The 2019 Virginia Main Street Merit Awards were announced at Downtown Intersections’ closing luncheon on July 24, 2019, celebrating excellence in downtown revitalization efforts.
“Our Main Street communities continue to build vibrant and thriving downtowns for all to live, work and do business. Whether it be revitalizing a downtown, fostering a new small business or developing new programs and events to bring the community together, our Main Streets are improving the quality of life in Virginia’s communities and driving the economy forward,” said DHCD Director Erik Johnston.
In 2018 alone, the Main Street communities generated more than $172 million in private investment, a 60 percent increase from the year before, and created a net gain of 902 jobs.
The VMS program, managed by the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), provides assistance and training to help communities increase the economic vitality of their downtown commercial districts. Virginia Main Street uses the National Main Street model to help communities revitalize their downtowns by focusing on their unique heritage and attributes. The program helps communities implement a comprehensive revitalization strategy that creates economic growth and pride in downtowns. Currently, the VMS program has 26 designated communities and more than 90 Commercial District Affiliates. While the merit awards are open to designated communities, the Idea Pitch is also open to affiliated communities.
Best Downtown Public Improvement Project
Downtown Wytheville for the Downtown Wytheville Streetscape Project
Best Adaptive Reuse Project
Guncotton Coffee and Gallery in the city of Hopewell
Best Historic Rehabilitation Project
Academy of Music Theatre in the city of Lynchburg
Southern Frills in the town of South Boston
Outstanding Fundraising Effort
Fredericksburg VA Main Street Inc. for A Downtown Affair
Best Downtown Business Promotion
Downtown Blackstone Inc. for Holiday Open House
Best Innovation Award
River City Association and the city of Danville for White Mill 3D Prospect Video
Volunteer of the Year
Bill Gatewood with Ashland Main Street Association
Main Street Pitch Idea winner
St. Paul Tomorrow