Kenmore is a progressive, old-style village, with density, walkability, good retail (especially for our times), good schools, and some very strong anchors, like locally-owned Premier Gourmet and Paddock Chevrolet. In fact, it's hard to think of much one would have to travel outside of Kenmore for, from services, to education, to retail, to restaurants, to community parks.
Last year, the Elmwood Village was named "One of the Top 10 Great Neighborhoods," and this year, it's Kenmore's turn. As part of its Great Places in America Program, the APA recognizes 10 communities throughout the country for exceptional character and planning.
Kenmore was singled out for its historic architecture, walkable design, accessibility, functionality, commitment of government officials, and community involvement. The Village recently celebrated its 110th anniversary of incorporation, and is also one the Country's 100 most dense urban areas, according to data from a 2000 census.
APA Chief Executive Officer Paul Farmer noted, "Kenmore shows how valuable and important all of American's first-ring suburbs are to the metropolitan areas. Kenmore is truly a model worth emulating."
Fred Frank of the Village of Kenmore Planning Board and Kenmore Village Improvement Society (KVIS) says, "Part of our success as a village is that we fought as a community to keep our post office and library. We hope this award shows that keeping our amenities is important. As for the decades-old car dealerships that exited Kenmore recently, Frank says there is "big redevelopment happening. We've got a 2-story mixed-use building coming in (image below, Iskalo Development), on the corner of Delaware and West Hazeltine. It will be retail on the lower floor, with medical office space on the second floor. We're hoping the medical office will bring in a lot of new people who will stick around, shop, have a meal."
Frank, who says he could talk for hours about the virtues of Kenmore, also points to activities carried out by the KVIS, saying, "We also sponsor several community events including community garden and tree plantings, autumn and Christmas decorating along Delaware, 'Brokers Day,' where we take real estate brokers on a tour of vacant storefronts to showcase their potential, and one of our largest accomplishments was this past summer's Children's Concert Series, which featured music geared towards children's dance and activities."
He adds, "Even James the ice cream bicycle guy makes his rounds to Kenmore."
Mayor Patrick Mang (just like the park) says, "We are thrilled to be named one of the Top 10 Great Neighborhoods for 2009. Everyone who lives and works in Kenmore knows what a special place this is."
"Kenmore has so much to offer - beautiful homes, a strong business district, excellent public safety and emergency services - but its greatest asset is its people and the strong sense of community you find here," according to Trustee Paul Catalano.
The American Planning Association will present a plaque to the Village commemorating its designation as an Outstanding Neighborhood at a press conference to take place on Saturday, October 31, at 11 AM. The press conference will take place on the Municipal Green at the corner of Delaware Avenue and Delaware Road.
The other communities recognized as Great Neighborhoods for 2009 included Pasadena, CA; New Orleans, LA; Houston, TX; Newport News, VA; Franklin, TN; Portland, OR; Fargo, ND; Lincoln, NE; and Spokane, WA.