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“After 30 years, we are an overnight success.”

That’s how Randy Hemann, the executive director of Downtown Salisbury, Inc. in North Carolina, summed up his downtown’s road to revitalization. All heads nodded in agreement with him at the Advisor-sponsored “Preservation as an Economic Engine” session because they knew that the hallmark of a Main Street program is a steady pace of incremental improvements and achievements.

The Montgomery Ward Building on Salisbury, North Carolina's Main Street. (Photo: lumierefl on Flickr)

As Heritage Ohio said on Twitter:

That was a common thread during the 2012 National Main Streets Conference. Randy shared stunning comparisons of the number of jobs created per acre for a big-box store outside of his downtown -- 13.3 jobs per acre -- against 155 jobs per acre on Main Street. When you rehab a typical two-to-three story, mixed-use historic building, the density works favorably for your local economy and job creation. Simply put, the Main Street concept works. ... Read More →

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Andrea Dono

Andrea Dono is the program manager of research and training at the National Trust Main Street Center. She helps guide the educational content for the National Main Streets Conference as well as tracks revitalization trends, develops case studies, and helps produce Main Street Now.