Today's Date: December 16, 2017

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Harrisonburg Wins 2014 Great American Main Street Award

This year, Virginia’s Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance was recognized as one of three winners of the GAMSA awards. Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance is one of the beneficiaries of the Alpine Loop Gran Fondo. HDR works closely with the event to make every participant’s visit to Downtown Harrisonburg an outstanding experience.

Great Main Streets combine good design, historic preservation, public-private partnerships and business incentives in order to create a very special kind of place—a place where people want to live, work and play. The three winners of the 2014 National Main Street Center’s Great American Main Street Awards (GAMSA) are masters at doing just that.

(c) Joe Foley Photography

Cyclists in the Alpine Loop Gran Fondo parade down Main Street in Downtown Harrisonburg. (c) Joe Foley Photography

A 2014 Great American Main Street Award winner, Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance (HDR) has led a remarkable transformation of Harrisonburg, Virginia, using the Main Street Approach to reinvigorate its historic downtown. Thanks to HDR’s efforts over the past 10 years, Harrisonburg has become a cultural destination renowned for its farm-to-table cuisine and beautifully preserved buildings dating to the city’s past as an agricultural powerhouse and county seat. Former commercial buildings have been converted into housing for young professionals, while new tax incentives are luring tech startups downtown and creating jobs.

Since HDR was formed in 2004, nearly 800 new jobs have been created, tax revenues have increased $2 million and real estate value has risen to more than half a billion dollars. Much of the economic growth can be credited to partnerships between the city and HDR’s economic development committee, which formed several programs to attract new businesses. In addition, the Downtown Technology Zone provides tax incentives for qualifying businesses to locate downtown.

Getting listed in the National Register of Historic Places—and becoming eligible for historic tax credits—was another key step toward revitalizing downtown. Following that designation, local developers have used tax credits to transform historic buildings into modern, mixed-use developments that have boosted retail and added downtown housing. Now, downtown Harrisonburg is a destination that draws visitors from all over the region and beyond. Learn more.

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