Alabama Town Wins National Main Street Award

Alabama Town Wins National Main Street Award

Monroeville Main Street has been chosen for a 2024 Great American Main Street Award.

The national honor recognized Main Street programs that have achieved success in downtown revitalization that preserves a historic commercial district. Only 110 programs across the country have received the award in its 30-year existence.

Announcing the award, Main Street America said, “Monroeville Main Street is being recognized for facilitating an incredible renaissance rooted in economic vitality, thoughtful design and the literary arts.”

“I am so incredibly inspired by Monroeville Main Street’s extraordinary success, especially in a relatively short amount of time,” said Erin Barnes, president and CEO at Main Street America. “They are truly writing the next chapter for Monroeville through a passionate dedication to collective action and preservation with a purpose.”

The honor recounts how, less than 10 years ago, the city’s downtown had a high vacancy rate — a lingering effect of the vanished textile industry that once thrived in this Black Belt city.

Since its founding in 2014, Main Street Monroeville has instituted a number of projects — from pressure washing sidewalks to installing banners, sculptures, murals and more.

With the help of Main Street Alabama, the group has worked to “facilitate the renovation and adaptive reuse of 42 properties, resulting in the creation of 15 loft apartments, 12 new commercial spaces and 23 smaller and more affordable storefronts. From façade improvements to complete restorations, these projects — valued at $6 million — have breathed new life into the downtown’s historic buildings, filled a much-needed gap for downtown rentals and created opportunities for entrepreneurs.”

Since the program began, 42 new businesses have opened, creating 72 new jobs, and the vacancy rate has dropped to 5%.

“We are incredibly humbled and honored to be recognized as a 2024 GAMSA winner,” said Anne Marie Deas Bryan, Executive Director at Monroeville Main Street. “This achievement is a testament to the unwavering commitment and hard work of our board members, volunteers, property owners, entrepreneurs, and community partners, as well as the power of the Main Street Approach. We are grateful for everyone’s passion and dedication, which have collectively contributed to the revitalization of downtown Monroeville.”

Main Street Alabama President Mary Helmer Wirth also praised the achievements of the Monroeville organization, saying, “From the day they were announced as a newly designated Main Street program to being recognized as one of the best Main Street programs in the country, they have not slowed down one bit. We are incredibly proud of them.”


Source: Monroeville Main Street Takes Up Top Honors Business Alabama (May 6, 2024) Business Alabama Staff