Historic Downtown Hendersonville earns National Main Street Accreditation

Historic Downtown Hendersonville has been designated as a 2020 Accredited Main Street America program.

Accredited status is the top tier of recognition and signifies a demonstrated commitment to comprehensive commercial district revitalization and proven track record of successfully applying the Main Street Approach.

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 preserving historic buildings.

Programs are evaluated in 10 rigorous performance standards.

Recent accomplishments

In 2019 and into 2020, the Downtown Hendersonville program completed several key projects for downtown.

The Grey Hosiery Mill rehabilitation project brought 35 new apartment units into the downtown area, the Hendersonville Downtown Program said in a news release.

In partnership with the Henderson County Tourism Development Authority, the program completed the construction of public restrooms downtown and the renovation of new program offices.

The 7th Avenue Depot District will soon begin a streetscape project that will improve the pedestrian experience in the district while continuing the momentum of success from the first year of the Hendersonville Farmers Market on Maple Street in 2020.

The program has also continued to see reinvestment from the private sector flow into the districts. Local contributions to the national impact reported above were over $3.5 million dollars in private sector investment between July 1, 2018 and June 30, 2019.

These investments helped open 16 new businesses and created a net gain of nearly 50 new part and full time jobs.

Hendersonvillle also saw the expansion of three existing businesses and was the beneficiary of nearly 2,000 hours of volunteer time.

While the effects of Covid-19 have impacted the economy locally, the Downtown Hendersonville program has played a critical role in the marketing and promotion of the LoveHendo and SafeHendo efforts, keeping downtown local businesses at the forefront to help mitigate negative economic impacts.

While businesses continue to recover, the program is responding to the everchanging needs of businesses and their customers.

“The best practices that have allowed our organization to achieve accreditation have given us the tools to maintain an effective economic development program,” said Lew Holloway, downtown economic development director.

“We are proud of our ability to respond and adapt to the sudden changes to our economy this year and feel confident in our downtown’s ability to thrive.”

‘Engines for revitalization’

In 2019 alone, $6.45 billion of public and private reinvestment was generated, 6,466 net new businesses were opened, 32,316 net new were jobs created, and 10,412 buildings were rehabilitated in Main Street America communities.

“We are proud to recognize this year’s 860 Nationally Accredited Main Street America programs that have dedicated themselves to strengthening their communities,” Patrice Frey, president & CEO of the National Main Street Center, said in the release.

“These Accredited Main Street programs have proven to be powerful engines for revitalization by sparking impressive economic returns and preserving the character of their communities.

“During these challenging times, these Main Street programs will be key to bringing economic vitality back to commercial districts and improving quality of life during the recovery process.”

Downtown Hendersonville’s performance is evaluated by the North Carolina Main Street & Rural Planning Center at the N.C. Department of Commerce, which works in partnership with Main Street America to identify local programs that meet the 10 rigorous performance standards.

About Downtown Hendersonville Inc. 

The Main Street & Seventh Avenue Advisory Committees exist to identify, preserve and enhance the key factors that contribute to the authentic small town urban character of historic downtown Hendersonville.

Organizational projects are identified, assessed and prioritized based on their contribution to and potential to enhance and support a vibrant entrepreneurial environment and the livability of downtown.

About Main Street America 

Main Street America has been helping revitalize older and historic commercial districts for 40 years. Today, it is a network of more than 1,600 neighborhoods and communities, rural and urban, who share both a commitment to place and to building stronger communities through preservation-based economic development.

Since 1980, communities participating in the program have leveraged more than $85.43 billion in new public and private investment, generated 672,333 net new jobs and 150,079 net new businesses, and rehabilitated more than 295,348 buildings.

Main Street America is a program of the nonprofit National Main Street Center, a subsidiary of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

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