years, which includes building a Main Street framework, promoting the commercial district, evaluating the attractiveness of the business district and revitalizing the local economy.

For the first time, however, the association recently applied for accreditation, which was approved in less than a year. In November, the California Main Street Alliance designated the Del Mar Village Association as a California Main Street community.

“To be designated as a California Main Street community, and now to achieve this national recognition, is truly wonderful,” said Del Mar Village Association Executive Director Jen Grove, who headed the lengthy application process. “National accreditation is another tool in our toolbox to help Del Mar Village stay economically vital, bringing in both residents and visitors to compete with the ever-increasing Southern California growth of mega-malls and stores.”

The California Main Street Alliance, which works in partnership with the National Main Street Center, evaluates the association’s performance annually to make sure it meets 10 performance standards, which include fostering strong public-private partnerships, securing an operating budget, tracking programmatic progress, and actively preserving historic buildings.

One benchmark for the success of a Main Street program is reinvestment in the community’s downtown. In total, the public and private sector reinvestment in the downtown village of Del Mar for 2013 exceeded $3.5 million, according to officials.

“A lot of residents think of downtown as their front yard. It’s where you shop, it’s where you meet people, it’s where you bring visitors,” said Grove, a Del Mar native who has headed the association for eight years. “A strong town needs backing. We help market downtown and coordinate special events.”

Established as a merchants association about 12 years ago, the organization expanded and became a Main Street association four years later so commercial property owners, businesses and residents could work together to revitalize downtown Del Mar.

For more about the Del Mar Village Association, visit


For more about the National Main Street Center, visit