The historic importance of Colonial Beach is right in its name, a riverside resort town since the late 19th century equidistant from Washington D.C. and Richmond, Virginia. It’s a perfect spot for so many to have a getaway for a day or a weekend. For those who call it home, it’s a beloved community.
“Local full-time and part-time residents already gravitates towards the downtown for its lively dining and entertaining scene. They treasure its funky, eclectic, historic appeal. Building upon what’s here with historic restorations and complementary development will strengthen the downtown’s lure, attract more visitors year round and draw the many summer day-trippers up from the beach and into the downtown to spend money.”– Joyce Reimherr, Downtown Colonial Beach
With retro-styled motels right on the water and a boardwalk full of great places to eat or drink, the effervescent charm of Colonial Beach’s downtown pulls visitors back, time and again. It’s no wonder that the tides for the small town have been turning, and Colonial Beach’s downtown district faces significant growth. In response to this expansion, Downtown Colonial Beach (DCB) created a plan to ensure that the changes on the water are measured and in line with the community’s vision for the future and preserve its character.
With support from a public appeal and a Community Vitality Grant (CVG) from Virginia Main Street (VMS), DCB developed a Design & Marketing Project to attract developers and investors who prioritize the community’s revitalization through preservation.
The three-phase initiative started with a workshop to engage local stakeholders- community members, business owners and current investors, who would be able to provide critical input on the direction of the project. The next step was finding the right designer- an accomplished consultant who would help secure the downtown’s integrity and style. They found this in Jackie Steward of Graphic Interiors Inc., a graphic design and historic preservation expert. With her guidance, the project team moved on to the design phase where Ms. Steward prepared preservation-based designs that would inspire the possibilities for downtown development. This process led to making marketing materials, mailings, presentations and, most importantly, a brochure that could be used at trade shows or sent directly to prospective developers that included a comprehensive vision for Colonial Beach.
Having a document that can guide development in an intentional direction will keep what is loved about Colonial Beach at the forefront of any change!
Image Credits: Downtown Colonial Beach Facebook Page