The City of Sanford‘s Downtown Streetscape project has been recognized as the 2017 recipient of the Best Outdoor Space Improvement Award by the North Carolina Department of Commerce and its Main Street Champions program. The 18 month program involved 9 blocks in the city’s 17 block downtown footprint, and included new walkways, trees, landscaping, underground utility work, new street lighting and road repavement.
Seen as an important affirmation of the community’s commitment to a vibrant downtown area, the project was paid for by a $6.7 million bond referendum and has already played a notable role in several subsequent new downtown businesses, building rehabilitations and facade improvements. In recognizing the impact of Sanford’s Streetscape initiative, the NC Department of Commerce noted that Duke Lifepoint cited the project as a notable factor in their decision to acquire Central Carolina Hospital.
At the March 2018 conference held in Clayton, Sanford’s Dr. Ophelia Livingston was also recognized as an NC Main Street Champion. Ms. Livingston, a local business owner, pastor, Lee County School Board member, board member of Downtown Sanford, Inc. and strong advocate for downtown was recognized for her “leadership and dedication” in Sanford.