Posted on August 7, 2013 by Brad Belo - Virginia Main Street
Sept. 11-12, 2013
The Culpeper Center
137 South Main Street
So, your community is known for a festival or two, and the historic commercial district is showing signs of life? It is time to take the next step. Design and economic restructuring strategies cannot only improve the appearance and vibrancy of your downtown, but they can attract additional capital investment, create jobs and spark new businesses.
Make the most of your unique historic buildings, and define the role your organization plays in attracting and developing entrepreneurs and private investment to your historic commercial district. Join downtown volunteers and professionals from across Virginia to hear from architectural design experts from Frazier Associates and the National Trust Main Street Center’s Economic Restructuring Specialist Todd Barman as they present real steps your community can take today.
The workshop is open to board and committee volunteers, staff, local government, downtown business owners, property owners, residents and other stakeholders from designated Virginia Main Street communities, VMS Commercial District Affiliates and other communities that want to learn more about Main Street strategies for downtown economic revitalization.
This year’s essentials workshop is co-hosted by Virginia Main Street and Culpeper Renaissance Inc. (2012 Great American Main Street Award winner).
Speaker, agenda and hotel information is available here.
Register for this year’s workshop here.
Filed under: Design, Economic Restructuring, Uncategorized | Tagged: Culpeper, Essentials Workshop | Leave a Comment »
Posted on July 23, 2013 by Brad Belo - Virginia Main Street
Marion’s new shop local mural with the artist, Aaron Barr.
Murals provide unique and memorable public art to Main Street districts. As Lucy Meade, director of marketing and development for Venture Richmond stated to the Richmond Times Dispatch, “It’s fun for the community to have public art. Most people stumble upon (the murals), which is neat. It’s like a little gift around the corner.” Though rarely done in the numbers and at the scale to which Meade is referring to in Richmond (see Richmond Mural Project), many Virginia Main Street communities already have great public murals in their districts.
Staunton has a great block-long mural, tromp l’oeil style, of a man taking a blank wall and creating a building façade with his paint brush. In Martinsville, a parade of nearly life-size elephants marches down the street announcing the arrival of the circus to Martinsville. One of Warrenton’s most photographed murals commemorates the community’s civil war history. Luray has at least a dozen public murals scattered throughout its Main Street district. A soon-to-be completed mural commemorating the history of Abingdon, from settlers to the 20th century, will be the city’s first.
The newest public mural in the Virginia Main Street community was recently unveiled in Marion and is a mural with a mission. The mural is part of Marion’s new “buy local” campaign and proclaims, “Join the revolution. Shop local. Shop Marion.” The artist, who grew up in the area and now lives in New York City, is also providing designs for Marion’s “shop local” campaign by providing a full graphics package including logo, ad stock, banner design, poster design and window sticker design.
Filed under: Design, Shop Local | Tagged: marion, mural, Shop Local | Leave a Comment »
Posted on June 13, 2013 by Brad Belo - Virginia Main Street
329 West Main Street
Every Main Street community focuses its economic redevelopment on the assets that make it unique – its historic architecture, eclectic mix of shopping and dining and festivals. But only a short hike, paddle or bike ride away is often an undervalued asset waiting to be incorporated into the downtown mix, outdoor recreation. Outdoor recreation opportunities contribute millions of tourist dollars to local economies each year and enhance the local quality of life.
The 2013 Virginia Main Street Toolkit, Bringing the Outdoors Downtown: Outdoor recreation and Main Street revitalization, is designed to help communities focus the Main Street Four Point Approach ® on exactly that question.
Join the state’s engaged network of downtown revitalization professionals and volunteers for this fast-paced, interactive event.
Toolkit Agenda and Registration Information – PDF
Filed under: Uncategorized, VMS | Tagged: summer toolkit, Waynesboro | Leave a Comment »
Posted on June 10, 2013 by Brad Belo - Virginia Main Street
On June 7, Governor Bob McDonnell announced the designation of two new Virginia Main Street communities. With the addition of Ashland and Fredericksburg to the network, the total number of designated Virginia Main Street communities now stands at 26.
“I am pleased to welcome these communities to the Virginia Main Street program,” said Governor McDonnell. “By supporting local economic revitalization strategies, leveraging private investment and utilizing Main Street program resources these communities can spark entrepreneurship and job creation in their historic downtowns.”
Each community brings a unique set of historic assets and strategic focus to its revitalization work. Ashland is strengthening ties with its local college and building on the local quality of life of an historic railroad town. Downtown Fredericksburg’s remarkable historic architectural heritage and location provides significant opportunities for increased private investment and business development in the downtown.
Virginia Main Street will provide technical assistance, training, and expert resources to assist the communities with aligning resources and achieving their downtown development goals. A program of the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development, Virginia Main Street uses the National Main Street Four Point Approach® model to encourage private investment and job creation in Virginia’s downtowns. The program helps communities develop strategies that create economic growth and pride in their downtown areas.
Filed under: VMS | Tagged: Ashland, designation, Fredericksburg | Leave a Comment »
Posted on June 5, 2013 by Alfred Arzuaga
Benjamin Moore is currently holding the “Main Street Matters” contest where they will paint 20 Main streets across the U.S. and Canada.
