GARNER, NC – Aug. 2017
A three-year public-private partnership—the first of its kind in Wake County—has brewed up great results for historic downtown Garner.
With help from a $75,000 grant from the Main Street Solutions Fund—and a partnership involving the Garner Revitalization Association (GRA), Town of Garner and North Carolina Main Street & Rural Planning Center—local entrepreneurs Patrick and Michelle Byrd have completed renovation of a historic bank building in downtown Garner and made it home of their Full Bloom Coffee & Craft.
The small café, which features a custom bar area and full seating upstairs, opened in early July following a two-year renovation.
Full Bloom Coffee & Craft is the first Main Street Solutions Fund project to be completed in Wake County. The fund assists planning agencies and small businesses in downtown revitalization efforts by creating jobs, funding infrastructure improvements and rehabilitating buildings. Grants support small businesses in North Carolina Main Street communities, as well as designated Tier 2 and 3 micropolitan areas and counties.
Full Bloom has leveraged the Solutions Fund to create three full-time and three part-time jobs and invested an additional $2.46 for every $1 pledged by the state.
“Full Bloom’s café renovation has already had a positive economic impact on our downtown,” said Mari Howe, downtown development manager for the Town of Garner and GRA.
The Full Bloom project is part of a broader redevelopment push downtown.
“In the last year alone, we’ve seen three downtown properties purchased, four new businesses attracted to Main Street and 15 full-time equivalent jobs created or retained by other businesses,” Howe said. “The town also invested $2.67 million to start building the new Garner Recreation Center and design future streetscape improvements in 2016-2017—part of its $9 million in total investment in downtown over the next few years. We expect that economic impact to keep multiplying.”
The Town worked with the GRA to apply for and administer the Solutions Fund grant during the three-year partnership. The Town also committed $5,000 in matching funds from its Façade Grant Program, which provides financial assistance for improvements to the facades of commercial properties in the central business district along Main Street in downtown.