Let's Talk Business: Marla Mills' Impact on Downtown Cape

Jun 9, 2019

Partnerships are so important in the success of the local economy. For two decades we have enjoyed a key successful partnership resulting in great results.

Old Town Cape was established in 1999 and the Cape Chamber was part of the organizing effort. OTC is an accredited Main Street Program for downtown revitalization based on the four point approach of promotion, design, economic vitality, and organization. The organization has thrived under the leadership of Director Marla Mills. Recently, she announced she will be stepping down after serving OTC for 13 years.

She established the Downtown Development Team where representatives from the Chamber, the City of Cape, the University, and OTC meet at least quarterly to address infrastructure, planning, and economic development issues. We continue work with the Downtown Strategic Plan in partnership with many local groups and interested individuals. The plan is not a blueprint, but does offer ideas and guidance on future development.

Downtown Cape has experienced a major revitalization over the past few years. The establishment of a Tax Increment Financing District has led to renewed interest in redevelopment downtown and the Marquette Tech District has facilitated an entrepreneurial culture resulting in excitement for both living and working downtown. With the Chamber and OTC both located in the old Marquette Hotel and attached Carriage House, there is frequent interaction directly strengthening the partnership which is certainly alive and well.