On the “Main Street Matters” website, it is stated that Benjamin Moore will be completing all of the projects throughout the next year with the help of local Benjamin Moore retailers and painting contractors.
We encourage everyone to try to get their communities on the list or to vote for the Virginia communities already listed.
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Posted on May 21, 2013 by Brad Belo - Virginia Main Street
Culpeper’s State Theatre is the topic of the National Main Street Center’s Main Street Weekly May 14 edition. The $9.3 million historic rehabilitation of the 1938 Art Deco theater replaced a blighting, vacant building with a 560-seat state-of-the-art entertainment venue in the heart of Culpeper’s bustling Main Street district. The theater’s restoration has already spurred additional private investment in the Main Street district, including a $3 million banquet hall to complement the theater’s programming.
Historic tax credits helped make the State Theatre restoration possible. The State Theatre Foundation used $1.6 million in federal historic tax credits and an additional $1.6 million in state historic tax credits.
“The State Theatre has all the ingredients of the type of project that the historic tax credit was designed to support: an iconic historic building, great community benefit and a top-notch rehabilitation that would be difficult, if not impossible, to finance using only conventional sources,” John Leith-Tetrault, president of the National Trust Community Investment Corporation, the National Trust’s for-profit subsidiary and a tax credit investor in the State Theatre project.
For more information on historic tax credits, contact the Virginia Department of Historic Resources.
The State Theatre joins several other restored and fully operational historic theaters in Virginia Main Street communities, including the Barter Theatre in Abingdon (built 1933), the Paramount in Bristol (built 1931), the Lincoln Theatre in Marion (built 1928) and the Visulite (built 1937) and Dixie Theater (built 1912) in Staunton. Hopewell’s Beacon Theater (built 1928), Lynchburg’s Academy of Music (built 1905) and Waynesboro’s Wayne Theatre (built 1926) are all currently undergoing multi-million dollar restorations and will soon, once again, be entertainment destinations in their regions. A full list of Virginia’s historic theaters is available from the League of Historic American Theatres.
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Posted on April 16, 2013 by Brad Belo - Virginia Main Street
On March 22, the Virginia Main Street Program presented Milestone Achievement Awards to 15 Designated Main Street communities. The awards were presented at Richmond’s historic Hippodrome Theater.
Representatives from Lynch’s Landing Foundation and the city of Lynchburg accept awards for more than 90,000 volunteer hours dedicated to downtown revitalization and more than $100 million of private investment in Lynchburg’s historic commercial district since 2000. The awards were presented by Secretary of Commerce and Trade Jim Cheng and VMS Program Manager Jeff Sadler.
At the ceremony that focused on the results of Main Street efforts, Virginia Secretary of Commerce and Trade Jim Cheng spoke to the audience of more than 70 downtown revitalization volunteers and professionals about the visible results of their leadership. “Virginia main streets are thriving because of the collaboration between public and private sector, local and state governments and the citizens of each community getting involved to make their downtowns an attractive place to live, work and play,” said Cheng.
The Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development Director Bill Shelton pointed to downtown progress through the numbers. “In the last five years, designated Main Street communities have sparked more than $252 million in private investment in their districts,” said Shelton. “As a result, last year, there was a net collective gain of 424 jobs across the 25 Main Street downtown districts.”
“Historic Main Street communities are much more than bricks and mortar. They serve as the heart and soul of our communities as they evoke the stories of our past while providing incomparable economic and cultural opportunities which sustain the quality of life for all citizens,” said Cate Magennis Wyatt, former Virginia Secretary of Commerce and Trade and the founder of The Journey Through Hallowed Ground Partnership. “Our national surveys have found that 84 percent of potential visitors are, first and foremost, attracted to the region because of our quaint small towns. The work of the Virginia Main Street Program is critically important to creating jobs and attracting these visitors to the commonwealth.”
Below is a list of award recipients:
Volunteerism Milestone Achievement Awards
1,000 Volunteer Hours
St. Paul Tomorrow, Inc.
5,000 Volunteer Hours
Downtown Blackstone, Inc.
20,000 Volunteer Hours
Berryville Main Street
Orange Downtown Alliance, Inc.
25,000 Volunteer Hours
Waynesboro Downtown Development, Inc.
55,000 Volunteer Hours
Historic Manassas, Inc.
80,000 Volunteer Hours
Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance
Staunton Downtown Development Association
90,000 Volunteer Hours
Lynch’s Landing Foundation
Private Investment Milestone Achievement Awards
$100 Million in Private Investment
Lynch’s Landing Foundation and the city of Lynchburg
$110 Million in Private Investment
Winchester Old Town Development Board and the city of Winchester
Building Improvement Milestone Achievement Awards
250 Building Projects
Main Street Radford, Inc. and the city of Radford
500 Building Projects
Staunton Downtown Development Association and the city of Staunton
Special Achievement Awards
Marion Downtown Revitalization Association
Believe in Bristol
25 Years of Main Street
Culpeper Renaissance, Inc. and the town of Culpeper
Historic Manassas, Inc. and the city of Manassas
Filed under: VMS | Tagged: achievement awards | Leave a Comment »