IDA Awards Top Honor to the Downtown Memphis Commission

IDA Presents Awards Recognizing Innovative Achievement in Urban Place Management

Memphis Tenn. – The Downtown Association (IDA) has recognized the Downtown Memphis Commission (DMC) with the Downtown Achievement Pinnacle Award for its work and initiatives related to the Open on Main initiative.

Each year, IDA recognizes outstanding projects as winners of the Downtown Achievement Awards, which identify improvements to urban centers by dedicated organizations around the globe. The industry’s highest recognition, the Pinnacle Award, represents the most creative and inspiring innovations in urban place management. During a comprehensive review, this year’s projects were awarded by a jury of IDA members in the following categories: leadership development; organizational management; economic development; marketing, communications and events; planning, design and infrastructure; policy and advocacy; and public space management and operations. The Open on Main initiative won in the category of Economic Development.

“The program creatively addresses our goals of improving the pedestrian experience and showcasing opportunity for small businesses to grow Downtown,” said Brett Roler, vice president of planning and development for the Downtown Memphis Commission. “We are proud of work, and even more impressed by the innovation shown by so many of our program participants.”

Open on Main is an ongoing, multi-venue pop-up retail incubation strategy. The program offers no-cost retail space in the heart of Downtown to potential pop-up shop owners to test their retail concepts.
The Open on Main retail initiative is designed to increase activation/animation on Main Street; encourage more permanent occupation of empty/underutilized spaces in the Downtown core; and allow shop owners to test retail concepts and strategies in Downtown Memphis. The initiatiave aligns with the DMC’s “Downtown for Everyone” philosophy and has played a key role in attracting Minority and Women-Owned retailers into Downtown. To date, the program has an 80+% Minority- and Women-Owned Business Enterprise participation level.

“The Downtown Memphis Commission’s innovative project received the IDA Pinnacle Award for setting the new standard for improving cities worldwide,” said David Downey, IDA President and CEO. “Open on Main has made an impact on its city and the people who live, work and play in the community, and demonstrates the continued commitment to champion livable, vital and thriving urban centers.”

Washington, DC-based IDA is the premier organization for urban place professionals who are shaping and activating dynamic city center districts. The Downtown Memphis Commission is the urban place management organization representing the interests of property owners in Downtown Memphis.

IDA will convene virtually this October for a three-day conference themed Forward Together to discuss topics facing downtowns and city centers. The Downtown Memphis Commission will present about their award-winning project during [session title] at the 66th Annual Conference & Marketplace, October 6-8, 2020. For more information about the session and conference, please visit the event webpage.

IDA’s members have a proven track record of creating collaborative public-private partnerships to tackle weighty issues. More than 2,500 downtown management districts exist in cities throughout the U.S. and Canada. Place management organizations affect significant change in every major metropolitan area throughout North America in an industry that is growing rapidly around the globe. Place management work touches every discipline of city building, including economic development, leadership, marketing, events, public space management, policy, planning and infrastructure.

The 2020 Downtown Achievement Awards are sponsored by Grow with Google. Additional information on the Pinnacle award winners can be found online at in early October.


About Downtown Memphis Commission 
The Downtown Memphis Commission (DMC) drives Downtown’s role as the economic, cultural, and governmental core of our city and county. The DMC is funded by an assessment on commercial property in the Central Business Improvement District (CBID), which is reinvested into funding incentives and activations designed to support the growth of both Downtown’s population and appraised commercial property values.

Through our investment in Downtown development, infrastructure, vibrancy, and activation, we are creating a stronger Downtown Memphis—a Downtown for everyone.

Learn more on the DMC’s State of Downtown |


About IDA

IDA is the premier organization for urban place professionals who are shaping and activating dynamic city center districts. Our members are city builders and downtown champions who bring urban centers to life, bridging the gap between the public and private sectors. We represent an industry of more than 2,500 place management organizations, employing 100,000 people throughout North America and growing rapidly around the world. Founded in 1954, IDA is a resource center for ideas and innovative best practices in urban place management. For more information, visit

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