Downtown revitalization top goal
The Town of Angier has taken another step toward the future by bringing in someone to help kick start the revitalization of downtown.
Christy Adkins has assumed the position of Main Street director for the Harnett County town.
“We are going to do everything we can to get this town up and vital and beautiful again,” she said. “It will take people coming downtown again. We have to give them a reason to come downtown and once they do they will see how beautiful Angier is and they’ll see what we have to offer.”
Ms. Adkins said the plan calls for a multiple method approach. It includes bringing more events to the downtown area to entice residents and visitors alike.
“We’re going to give them more things to do downtown,” she said. “We’re going to do festivals, we’re going to do different programs to try and encourage more businesses to come to the downtown area, different types of businesses. Just try to make it a bit more of an inviting space.”
Ms. Adkins said the Main Street Program is a national initiative to bring the spotlight back on the heart of every community. A program that’s been around for many, many years.
“It’s been around for about 40 years and has been successful in a lot of places,” she said. “So, it’s a proven method of approaching and getting results.”
In addition, the town has begun the process of marketing itself through social media with plans calling for more emphasis on making the downtown area more visible.
“I want the perception of Angier to be a place where people can come and feel it’s home, feel it’s safe, feel like they belong here, feel like there’s things to do and come downtown to be a part of the community,” she said.
Ms. Adkins says everything from Facebook to banners are a part of the marketing aspects.
“We use Facebook, we use social media, we use our town website,” she said. “We’re going to be putting up banners every time we have an event, like the concert series we have every year.”
She also wants to add to the concert series, making it an even more welcoming part of the downtown revitalization. She wants to bring local businesses on board as partners.
“We’re going to try and expand on that this year,” Ms. Adkins said. “We’re going to try and get a lot more things happening for people to come down to do and see. We’re going to try and get a lot of the business owners more involved in that process this year. Just give people a lot more reasons to be here.”
When you take the subject a little more in-depth about how to attract people to the downtown area, Ms. Adkins believes success will come from within.
“The different types of businesses, the restaurants we already have are doing great,” she said. “But we have build on that. We need more small, boutique shops, places people don’t have to leave town to get what they’re looking for. We just have to offer them more opportunities, more diversity, more inclusion and get their opinions.”
Getting those opinions are where the process is going to start, according to Ms. Adkins. She says it’s one of the most important aspects of revitalizing the area.
“That’s the biggest thing we’re going to do in the process at this point, get everyone’s opinion on what they’d like to see happening in their downtown area,” she said.
Ms. Adkins credits the town’s administration for having the foresight to begin seeking way to give Angier a push forward. She says from the board of commissioners to the town manager to the mayor, the town leadership has gotten behind the Main Street Program.
“The town has had some changes recently, we’ve got a new town manager and he’s wonderful,” she said. “The mayor is just bursting with ideas. So I think with that and the fact the commissioners decided to put the Main Street in place I think that we’re ready, set and we’re getting ready to go.”
-Dunn Daily Record