News Release: City of Valdosta
The City of Valdosta is one of five cities in the state to be named a Georgia Exceptional Main Street (GEMS) program by the Georgia Department of Community Affairs (GDCA), which will provide the advanced technical assistance for further downtown development. The other four GEMS selected by the GDCA are Rome, Greensboro, Toccoa and Bainbridge.
“The selection of these cities for the GEMS program is a wonderful opportunity for them to build on their successes by taking a step to the next level of downtown development,” said Gretchen Corbin, Commissioner of GDCA, which houses the Main Street program. “Our record of instituting innovation and best practices like this pilot program is a big reason Georgia has been a longtime leader in the national Main Street program.”
Fourteen of Georgia’s 96 Main Street communities applied to the 2014 GEMS program. The five cities selected represent 114,778 citizens and five service delivery regions of the state.
“We are honored to have been selected from so many other qualified cities to work closely with DCA’s office of Downtown Development over the next three years to develop innovative solutions in meeting specific needs in our community,” said City Manager Larry Hanson. “The selection to participate confirms the strides that Valdosta has made in downtown development over the past 20 years, and we look forward to working closely with other communities who are also leaders in downtown development statewide.”
The Main Street Four-Point Approach® --which focuses on organization, economic development, promotions and design—is a proven methodology that empowers communities to utilize their distinctive assets, such as their independent businesses and historic character, to revive their commercial districts, strengthen local economies and increase civic engagement. Since 1980, the Main Street Four-Point Approach® to downtown revitalization has been used by more than 2,000 communities nationwide to stimulate more than 235,000 building rehabilitation projects and create 475,000 jobs.
For more information, contact the Valdosta Main Street program at (229) 259-3507.