Others have already mentioned this in general about the Main street area, but especially for college students - what is there in the downtown area that the students would want to spend money at. In general, the downtown businesses are expensive and not things used on a daily basis. It would seem that "college" specific businesses would be needed to get the students to walk the few blocks to the Main street area.
Having been out of college for a few years, I am not the expert, but it would seem that businesses such as the following could be attractive to college students:
- cheap pizza
- at least in the "olden" days, a store like Kinkos, but with the modern gadgetry, maybe a tech repair shop
Amenities for any "college" business:
- free wi-fi
- place to hang out
- place to recharge electronic gadgetry
- inexpensive, inexpensive, inexpensive
The inexpensive quality would most likely also be attractive to families and other potential downtown visitors.