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Downtown receives national Main Street accreditation

Downtown Hendersonville attracted more than $2 million in investment. [PHOTO BY SAM DEAN] Downtown Hendersonville attracted more than $2 million in investment. [PHOTO BY SAM DEAN]

The Downtown Hendersonville Main Street Program has been designated as an accredited Main Street America program for meeting rigorous performance standards set by the National Main Street Center.

 

Each year, the National Main Street Center and its partners announce the list of accredited Main Street America programs to recognize their exemplary commitment to preservation-based economic development and community revitalization through the Main Street Approach.

“We are proud to acknowledge this year’s 840 nationally accredited Main Street America programs that have worked tirelessly to strengthen their communities,” said Patrice Frey, President & CEO of the National Main Street Center. “These programs deserve recognition for generating impressive economic returns, preserving community character, and celebrating local history. Main Street America Accredited communities are part of a powerful movement of changemakers, and their dedication to improving quality of life in the places they call home is inspiring.”

In 2018 alone, Main Street America programs generated $4.93 billion in local reinvestment, helped open 5,310 net new businesses, generated 25,301 net new jobs, catalyzed the rehabilitation of 8,146 historic buildings, and clocked 2.2 million volunteer hours.

Downtown Hendersonville program performance is annually evaluated by the North Carolina Main Street Center which works in partnership with the National Main Street Center to identify the local programs that meet ten national performance standards. Evaluation criteria determines the communities that are building comprehensive and sustainable revitalization efforts and include standards such as fostering strong public-private partnerships, documenting programmatic progress, and actively preserving historic buildings.

2018 was also a fabulous year locally. The Downtown Hendersonville program facilitated and was excited to see the Grey Hosiery Mill rehabilitation project get underway, bringing 35 new apartment units to the downtown area. In partnership with the Henderson County Tourism Development Authority, the program initiated the construction of public restrooms downtown and the renovation of new program offices. The Seventh Avenue Depot District has initiated a streetscape planning process that looks to improve the pedestrian experience in the district.

The program has also continued to see reinvestment from the private sector flow into the districts. Downtown drew nearly $2 million in private sector investment between July 1, 2017 and June 30, 2018, which helped open 17 new businesses and created a mix of 80 new part and full time jobs. The city also saw the expansion of five existing businesses and were fortunate to be the beneficiaries of nearly 2,000 hours of volunteer time.

“Maintaining accreditation is an annual program goal that reflects our commitment as an organization to the best practices in downtown revitalization," Downtown Economic Development Director Lew Holloway said. "We are honored to receive this recognition from the state and national Main Street Program’s and are always excited to talk with our community about what we do."