A renaissance is taking place in Downtown Hopewell — rebranding is helping to create a new identity and image, while special events, historic rehabs, and new businesses are drawing people back to the area.
Of special significance is the recent re-opening of the 1920’s historic Beacon Theatre now offering headlining musical performances and entertainment including performances by the Temptations, Kansas, Vince Gill, Delbert McClinton, and more.
Last year’s Jazz and Art’s Festival brought in hundreds of new people to the streets of Downtown Hopewell. This past February, Ignite Hopewell, a competition for those with business ideas or community projects, brought entrepreneurs and creatives out for a chance to win seed funding for their projects or businesses in Downtown Hopewell. Another Ignite event is anticipated this fall in addition to a revamped Hopewell Christmas Tree Lighting and Parade, 4th of July event, and Hooray for Hopewell.
In an effort to create an attractive downtown district, visitors will see continual streetscape improvements and the rehabilitation of historic buildings. Through services such as free architectural design assistance and the facilitation of historic tax credits and local faade grants, Downtown Hopewell has seen over five building faade rehabs, with many more lined up. These historic preservation efforts are intrinsically aligned with economic development as it offers a unique and inviting space for attracting new businesses to the Downtown area.
Additionally, Downtown Hopewell recently saw the successful sale and rehab of one of its largest buildings through the acquisition of a $400,000 matching grant from the State IRF fund. This grant was paramount in helping to structure a deal with a new owner for the nearly $1M building rehab which will include a new coffee shop, art gallery, art studio spaces, and more.
So far, over $15 million of investment has helped change the perception and attitude about Downtown. People are beginning to come back, and skeptics have begun to turn into believers.
The Hopewell Downtown Partnership is Hopewell’s official Main Street organization working to revitalize Downtown Hopewell. With the help of the State and National level Main Street organizations the Downtown Partnership receives targeted technical assistance and training in the Main Street four point approach. This approach coordinates 4 facets of revitalization: Promotions, Design, Economic Restructuring, and Organization. Over the past 30 years, this has proven to be one of the most successful economic development models being implemented in over 2000 historic downtowns across the country.
If you are interested in volunteering, donating, or voicing your opinion on what is happening in downtown, please visit the website, hopewelldowntown.com or text HOPEWELL to 22828 to join the e-newsletter. With your help and support we can continue to grow downtown into a thriving center of business, entertainment and community.