Harrisonburg – 2014 Great American Main Street Award Winner

harrisonburgCongratulations to the city of Harrisonburg and Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance (HDR), a 2014 Great American Main Street Awards® (GAMSA) winner.  Recognized as a leader in implementing the Main Street Four-Point Approach®, embracing sound historic preservation practices and building strategic partnerships, HDR was honored at the Main Street Awards Ceremony at the 2014 National Main Streets Conference in Detroit.

The National Main Street Center’s annual GAMSA awards recognize exceptional accomplishments in revitalizing the nation’s historic Main Street commercial districts. Thanks to HDR’s efforts througout the past 10 years, Harrisonburg has become a cultural destination renowned for its farm-to-table cuisine and beautifully-preserved buildings, dating to the city’s past as an agricultural powerhouse and county seat. Former commercial buildings have been converted into housing for young professionals, while new tax incentives are luring tech startups downtown and creating jobs.

We are very proud to have a Virginia Main Street Community recognized as a 2014 Great American Main Street. Harrisonburg has utilized strong partnerships, creativity and all available resources to create a business-friendly downtown district that has made it a great place to work, live and play,” said Bill Shelton, director of the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development.

Since HDR was formed in 2004, nearly 800 new jobs have been created, tax revenues have increased $2 million and real estate value has risen to more than half a billion dollars. Much of the economic growth can be credited to partnerships between the city and HDR’s economic development committee, which formed several programs to attract new businesses. Local developers have used tax credits to transform historic buildings into modern, mixed-use developments that have boosted retail and added downtown housing. Learn more.

Harrisonburg is the fifth Virginia Main Street community to be awarded a Great American Main Street Award. Previous Virginia GAMSA winners include Culpeper (2012), Lynchburg (2006), Manassas (2003) and Staunton (2002).