WV Main Street Notches 10-Year Mark
Your Water Valley Main Street Association has an ad on the back page of this paper – in color. The ad is an invite to the 10th WVMSA Members Meeting and Awards. Main Street’s usual annual meeting and awards is not a big production with hoopla and fanfare. This year it will be a bit more than the usual, it is the 10th anniversary after all! But it still promises to be short and sweet like the last ones, maybe a touch more fun, as it’ll be outside if the weather cooperates.
There are some statistics about the last 10 years for the downtown area that show real progress in bringing downtown back. There’s 90 new jobs, that’s right 90 more people are working downtown than were a decade ago. And 30 more people are living downtown, while that doesn’t sound like much, it brings the total number to about 60. That’s a number we are hoping to double in the next years.
Thirty-five building have under gone major renovations in the last 10 years. There are 26 more businesses on the street than in 2007. And there has been 10 million dollars of private investment in the center part of Water Valley.
On the back-page ad, there are just a few photos of before and after of some of the many buildings renovated on Main Street. We’re not talking just a new paint job, but the street face you see represents new plumbing, wiring, heating and cooling, and structural strengthening. Major work and designed to last. Those 35-five buildings in the last 10 years, that’s a lot of dirty hard work bringing downtown back. It represents lots of money and even more a whole lot of faith this place is going to keep on keeping on.
There’s some real comeback stories. The abandoned gas station came back as a seafood restaurant. The about-to-be-torn-down empty department store is now a grocery, café and tech school. An internally collapsing foundry building is now a brewery, arcade, and coffee shop. A wreck of a railroad siding warehouse now houses the oldest Main Street restaurant. Plenty of good stories and literally hundreds of people making it happen.
Please come out next Thursday, October 12, to the Pocket Park at the corner of Wagner and Main Streets and celebrate with us. The action starts at 6 p.m. and won’t last long, but it’ll be fun. Bring a folding chair if you can, it’s an outdoor event and you might want to sit.