Mebane is participating in the North Carolina Main Street Program as a Downtown Associate Community. Here is what that means and what it brings to Downtown Mebane.
What is “Main Street”?
Main Street is an approach to downtown revitalization developed by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. This approach recognizes that to successfully revitalize a downtown you must concentrate efforts in the following four areas:
- Economic Vitality
For more information about the National Main Street Center visit here.
What is the North Carolina Main Street Program?
In 1980 North Carolina was one of the first six states to establish a Main Street program with the assistance of the National Main Street Center. The North Carolina Main Street Program is housed in the North Carlina Department of Commerce, and currently seventy-two North Carlina communities are participating in the program. For more information about the North Carolina Main Street Program visit here.
When did Mebane become a North Carolina Main Street Downtown Associate Community?
In January of 2020 Mebane was selected to be a Downtown Associate Community (DAC). DACs receive staff support from the North Carolina Main Street office for a period of up to three years as they complete a list of requirements that will prepare them to move up to Main Street designation. The Downtown Mebane Vision Plan adopted by the Mebane City Council in 2018 is also a tool for the foundation currently being laid.
What has happened as a result of Mebane being designated a DAC?
Soon after Mebane was selected as a DAC, a working group made up of downtown business owners, property owners, and residents was formed to steer the future of the program locally. In September of 2021 a Community Vision Forum was held with the assistance of the NC Main Street staff to receive community input on what makes Downtown Mebane unique. Out of this process the following three economic strategies have been identified:
- Downtown Mebane is the hub for regional leisurely and recreational activities.
- Downtown Mebane is the center for community engagement and inclusivity.
- Downtown Mebane is rich with diverse small businesses, nightlife, and dining options.
What can we expect moving forward?
The City of Mebane and the steering committee determined that a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization would be the best structure for carrying out the mission of the future Mebane Main Street Program. The nonprofit Downtown Mebane Development Corporation was incorporated in July 2022, and a full-time executive director was hired in October 2022. The steering committee has transitioned to become the board of directors for the Downtown Mebane Development Corporation which will have seven to nine voting members and four ex-officio (non-voting) members representing the Mebane City Council, City of Mebane Recreation and Parks Department and Alamance County Visitors Bureau. The board is currently seeking applicants for a regular board position vacancy with an unexpired term that ends June 2023 and two new regular board positions that expire in June 2024 and June 2025, respectively. Interested applicants can access an application here. Deadline for consideration is Dec. 31, 2022.
How do you learn more about the Mebane Main Street Program and get involved?
For more information, please contact Barbara Hollerand, Executive Director, at 336-269-6154, or email [email protected].
Downtown Mebane Development Corporation is also now forming committees for each of the three economic strategies listed above. If you have an interest in learning more about serving on one of these committees, please contact Barbara Hollerand for more information at the contact information listed above.