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 turn the mill into a business park, then multifamily housing, retail and office space. At the end of the recent recession, the mill was purchased by Concord Global, which has worked successfully to transform the massive property into a corporate office/retail/wholesale center. Concord Global first opened the 120,000 square ft. Merinos Home Furnishings in 2011, then added more than 100,000 square feet of gallery spaces. In 2012, a 1.6 megawatt solar plant was installed on the new roofs in partnership with a third-party owner and operator. Now, the University of North Carolina at Charlotte purchases Renewable Energy Credits generated by the solar plant and leases 24,000 square feet for solar technology research. In 2016, Greenworks Tools opened its new, 40,000 square-foot, North American headquarters here.

People’s Choice: Great Historic Rehabilitation

R.J. Reynolds Building, Winston-Salem

The iconic Art Deco style R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company headquarters in Winston-Salem has stood as a symbol of the city since the 1920s. The building’s architects, Shreve and Lamb, used the building as the model for the Empire State Building. PMC Property Group began renovations for adaptive reuse in 2014. Total project cost was approximately $60 million, financed partially by state and federal historic tax credits. The renovated building includes The Kimpton Cardinal Hotel and The Katherine restaurant, along with luxury apartments. This signature, National Register designated building, has become a significant part of the dynamic revitalization of downtown Winston-Salem.

People’s Choice: Great Public Space

Shallowford Square, Lewisville

A state-wide model for public/private investment in community facilities, Shallowford Square is the focal point of Lewisville’s downtown. From picnics under the gazebo, children’s exercise at the playground, adult fitness walks or a place for events, weddings and church gatherings “The Square” provides a place of community for Lewisville residents. Shallowford Square is also the location for many of Lewisville’s free community events including family movie nights, an annual community street party, the concert in the park series’, community productions of plays and musicals, an annual Halloween festival, and one of the largest July 4th fireworks displays in the Triad.


  1. Check your picture for Evans Street in Morehead City. It is actually a picture of Shackleford Street looking East from 15th Street. Evans Street is not in the picture, that you can see.
    However, Shackleford Street is also beautiful?

    • Hi Dan,

      Thanks for weighing in. We wouldn’t want to have the wrong photos, so we checked in with a team member who lives there and we looked at Google Street view. Both assure us the photos are of Evans Street.

      However, we appreciate you looking out for us and making sure we’re doing right by our Great Places winners.

      –Jenn, on behalf of APA-NC

  2. I have had the pleasure of visiting personally two of the locations on this list and Morehead City is a great place for sure. Stay on the water at Bask and you can walk to anywhere and the views are wonderful. Southern Charm and Hospitality is truly understood in this place and in this town!


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