Friends of Downtown Northfield


The Northfield Downtown Development Corporation (NDDC) is a 22-year-old organization founded to help ensure a vibrant and healthy Downtown Northfield. For the entire life of the organization, it has been supported by a combination of city funding, gifts from downtown businesses and the generosity of individuals committed to a vibrant downtown. In 2020, the NDDC became a nationally accredited member of the Main Street America Network, which focuses on economic vitality, design, promotion and organization. Throughout 2021, NDDC leadership worked with the City of Northfield to create a partnership whereby the City staffs the operational elements of the NDDC’s mission, and a reconstituted NDDC – moving forward as the Friends of Downtown Northfield – focuses on fundraising for and promotion of Downtown Northfield as a stand-alone, but complementary, entity.

Our Mission

It is the mission of the Friends of Downtown Northfield to ensure a vibrant and vital downtown by amplifying the voice of downtown business owners, building owners and other stakeholders. We collaborate with the City of Northfield to use the Main Street Approach and fundamentals to accomplish this by focusing on local business issues, being intentional about downtown design, planning and promoting downtown events, and providing targeted fundraising support all for the purpose of driving visitors to the downtown area.

Our Core Values and Beliefs

  • Healthy downtowns are vital to the success of healthy communities, which in turn breed healthier downtowns.
  • A vibrant downtown creates energy and pride in a community – not only for today, but for the long term.
  • Downtown Northfield provides the most visible evidence of Northfield’s historic heritage.
  • Downtown is a vital space in the heart of the community that nurtures broad-based community connections, demonstrating that the community welcomes all people and embraces a commitment to diversity.
  • Downtown Northfield has tremendous upside potential and, with appropriate financial support from the community, it can become a model downtown for communities throughout the country.
  • The resources and frameworks provided by the Main Street America network are integral to our success in sustaining and enhancing the vitality of our downtown community.
  • There is a tremendous public/private partnership coming into view that the Friends of Downtown Northfield is committed to growing for the good of the entire community.

Our Vision

  • Downtown Northfield is an increasingly vibrant and active place for the community to gather and for guests to seek out.
  • Downtown Northfield is nationally recognized for its innovation, welcoming atmosphere, and modeling of a healthy blend of retail, business, and residential space.
  • Occupancy of downtown commercial and residential space is consistently maximized.
  • The downtown space is welcoming to all types of visitors and users: pedestrians, bicyclists and drivers of motor vehicles.
  • Bridge Square serves as a “city center” for all types of activities, including music events, art fairs, the Riverwalk Market Fair, the hub of Defeat of Jesse James Days (DJJD) and a variety of other community events.
  • Downtown Northfield serves as a focal point for collaboration with the whole of the community, including not only downtown businesses, but also the colleges, hospital, school district, public library, Northfield Area Chamber of Commerce and other key businesses.
  • Friends of Downtown Northfield serves as a conduit for bringing together the various groups committed to downtown to make the community as healthy as it can be.
  • Promotion of Downtown Northfield events spreads beyond the community to attract a broader regional audience.
  • In partnership with the City of Northfield, the Friends of Downtown Northfield ensures downtown Northfield is an accessible and inclusive district for visiting, living and doing business.
  • The Friends of Downtown Northfield serves as the champions of the Main Street ideologies identified through Main Street America and Rethos: Places Reimagined.
  • Downtown Northfield serves as the crown jewel of all that Northfield has to offer.
  • Downtown Northfield is a popular weekend or vacation destination site for many.