Main Street Greenwood was recognized with two statewide awards Thursday from the Mississippi Main Street Association during a ceremony in Jackson.
Brantley Snipes, executive director for Main Street Greenwood, picked up awards for outstanding new development project for Rail Spike Park and outstanding business recruitment program for Rehabit Greenwood.
Rail Spike Park is a paved multipurpose path built on the former C&G Railroad right-of-way adjacent to Johnson Street and running from Lamar Street to U.S. 82. The park attracts bicycle riders, runners and walkers and adjoins a permanent pavilion at Main and Johnson streets. The pavilion is the location for the Downtown Greenwood Farmers Market every Saturday morning.
Besides recognition from the MMSA, the Rail Spike Park project has earned the city an excellence award from the Mississippi Municipal League, which will be presented at the annual conference later this month, according to Mayor Carolyn McAdams.
Rehabit Greenwood is a joint effort of Main Street Greenwood, the city of Greenwood, Delta Design Build Workshop, Orion Planning and Development, and Allen Engineering. The project identified eight properties in the downtown area that were potential brownfields and then used an EPA grant to run reports on properties and create a development booklet to showcase potential re-development uses.
“The MMSA is honored to celebrate Mississippi’s downtown communities,” said Kevin Stafford, MMSA board president. “Our local leaders, partners, and investors are to be admired and commended for their vision and drive to reinvent, rehabilitate, grow, and diversify the downtown experience, all while preserving its historical legacy.
“I am inspired by their entrepreneurial spirit and impressed by the economic opportunities provided to our communities,” Stafford said.
According to the MMSA, every dollar spent in this organization results in $80 of private investment, the highest return on investment of any economic activity in the state.
In 2018, Mississippi Main Street Communities generated 247 net new businesses, 68 business expansions to existing businesses, 1,225 net new jobs, 84 facade rehabilitations, 309 downtown residential units, 29 new construction projects and 56 public improvement projects.
MMSA currently has 53 active Main Street programs that include 47 Main Street communities and six downtown network members.