Allied Member Spotlight: Place + Main Advisors, LLC

August 23, 2019 | Allied Member Spotlight: Place + Main Advisors, LLC
This week, we caught up with Joe and Kirsten Borgstrom, the principals of Place + Main Advisors, LLC —a dynamic duo with a combined 40 years of experience in economic and downtown development, real estate development, promotions and marketing, public relations, nonprofit and project management experience. They are recognized experts in the field of economic development strategy and community marketing and are instructors in these areas for the Michigan Economic Development Corporation’s Redevelopment Ready Communities program and have been featured speakers at the White House Placemaking Summit and the Main Street Now Conference.

Number of years your business has been around? Four years

Where are you located? East Lansing, Michigan

What is the most rewarding aspect of working with Main Streets?
Our work with grassroots organizations made up of business and property owners as well as dedicated citizens to make improvements in THEIR downtown or district. There’s a level of ownership these groups take that is far greater than our regular clients.

What is the biggest change you’ve noticed since you first entered the industry?
In the last few years there’s been more recognition of the need for more effort in, or a recognition that they can positively impact the Economic Vitality area of Main Street. Main Streeters get tagged as party planners, but we’re seeing more and more taking proactive roles in real estate redevelopment.

What’s the one thing you wish every Main Street manager knew about your service?
We wish managers knew how much impact they and their EV committee can make in the redevelopment end of their work without needing to know the ins and outs of real estate finance or construction. There’s a bunch of smaller steps they can take to aid in this area without needing to know how pro formas work or how to cost out a project. We also wish Main Streeters did a better job of telling their story not just to locals, but to visitors and others in their region. Main Street is full of powerful stories from the mom and pop retailers to the communities boot strapping their own revitalization. This story needs to be shared and can be a powerful marketing tool to attract new business and investment.

What is the biggest challenge you see facing Main Streets today?
The cost of construction, or rehab, is one of the biggest challenges that we’re seeing. It’s not that historic rehab is drastically more expensive, it’s the general construction/rehab cost due to a lack of talent working in the field. Contractors have their pick of projects and that has a tendency to drive up costs. On the communication side, we’re seeing communities doing a better job of utilizing traditional social media (Facebook) but are slower to adopt newer mediums like Instagram and Snapchat. If they want to market to younger audiences, they have to go where these folks are.

Visit Place + Main Advisors' listing in our Allied Service Directory, or learn more at

Our Allied Network is made up of companies and consultants that provide products and services related to downtown revitalization and economic development. Whether you specialize in market analysis, architectural design, beautiful event banners, or state of the art park benches, Allied membership provides an invaluable way to promote your goods or services to the Main Street America network.