Downtown Sanford Streetscape Project

2017 Best Outdoor Space Improvement

Sanford, NC


Nine of the seventeen municipal service district blocks in downtown Sanford were transformed.

Nine of the seventeen municipal service district blocks in downtown Sanford were transformed through an eighteen-month streetscape project that made downtown safer, more walkable and more aesthetically pleasing. The project included new sidewalks, trees and landscaping, underground utility work, new street lighting, and repaving streets and alleys.


McGill Associates worked with the City of Sanford planning and engineering departments to design the streetscape project, and Fred Smith Company completed the construction in collaboration with its subcontractors. The $6.7 million investment was funded through a bond referendum. Sanford Matters was a campaign organized by Downtown Sanford, Incorporated, the Sanford Area Chamber of Commerce, the local Board of Realtors and various stakeholders that collaborated to encourage citizens to pass the bond. Thoughtful design, collaboration, communication, and excitement were all key parts of project’s success.


Downtown Sanford has experienced ten facade improvements and six building rehabilitations since the completion of the streetscape project. In addition, the local hospital was purchased by Duke, and the CEO announced that the public investment in the streetscape project was one of the greatest factors in Duke’s decision to go to Sanford.