A Message from the Director
By implementing a comprehensive Main Street program, downtown Harrisonburg has experienced a dramatic transformation over the past 10 years, from a recent past of pessimism to the budding vibrancy of the present and toward a future that models revitalization success. Not only have city officials, downtown fans and local residents, and Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance (HDR) supporters recognized the positive changes, but visiting tourists have also validated this perspective.
Readers of the regional Daily News-Record have consistently voted in the “Best of the Valley” survey for many of the downtown restaurants, shops, and attractions and selected HDR as the “Best Use of Taxpayer Money” the last three years, as well as downtown as the “Best Thing about Harrisonburg” the past two years. The readers of Virginia Living Magazine rated downtown Harrisonburg as the second best shopping destination in the Shenandoah Valley and voted for 21 Harrisonburg businesses in numerous categories.
With the addition of seven new restaurants and eateries in 2012, including Capital Ale House’s fifth location in Virginia, downtown Harrisonburg now offers more than 25 dining choices ranging from upscale to budget-friendly and mainstream to ethnic options. Two arts-related businesses opened in the district, further enhancing our downtown’s designation as the first Arts & Cultural District in Virginia. New retail businesses include a baby and maternity boutique, and new service and technology businesses also joined our downtown this past year.
Our past accomplishments are impressive. However, with the support of the city, business interests, and the general public, I am confident that the best is yet to come. Significant new historic building renovations, such as the Cassco Ice project, along with new proposed projects, such as an urban park and hotel & conference center, have the potential to transform our downtown into an even more thriving and vibrant regional attraction.
Total Impact (2004-2012)
- 702 | Net new jobs created
- 64 | Net new businesses created
- 167 | Building rehabilitations
- 339 | Housing units added
- 73,465 | Volunteer hours given
- $1,571,786 | Value of volunteer time
- $12,953,888 | Public investment
- $50,849,662 | Private investment
Financials FY 2011-2012*
*Operating budget of $312,672
What makes your Main Street “great”?
“The heart of our city is beating vibrantly again. Our new quality of life is defined by healthfulness, family, community, career, and the freedom to pursue the fulfillment of each. . . Perhaps this makes our Main Street ‘great.’ It certainly makes Harrisonburg’s Main Street a great place to call home.”
~Barry Kelley, developer and HDR Advisory Board member
View the full annual report, including a listing of our “Friends of Downtown.” Other sponsors and donors are listed on the corresponding events’ web pages. For more information about Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance, please visit our website.