Great Places 2017 Winners

Professional’s Category: Great Main Street Evans Street, Morehead City Evans Street and its adjoining waterfront, is the historic and cultural center for Morehead City and an important economic driver for the community. It has, in six short years, seen a transformation through a collaboration of private, public, and non-profit entities. The waterfront has gone from being a place with many empty storefronts and no pedestrian traffic to a destination known for festivals, entertainment, fine dining, unique shops, and world class fishing and diving. Professional’s Category: Great Main Street in the Making Clay Street, Mebane A Great Main Street in the Making is a street that is still being planned or developed, but has great potential for success. Clay Street in Mebane is just such a street. The street has shops, restaurants, and businesses that maintain the character and charm of the city.  The White Furniture Factory, at the end of Clay Street, was until recently, vacant and becoming an eye sore.  The City of Mebane, working with developers transformed the dilapidated building into 156 high end, unique, historic lofts in a $25 million renovation.  The complex is a key piece is helping with a vitality of downtown. The building will now have an estimated 250 people living, shopping, and eating right in downtown Mebane. Professional’s Category: Great Transformation Mooresville Mill, Mooresville Throughout much of the twentieth century, the Mooresville mill complex produced a variety of finished goods and was the largest single employer and tax payer in Iredell County. But, in 1999, due to profound changes in the domestic economy, the mill closed. Through fits and starts, different owners tried to...

Planners Discuss the Key To Attracting Millenials

What can communities do to help businesses attract the talent they need to succeed in a global economy? That’s the question that a group of planners sat down to discuss in Asheville, NC last week. The program at the Land of Sky Council of Governments was sparked by a 2014 poll conducted by Harris Interactive for APA of Millennials (ages 21 – 34), Gen Xers (ages 35 – 49), and Active Boomers (50 – 65) in North Carolina to find out their economic perceptions and community preferences. The survey found that nearly 70% of North Carolina millennials believe they are likely to move to another part of the state within the next five years. What would it take for them to either stay, or choose a particular city to live? According to the survey, safe streets, clean air and water, high-speed Internet, and infrastructure that supports a healthy lifestyle were all key factors in the decision. Interestingly, Active Boomers and Gen Xers also valued these community attributes. In Asheville, the issue of the “walkability” was one that came up repeatedly. A major component for many people’s choice on where to live, the ability to walk to restaurants and towns can be a benefit to be advertised, or a challenge that must be overcome. While some work has been done in the mountain region to increase accessibility, a lack of sidewalks continues to be a common complaint. To learn more about the discussion, check out the article on Asheville...