CONTACT: Chantel Morton,
Development Authority / Main Street Executive Director
The City of Tybee Island Receives 2015 National Main Street Accreditation
Tybee Island, GA (May 29, 2015) — The City of Tybee Island has been designated as an accredited National Main Street Program for meeting the commercial district revitalization performance standards set by the National Main Street Center®, a subsidiary of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Each year, the National Main Street Center and its partners announce the list of accredited Main Street® programs in recognition of their exemplary commitment to historic preservation and community revitalization through the Main Street Four Point Approach®.
“We congratulate this year’s nationally accredited Main Street programs for their outstanding accomplishment in meeting the National Main Street Center’s 10 Standards of Performance,” says Patrice Frey, President & CEO of the National Main Street Center.
“As the National Main Street Center celebrates its 35th Anniversary, it is also important to celebrate the achievements of the local Main Street programs across the country, some of whom have been around since the beginning. These local programs work hard everyday to make their communities great places to work, live, play and visit while still preserving their historic character.”
The organization’s performance is annually evaluated by Georgia Department of Community Affairs-Office of Downtown Development, which works in partnership with the National Main Street Center to identify the local programs that meet ten performance standards. These standards set the benchmarks for measuring an individual Main Street program’s application of the Main Street Four Point Approach® to commercial district revitalization. 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.
During 2014, in collaboration with the City, the Development Authority/Main Street Program’s Executive Director and volunteer Board of Directors strengthened their partnerships with local organizations, residents, and merchants in preserving the community, commerce and culture of Tybee. A few notable examples are as such: providing a façade improvement grant for commercial properties, becoming a Certified Local Government, hosting additional community events such as Movies in the Park, supporting new and expanding businesses which led to over 37 additional full time jobs, hosting Merchant Meet-Ups, assisting over 30 organizations hosting events which had a total economic impact of over $3 million, and increased community pride that spurred $3.1 million in private / public investments with building rehab/renovation projects. Tybee Island Mayor, Jason Buelterman, states “The City of Tybee Island is honored to be recognized as an accredited Main Street community once again this year. Since we activated the (Downtown) Development Authority to function jointly with the Main Street Program, the boundaries expanded to within city limits. This enabled us to provide more opportunities for quality revitalization and redevelopment for our residents, merchants, and visitors. This step, and the foundation we’ve built with the program since 2010, continue to create an even better city for living, working and playing year-round. The balanced approach for long-term success is at the core of this economic development, historic preservation model. This is what the program is proving for our community, especially with partnerships being strengthened. Each program throughout the nation is recognized for their unique local efforts and I am proud that our city is setting an example on Georgia’s coast.”
Since receiving designation in 2010, the City continues to foster its public-private partnerships by being a recognized Classic Main Street Community. The Main Street Four Point Approach® and principles are the building blocks utilized to maintain the Island’s sense of place , assist entrepreneurs, and provide design assistance that is sensitive to historic preservation. This balanced approach strengthens the local economy and preserves the island’s heritage for residents, merchants, and visitors year-round.
The City of Tybee Island, Georgia is on the outermost barrier island off the Savannah area coast. With a wild bird sanctuary, over three miles of ocean beaches, and salt marshes on the back river, outdoor recreation activities abound for residents and visitors to the island. As a key defense point to the important Savannah port, Tybee’s Fort Screven, Tybee Post Theater, Fort Pulaski, and the Tybee Island and Cockspur Lighthouses combined with the unique architectures of the island’s raised cottages form a rich backdrop for history buffs. Attracting a strong artistic community, there are several local art galleries. Keeping the island interesting year round are several art festivals, community based events and activities, and annual parades and festivals. The Marine Science Center cooperates with Georgia’s DNR to protect threatened sea turtle species by searching for nests, protecting their eggs, and making sure hatchlings make it to sea. For more information, click here.
The Tybee Island Development Authority/Main Street Program is managed by a staff person and a volunteer board of directors and committees working with partners to ensure the vision of improving the quality of life for those that live, work, and visit Tybee Island and enhancing the cultural experience while preserving the community’s barrier island heritage. The program follows an annual work plan which improves all aspects of the town, while focusing on economic development within the context of historic preservation to enhance the quality of life. With broad-based community support, it integrates a practical management strategy by using the proven Four-Point Approach®. For more information, click here.
The National Main Street Center, established by the National Trust for Historic Preservation in 1980, helps communities of all sizes revitalize their older and historic commercial districts. Working in more than 2,000 downtowns and urban neighborhoods over the last 35 years, the Main Street program has leveraged more than $61.7 billion in new public and private investment. Participating communities have created 528,557 net new jobs and 120,510 net new businesses, and rehabilitated more than 251,838 buildings, leveraging an average of $26.52 in new investment for every dollar spent on their Main Street district revitalization efforts. For more information, click here.