New Castle Main Street is reimagining downtown in 2021 and beyond
Okay, I think we can agree that 2021 isn’t quite shaping up to be the year we expected and we’re a little bummed about it. However, New Castle Main Street is combatting these blues with action! That’s right, we took full advantage of technology and down time late last year to plan and organize so 2021 can be a year of taking action in New Castle’s Downtown. We are excited to share the highlights of our process and we’ll share more about the action we will be taking over the coming months.
We Listened To Our Community
One of the most important things we can do is to hear from local residents. So, before we even began the planning process we started with your voice. We wanted to hear your thoughts, opinions, and ideas about New Castle’s downtown. In November 2020, we shared the survey online and distributed paper surveys in area locations like the library.
We are thrilled to report…we heard from over 300 community voices! We heard from residents, business owners, and partner organizations. We also wanted to ensure we heard from those that live in, not just work, in our downtown. This led us to reach out to the Maplewood residents, an apartment complex managed by New Castle Housing Authority. They shared their u
nique perspective of living in downtown.
So, what did we learn? A lot! Here are just a few highlights from the survey.
Key Highlights We Learned From You
That survey told us that employment, restaurants, retail and community activities are top priorities for New Castleites.
Do you plan to stay in the Henry County for the next 5 years? 94.86% said YES! This was so important in our effort to combat declining population. We want to retain as many residents as possible while continuing to invest in what attracts and keeps residents.
When asked What
are the top three things you dislike about Henry Co.? You told us, the lack of restaurants, employment, and downtown charm. This inspired us to plan on developing innovative ideas to attract restaurants to our downtown and enhance the curb appeal of the city’s center. We want to invest in jobs downtown, beautification efforts and finding the right kind of businesses.
When asked How do you hope to see Henry Co. in the next 20 years? This question helped you and us cast a vision for the future of Henry County.
Top 3 answers were:
- 64.08% Thriving small businesses
- 58.10% Stronger local economy
- 38% Preserve small town feel
- 37.66% Restore historical charm
Moving New Castle Main Street Forward
Our hope is to combine this input from over 300 residents to create a foundation for downtown so that all of those things can happen. Thank you for participating in our survey and helping us guide this work.
Our planning team gathered to review the survey, prepare a Winter Survival Kit to give back to our community residents and begin the action plan process.
This time enabled us to strengthen our relationship as a board, gain clarity on what our residents expect from us as an organization and think through the plan for New Castle’s downtown. We are thrilled about this process and watch for more updates in the coming months.
Lastly, we also want to give a big shout to our partners in this work, Henry County Community Foundation for providing us funding for this plan and to Stratavize Consulting Inc. team for guiding New Castle Main Street through the process.
We are sure that 2021 will begin to shine and we are looking forward to continuing our hard and rewarding work to make downtown the very best it can be!
What do you hope to see in our Downtown in the coming year or two?
Contact New Castle Main Street at firstname.lastname@example.org.