Q: What can you tell me about the Business Inventory and Survey planned for downtown?
A: The first business inventory was conducted in 2005 when HDR was a new organization and downtown revitalization was in its infancy stages. From this extensive survey, we were able to take a snapshot of downtown during that time, including how many jobs existed in the central business district, how many open office and retail spaces were available, how many people were living downtown, and what gaps we had in our retail sector.
Much positive progress has been made and downtown has grown significantly in these few short years. Now, it’s time to update the data for the purpose of assessing downtown’s current status and making improvements for the future.
Within the next several weeks, a team of trained volunteers under the guidance of JMU graduate student Jeff Byers will be going door-to-door to gather basic information about downtown businesses and residential units. The cooperation and participation of everyone is appreciated and will greatly assist with future planning for the shared success of our downtown.
No individual survey responses will be shared, but the information will be compiled. These summaries will become an important tool for attracting developers, entrepreneurs and business owners to downtown Harrisonburg. By attracting new businesses and development that compliment our existing ones, we anticipate that current business owners, local residents and visitors will all benefit in the long run.