Downtown Smithfield Façade Wins North Carolina Main Street Award

On Wednesday, March 14, Smithfield was one of 19 communities to receive an award for excellence in downtown revitalization at the NC Main Street and Small Town Main Street Awards Ceremony in Clayton.  NAIRN Real Estate Investment’s recent improvements at 224-228 E. Market Street won in the category of “Best Façade Rehabilitation Project for $15,000 or less.”

In 2017, the former Capital Department Store, located at 224-228 East Market Street, underwent façade improvements because of a change in tenants, the need for building maintenance and the availability of an awning grant from the Downtown Smithfield Development Corporation.  The façade improvement plan was developed by the North Carolina Main Street and Rural Planning Center’s design partners, the University of North Carolina at Greensboro Main Street Fellows in the Department of Interior Architecture.  The existing awnings were removed and replaced with new, more appropriate awnings in size and shape, and the masonry walls were repaired and repainted.

Property owners James and Julia Narron were so pleased with the project that they have undertaken four additional façade improvement projects.  Two other facade improvement projects are underway by other property owners, with additional improvements planned.

Deputy Secretary for Rural Economic Development and Workforce Napoleon Wallace and Assistant Secretary of Rural Economic Development Kenny Flowers presented the award to Downtown Smithfield Development Corporation Executive Director Sarah Edwards, who accepted it on behalf of Mr. and Mrs. Narron.

“The NC Main Street and Small Town main Street programs provide communities with a recipe to succeed in economic and community development,” said Deputy Secretary for Rural Economic Development and Workforce Napoleon Wallace.  “I am honored to […] recognize the outstanding projects that have helped their communities succeed.”

“These award-winning projects have made a significant difference to their communities, bringing new jobs, new activities, businesses, and new investment to their Main Street and Small Town Main Street communities.  We are proud of the change that these communities are making as a result of the Main Street America™ program and its principles,” said Liz Parham, Director, NC Main Street & Rural Planning Center, part of the rural Economic Development Division at NC Commerce.

The North Carolina Main Street program helps small towns create vibrant central business districts by preserving their historic fabric and building on their unique characteristics using local resources. A panel of judges chose the 2017 award winners from dozens of applications submitted by Main Street communities throughout the state.

Main Street is a downtown revitalization program for smaller towns based on economic development within the context of historic preservation. The North Carolina Main Street program, which provides technical assistance to its communities, is part of the Office of Urban Development in the Department of Commerce’s Rural Economic Development Division.

Since 1980, the North Carolina Main Street program has generated $2.5 billion in private and public investment.  More than 22,400 cumulative net new full-time and part-time jobs, and 5,500 new businesses have been created in North Carolina Main Street districts since the program’s inception.

To learn more about Downtown Smithfield and its businesses, please call Sarah Edwards, Executive Director of the Downtown Smithfield Development Corporation at 919-934-0887 or visit