The Hopewell Downtown Partnership has been designated as an accredited Main Street America™ program for meeting rigorous performance standards set by the National Main Street Center. Each year, the National Main Street Center and its Coordinating Program partners announce the list of accredited Main Street America programs in recognition of their exemplary commitment to preservation-based economic development and community revitalization through the Main Street Approach®.

“It is a great honor to recognize this year’s 828 nationally Accredited Main Street America programs for their outstanding work to transform downtown and neighborhood commercial districts,” says Patrice Frey, President & CEO of the National Main Street Center. “Main Streets are the heart of our communities, and the work they do to create quality public spaces, catalyze local entrepreneurship, and support downtown housing is more important than ever. Across the county, Main Street America programs truly strengthen the economic, social, and cultural fabric of their entire communities.”

The organization’s performance is annually evaluated by Virginia Main Street, which works in partnership with the National Main Street Center to identify the local programs that meet ten performance standards. Evaluation criteria determines the communities that are building comprehensive and sustainable revitalization efforts and include standards such as fostering strong public-private partnerships, securing an operating budget, tracking programmatic progress and actively preserving historic buildings.

The Hopewell Downtown Partnership has helped foster numerous public-private partnerships both at the state and local level to help redevelop Hopewell’s historic downtown district.  New businesses have begun to take root in revitalized storefronts and multiple properties have undergone significant rehabs totaling over $7 million in public and private investment downtown since the organization’s designation in 2011.

“Many traditional historic downtown communities were forgotten and left in neglect or even demolished to make way for shopping centers, strip malls, and suburbanization.  We now see a major shift back to downtowns becoming the epicenter for economic and social activity. Downtown Hopewell is primed to become a successful example of the Main Street Approach to downtown revitalization,” says Evan Kaufman, Executive Director of the Hopewell Downtown Partnership.

Main Street America has been helping revitalize older and historic commercial districts for more than 35 years. Today, it is a network of more than 1,000 neighborhoods and communities, rural and urban, who share both a commitment to place and to building stronger communities through preservation-based economic development. Since 1980, communities participating in the program have leveraged more than $71.35 billion in new public and private investment, generated 583,869 net new jobs and 131,974 net new businesses, and rehabilitated more than 267,800 buildings. Main Street America is a program of the nonprofit National Main Street Center, a subsidiary of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.