A long-held vision is becoming reality for downtown Holly Springs, and planning professionals from other parts of N.C. see the potential for transformation here.
Main Street has been recognized officially as a Great Main Street in the Making in the 2018 Great Places in North Carolina awards program, sponsored by the N.C. chapter of the American Planning Association.
A Great Main Street in the Making is a street that still is being planned or developed, but has potential for greatness.
“Being named a N.C. Great Main Street in the Making is recognition of the transformation and opportunities that are being created by development occurring on South Main Street,” said Gina Clapp, director of Planning and Zoning. “Holly Springs residents have been anxiously awaiting the construction of a downtown for years.”
Town-funded improvements under way on South Main include a parking deck, lot, and on-street parking totaling nearly 400 spaces. This is in conjunction with two private development projects, Town Hall Commons and The Block on Main. Take a virtual tour.
Other Main Street development projects include a bank, eight luxury town homes, and renovation of old house into a furniture store. Plans for renovating the town's oldest home for use as a tea room go to the Town Council July 17. A 50-bed hospital is expected to open in 2020 on the Rex Healthcare campus.
The public-private partnership is the sort of catalyst project envisioned in plans for the Downtown Village District. Clapp credited town staff in the Economic Development, Engineering, Administration, and Planning and Zoning departments in addition to two local development teams.
“The development of the Village District and Main Street has been a vision of the Town for over two decades,” she noted.
Recognition of the Great Places award will be a highlight of the towns’ Founders Day celebration at 10 a.m. Saturday, July 28 at the Holly Springs Farmers Market. The Planning and Zoning staff has operated the market for the past dozen years to help draw more people downtown.
Holly Springs’ Great Places nomination highlighted the streetscape design concept that realizes the town's vision, celebrates its history, and creates a family-oriented downtown and gathering place for residents and visitors. Planner Sean Ryan submitted Holly Springs' entry.
A panel of judges noted the importance of public-private partnerships and the work being done here to enhance the pedestrian experience and energize the streetscape.
“They’ve got a plan in place, public dollars invested, public-private partnerships, and developers on the ground,” said Megan Ledbetter, planner for the Village of Clemmons and one of the panelists.