November 12, 2012

Downtown Salisbury, North Carolina ~ one of 10 Great Neighborhoods for 2012

On October 03, 2012, The American Planning Association (APA) announced the designation of downtown Salisbury, North Carolina as one of 10 Great Neighborhoods for 2012 under the organization's Great Places in America program.

Historic Salisbury Trolley Tours ~
Saturdays from April though October

APA Great Places exemplify exceptional character and highlight the role planning and planners play in adding value to communities, including fostering economic growth and jobs. APA singled out Downtown Salisbury for its 259-year history, architectural heritage, renewed physical and cultural fabric, and seamless integration of residential, commercial and retail uses. The diversity of offerings - shops, restaurants, live theaters, galleries, trolley tours, and living history displays - delivers unique experiences for both visitor and resident.

Downtown Salisbury is the second North Carolina neighborhood - after New Bern's Middle Street - to win an APA Great Places award. Salisbury's commitment to restoring and protecting the essence of its historic community has been unwavering.  These efforts coupled with adaptive reuse and focus on public/private partnerships has fueled growth and reinvestment that have made Salisbury's downtown a dynamic destination.

Through Great Places in America, APA recognizes streets, neighborhoods, and public spaces featuring unique and authentic characteristics that have evolved from years of thoughtful and deliberate planning by residents, community leaders, and planners. The 2012 Great Places illustrate how the foresight of planning fosters tomorrow's communities and they have many of the features Americans say are important to their "ideal community" including locally owned businesses, transit, neighborhood parks, and sidewalks. Downtown Salisbury's journey from merely a government seat to a cultural and economic dynamo illustrates how planning with a vision and steady follow-through can transform a neighborhood.  Concerted and coordinated efforts during the past four decades have given rise to a picturesque downtown Salisbury, full of charm, character, and economic vitality.

Not content to sit on its laurels, Salisbury is looking to renovate the c. 1855 Empire Hotel owned by Downtown Salisbury Inc., a nonprofit redevelopment corporation.  Commercial space is currently available for rent in the Empire Hotel, right along S. Main Street in Salisbury’s thriving retail district and across the street from City Hall.  Contact Greg Rapp (704.213.6846) for more info regarding renting space, or for development opportunities for this grand building and prime location in the center of the award-winning Downtown Salisbury.

The tax base in downtown Salisbury's core increased from $31.5 million in 1981 to $77.9 million in 2010, despite declines in one of the city's historically important industries - textiles. Cultural and arts opportunities in downtown Salisbury rival those found in larger cities. The neighborhood hosts 75 shops, 15 restaurants, five museums, three theaters and a public library. The 2001 master plan vision of creating a festival and entertainment area on Fisher Street and an arts district in a largely abandoned warehouse district has been realized.

Contributions of city boards and commissions, as well as guiding principles laid out in ordinances and planning documents that have shaped the city's "progressive trajectory”. Private property owners have invested generously in the downtown, and volunteers have logged thousands of hours to help make the neighborhood a center for business, entertainment, culture, government, and soon education, with the coming Rowan-Salisbury Schools Central Office.

Click HERE to download a copy of the Salisbury Success Story.  Call Greg Rapp at 704.213.6846 for your own Salisbury Success Story!  Opportunity abounds to make one of Salisbury's downtown buildings your award winning location.  Tune back in here at to hear more about adaptive reuse opportunities in Downtown Salisbury, North Carolina!


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