Farmville steps up Main Street District

The footprint of Farmville’s Main Street is set to step out in new directions. Farmville Downtown Partnership (FDP) has announced that the town’s Main Street District has officially expanded to include more businesses, local attractions and churches.

“Expanding the downtown district represents a new phase for Farmville Downtown Partnership and the opportunity to work with many more local partners to bring about our mission,” FDP Program Manager John Burton said.

The Farmville Downtown Expansion, which will extend north and south on Main Street and west on Third Street, will include The Weyanoke Hotel, Riverside Café, Mottley Emporium, River’s Edge Boutique, Hope for Tomorrow Counseling, Farmville Wholesale Electric, Third Street Brewing, Longwood Small Business Development Center, CampusWalk and Longwood Speech, Hearing and Learning Services. Churches included in the expansion are Farmville United Methodist, Farmville Presbyterian, First Baptist, Beulah AME; other religious organizations included are Wesley Foundation and Xa Chi Alpha Christian Fellowship. The Farmville Train Station, Farmers Market and Riverside Park will be in the new Main Street District along with High Bridge Lofts and four Randolph Street homes.

For a full list of businesses, organizations and attractions added by the  Farmville Downtown Expansion, click here.

“FDP is truly a partnership program between Downtown Farmville, the Town of Farmville, Longwood University and the County of Prince Edward,” FDP President Sheri McGuire said. “Expanding the district to include areas west of Main Street allows all of these partners to benefit.”

Founded in 2010 with a mission to create a vibrant historic commercial district, Farmville Downtown Partnership is a member of the Main Street program from the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

“The Main Street Expansion will enable us to extend the downtown district to meet geographic boundaries as well as finally include sites important to the history and culture of Farmville,” Burton said.

FDP has three primary goals – encouraging tourism by making it easier for visitors to stay longer and spend more, encouraging investment by the larger community in downtown, and enhancing town and gown relationships.

In 2016, FDP held numerous downtown promotions. Farmville’s first annual SOUP event in April brought over 150 attendees and 20 proposals for grassroots downtown revitalization projects. In conjunction with Longwood University, $5,000 in grants were awarded, resulting in the installation of bicycle hoops for parking on downtown parking meters, bistro tables and chairs placed throughout downtown and a mobile reading cart. The event was repeated earlier this year with similar success, drawing over 150 voters to the Longwood Center for the Visual Arts to choose three projects to brighten downtown.

FDP’s “Players on the Plaza” program sponsored musicians to perform downtown during the summer months. For the Vice Presidential Debate, FDP joined with The Moton Museum to created The Civil Rights Walking Trail and hosted guided tours.

FDP also hosted the 4th High Bridge Half-Marathon & 5K and worked with the Town of Farmville on the Christmas Tree Lighting event.

Also during 2016, FDP facilitated the Farmville mural at the corner of Main and Third Streets, installed pole banners celebrating the “Warehouse Triptych” murals and worked with Coca-Cola to revive two “ghost murals” on downtown buildings. When the murals were completed, FDP hosted an All American Downtown Celebration to dedicate them. FDP also helped bring the “David” robot sculpture downtown.

“We are focused on building a sense of place and a connection between the entire community and the downtown district,” McGuire said. “Expanding Farmville’s Main Street District is an accomplishment that gives us greater ability to achieve our goals.”