Main Street receives recognition for downtown progress

Facade grants will allow merchants to revitalize exterior of their buildings


(ROCKWALL-February 10, 2013) The City of Rockwall received its third annual national recognition for its successful progress in Downtown Rockwall as a designated Main Street community.

The announcement was made by the Texas Historical Commission’s Texas Main Street Program at their recent annual gathering of Main Street managers.

Rockwall’s Main Street Manager Bethany Golden works with the Rockwall Old Town Shoppes, the Friends of Downtown, the Main Street Advisory Board and other volunteers. Their work has helped attract great restaurants, unique retail shopping and thousands of visitors annually to special events such as the Farmer’s Market, Founders Day Festival, the annual Rib Rub & Run, and multiple holiday events.

The Main Street Advisory Board has awarded 18 façade grants totaling $16,000, which allows merchants to revitalize the exterior of their buildings. Public and private reinvestment in downtown totals $2.7 million since the inception of the program in 2009. Later this year, a voter-approved bond project for downtown improvements will begin, adding $8.625 million to the reinvestment total when completed, Golden said.

The Texas Main Street Program is a revitalization plan for historic downtown and neighborhood commercial districts based on its Four-Point Approach – organization, design, promotion and economic restructuring within the context of historic preservation. National accredited Main Street cities show above average performance in 10 categories on an annual report. A selection criterion focuses on such things as planning partnerships, staffing, volunteer effort and preservation ethic. Sixty-seven programs were recognized by the commission.

Submitted by Judy Evans.

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