For Immediate Release
Thursday, November 6, 2014
Contact: Brittany Lesser
Secretary Detzner Designates Grand Central District Florida Main Street Program of the Month
Secretary of State Ken Detzner announced today that Grand Central District has been designated the Florida Main Street Community of the Month for November 2014. Communities are selected based on their developmental achievements and participation in the Florida Main Street Program. The Grand Central District was designated a Main Street community in 2001. To date they have completed over 198 rehabilitation projects, totaling over $33 million. The program has also brought 180 businesses into their historic district, generating 518 jobs in the St. Petersburg area.
“There are currently three accredited Main Street communities in the St. Petersburg area, of which the Grand Central District program is the oldest,” said Secretary of State Ken Detzner. “It’s located in the Historic Kenwood District, an area that supports the efforts of preservation and economic development for the enhancement of their local community. It is with the assistance of the Grand Central District Main Street Association that the neighborhood and businesses are thriving.”
Streetscape of Grand Central District in St. Petersburg
“Grand Central District has gone through a complete metamorphosis said the program’s Main Street Executive Director, Lauren Ruiz.The once vacant storefronts are now thriving businesses that attract customers from the greater St. Petersburg area. Main Street works!”
What was originally an avocado grove, the Kenwood District was established in 1913 by Charles R. Hall who oversaw the construction of ten bungalow-style homes for a total of only $30,000. This bungalow design became the typical architecture in Kenwood through the 1950s. Between 1950 -1970 the Kenwood District declined as the independent mom and pop businesses were vacated as a result of the development of Interstate 275 which steered business to the west and away from the district’s Central Avenue area. In 1990, a community neighborhood association was formed to restore the facades of the historic buildings and to revitalize the neighborhood’s homes and businesses. The Historic Kenwood District has the highest percentage of 1920s bungalow-style homes in Florida. On August 4, 2003, the district was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
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About Florida Main Street
Florida Main Street is a program administered by the Division of Historical Resources under the Florida Department of State, which currently oversees 45 communities throughout the state. By implementing the National Main Street Center’s Four-Point Approach®, Florida Main Street encourages economic development within the context of historic preservation through the revitalization of Florida’s downtowns – the community’s heart and soul. Since the program’s inception in 1985, the Florida Main Street programs have cumulatively created 22,885 jobs, 6,848 new businesses and produced $2.3 billion in reinvestment.