Asheboro working with state to revitalize downtown

ASHEBORO, N.C. -- The City of Asheboro is working on an action plan to revitalize downtown.

In July 2017, the city was one of three cities chosen by NC Main Street (a part of Main Street America) for the Downtown Associate Community Program.

Municipalities apply for the program every two years; Henderson and Dunn also made the cut.

Justin Luck, zoning administrator and planner, explained how the program will help Asheboro toward their goals with marketing and planning guidance.

“The goal of the Downtown Associate Community Program is to help us establish a sustainable organization geared towards downtown redevelopment. So right now we’re in the building blocks of creating that organization creating that vision of where we want to be and generating the action plan to achieve that vision,” Luck said.

NC Main Street staff visit Asheboro every two months to discuss ideas and brainstorm with the community in public meetings.

Joel McClosky, owner of Four Saints Brewery and the vice president of the Downtown Association, has been involved with the planning process since early on.

"Being involved with the Main Street USA program, it allows us the opportunity to work with people who have done this multiple times that can help usher us through the thinking and the planning so that we do things the best way possible," McClosky said. ​

Luck said while the branding and approach may change over time, the three main focuses for the revitalization will remain the same; incorporating the NC Zoo into streets-cape design, recruiting more retail and restaurant business and offering more housing.

"It brings us over close to a million people a year and what we would like is for downtown to be your first stop of your zoo experience and your last stop," Luck said. "We intend to do this incorporated zoo themes downtown such as possibly crosswalks which we're in discussion with NCDOT right now, also maybe zoo-themed bike racks, possibly more murals."

NC Main Street staff will be back in Asheboro in August for another public meeting. Everyone is invited to attend.