VICKSBURG, MISS. (September 11, 2015): Vicksburg has been named as a Great American Main Street Association semi-finalist putting it in the Top 10 Main Streets in the United States.
The award from the National Main Street Center selects finalists based on their “overall strength of the Main Street in creating an exciting place to live, work, play and visit, commitment to historic preservation, active involvement of public and private sectors and participation of partnerships.”
This was Vicksburg Main Street’s first time to apply for the award. The application, while only six questions long, took more than six weeks for the staff to complete. The staff had to answer why downtown is a great place to visit, to work, to live and to play. Members also had to explain their commitment to historic preservation and how they’ve impacted the community. Vicksburg was chosen because of reducing its vacancy rate over its 31-year tenure, generating over $150 million in public and private investment, and creating over 3,100 new jobs.
Kim Hopkins, Vicksburg Main Street Director, said that the community has been working together to create opportunity in our downtown area. Downtown Vicksburg is on the move and this was a perfect time to nominate Vicksburg Main Street for this designation.
“Through perseverance and diligence we have seen hope and new life start back up,” said Hopkins. “We were sitting at a 65% vacancy. We took a negative image in the media and worked quickly with local investors to show that we can make progress together. Less than five years later we are now at a 5% vacancy. And we are renting residential units before they are even completed!”
Joining Vicksburg are Main Streets from Tupelo (Mississippi), Dahlonega (Georgia), Grapevine (Texas), Audubon Park Garden District (Orlando, Florida), Los Alamos (New Mexico), Bastrop (Texas), Shaw (Washington, D.C.), Renaissance Covington (Kentucky) and Howell (Michigan). The winner will be chosen in May 2016 at the National Main Street Conference in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.