Robys-MainStreetChampionsOn Wednesday, March 14, Smithfield was one of 19 communities to receive an award for excellence in downtown revitalization at the NC Main Street and Small Town Main Street Awards Ceremony in Clayton.  NAIRN Real Estate Investment’s recent improvements at 224-228 E. Market Street won in the category of “Best Façade Rehabilitation Project for $15,000 or less.”

In 2017, the former Capital Department Store, located at 224-228 East Market Street, underwent façade improvements because of a change in tenants, the need for building maintenance and the availability of an awning grant from the Downtown Smithfield Development Corporation.  The façade improvement plan was developed by the North Carolina Main Street and Rural Planning Center’s design partners, the University of North Carolina at Greensboro Main Street Fellows in the Department of Interior Architecture.  The existing awnings were removed and replaced with new, more appropriate awnings in size and shape, and the masonry walls were repaired and repainted.

Property owners James and Julia Narron were so pleased with the project that they have undertaken four additional façade improvement projects.  Two other facade improvement projects are underway by other property owners, with additional improvements planned.

Deputy Secretary for Rural Economic Development and Workforce Napoleon Wallace and Assistant Secretary of Rural Economic Development Kenny Flowers presented the award to Downtown Smithfield Development Corporation Executive Director Sarah Edwards, who accepted it on behalf of Mr. and Mrs. Narron.

“The NC Main Street and Small Town main Street programs provide communities with a recipe to succeed in economic and community development,” said Deputy Secretary for Rural Economic Development and Workforce Napoleon Wallace.  “I am honored to […] recognize the outstanding projects that have helped their communities succeed.”

“These award-winning projects have made a significant difference to their communities, bringing new jobs, new activities, businesses, and new investment to their Main Street and Small Town Main Street communities.  We are proud of the change that these communities are making as a result of the Main Street America™ program and its principles,” said Liz Parham, Director, NC Main Street & Rural Planning Center, part of the rural Economic Development Division at NC Commerce.

As a Main Street America™ Accredited program, the Downtown Smithfield Development Corporation is a recognized leading program among the national network of more than 1,200 neighborhoods and communities who share both a commitment to creating high-quality places and to building stronger communities through preservation-based economic development. All Main Street America™ Accredited programs meet a set of National Accreditation Standards of Performance as outlined by the National Main Street Center.
Smithfield is a North Carolina Main Street Community, designated by the NC Department of Commerce and Main Street & Rural Planning Center.  The Downtown Smithfield Development Corporation is charged with administering the program at the local level and building a public-private partnership to spur economic development in partnership with the state agency. 
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