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Secretary Detzner Designates Grand Central as Florida Main Street Program of the Month

Tallahassee, Florida –

Secretary of State Ken Detzner today announced Grand Central District Main Street in Pinellas County as the Florida Main Street Program of the Month for August 2013. The selection for this award is based on the Grand Central District program’s involvement and active participation in the Florida Main Street Program.

"I am proud to announce Grand Central as Main Street’s program of the month," said Secretary Detzner. "Grand Central Main Street has a modern culture committed to historic preservation and economic development that supports a thriving downtown district.

Located west of downtown St. Petersburg, Grand Central is home to restaurants, art galleries, and other unique shops. The Central Avenue Trolley brings in nearby residents and visitors to experience the history and modern sensibility of this downtown district.

Since its designation as a Main Street community in 2001, Grand Central has had 36 construction and rehabilitation projects totaling $892,393. A total of 43 businesses and 119 new jobs were created in the downtown area. Volunteers have donated more than 2,500 hours of their time to meetings and events.

The Land Boom of the 1920s helped develop the mostly untouched Grand Central area. Developer Charles Hall purchased most of the land in 1912 and began building residential properties. The high-style homes successfully attracted people to the area allowing for further development. In the 1940s and 1950s most of the residential properties were removed from Grand Central in favor of a commercial district. Some residential buildings were preserved and transformed into businesses with commercial storefronts. The early stores included butcher shops, grocery stores, and beauty parlors.

In the 1980s the area began an economic decline and many of the businesses left Grand Central. The area was riddled with empty store fronts that were under-maintained and deteriorating. By 1991 the Central Neighborhood Plan was developed for the purpose of reutilizing the area. Several businesses worked with the city to determine a successful way to revitalize the Grand Central business district. By 1993 Grand Central began coming back to life with more businesses and visitors in the area. New landscaping, lighting, and street furniture were implemented, attracting even more people. In 2001 Grand Central became a Main Street Community to continue efforts to keep the economic prosperity, history and culture alive.

To learn more about Grand Central District Main Street contact Lauren Ruiz at 727.828.7006.

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About Florida Main Street
Florida Main Street is a technical assistance program of the Bureau of Historic Preservation, managed by the Florida Department of State’s Division of Historical Resources. The bureau conducts statewide programs aimed at identifying, evaluating and preserving Florida’s historical resources. Main Street, with its emphasis on preservation, is an effective strategy for achieving these goals in Florida’s historic retail districts. Since 1985, the bureau has offered manager training, consultant team visits, design and other technical assistance, as well as the benefit of experience gained by other Florida Main Street programs. flheritage.com/preservation/mainstreet/index.cfm

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