Salisbury revitalization projects win Main Street awards

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 1, 2009

RALEIGH ó Commerce Secretary J. Keith Crisco presented 26 awards recently to participants in the N.C. Main Street program, including nine in the Charlotte area. Award winners ó which included downtown organizations and businesses in Salisbury, Hickory, Lincolnton and Forest City ó were recognized for excellence in downtown revitalization efforts in categories such as promotion, organization, design and economic restructuring.
The North Carolina Main Street program helps small towns preserve their historic fabric and, using local resources, build on their unique characteristics to create vibrant central business districts. This year’s award winners were chosen by a panel of independent judges from more than 60 applications submitted by Main Street participants throughout the state.
“Communities across the state have had great success restoring their downtown business districts to their former prominence as a center of economic, social and cultural activity,” said Crisco. “The N.C. Department of Commerce provides technical assistance, but it is the local community that leads this transformation, and those that have excelled at this important endeavor deserve to be recognized.”
In Rowan County:
Seven area banks shared an award of merit for Best Public-Private Partnership in Downtown Revitalization for creating the Empire Hotel loan pool in Salisbury. Bank of North Carolina, Community Bank of Rowan, Community One, Citizens Bank, F&M Bank, First Bank and Wachovia loaned Downtown Salisbury Inc. $1 million to purchase the 88,000-square-foot property that is considered vital to the redevelopment of the south end of Salisbury’s Main Street.
Michael and Diane Young of Salisbury received an award of merit for Best Adaptive Use Project ó that is taking a building that has outlived its former purpose and adapting it for a new use the serves a current need. The Youngs won for buying and renovating a building at 115-117 East Innes St. Built in 1892, the building has served as a biker bar, bookstore and beauty salon over the past 30 years. Now the ground floor houses Uncle Buck’s All American Pub & Grill, and the upper floor houses two apartments.
Jon Planovsky and Bob Lambrecht along with Downtown Salisbury Inc. received an award of merit for Best Facade Rehabilitation Project for their work on the Hedrick Building at 125 S. Main St., Salisbury. The award judges noted that Planovsky and Lambrecht went to great lengths to reconstruct a facade that came as close as possible to the original while making the building functional for a cutting-edge retailer.