Updated: Feb 7, 2022
2018 Best Business Retention, Expansion or Recruitment Effort
Brevard , NC
Heart of Brevard completed a retail leakage study and identified an opportunity to add outdoor oriented retail in downtown. The Main Street economic committee set a goal to recruit that type of business or to help an existing business expand into this area. As communication with existing business owners was carried out over that year, the organization learned of interest that Dee Dee and Jimmy Perkins, already established business owners, had to expand their downtown outdoor retail store.
That same year, the former Belk department store in downtown became vacant. The 1940s, 15,000 square foot, building located at 60 East Main Street, was in a state of blight and decay. Seven thousand square feet had not been used for anything other than storage for decades. This seemed like an opportunity for the Perkins to expand their business, however the condition of the building made the idea cost prohibitive.
The Heart of Brevard Main Street Director, Heath Seymour, identified a Community Development Block Grant/Main Street Downtown Redevelopment Fund forgivable loan program and wrote a successful application on behalf of the Perkins’. The $760,000-dollar project renovated the entire building, developing the first and second floors for retail and the basement for storage and offices.
A “Map Room” added to the second floor is used for meetings and for groups planning outdoor adventures in Transylvania County. Sixteen jobs were created or retained by the project. This downtown anchor business helped build confidence in the downtown market, which resulted in other nearby real estate transactions of more than $6 million.