For Immediate Release
Thursday, March 3, 2016
Contact: Meredith Beatrice,
Secretary Detzner Designates Vilano Beach Main Street as Florida Main Street Program of the Month
Secretary of State Ken Detzner announced today that Vilano Beach Main Street has been designated the March 2016 Florida Main Street Community of the Month. Communities are selected based on their developmental achievements and participation in the Florida Main Street Program. Since its designation 13 years ago, Vilano Beach Main Street’s achievements include $42 million in public/private reinvestment, creating a net gain of 9 new businesses and a net gain of over 179 new jobs to its Main Street area.
“The Vilano Beach Main Street district offers residents and visitors a more laid back experience to Florida’s coastal living,” said Secretary Detzner. “In this quaint little town located on the barrier island two miles northeast of St. Augustine, people from all over the world come to enjoy the serene views of the beach, a day of fishing on the pier, and a glimpse of old Florida. Vilano Beach is a model Main Street community and a great place to visit.”
The restored historic Magic Beach Motel, Vilano Beach Main Street
Tourists have always played a major role in Vilano Beach’s history, first venturing across the inland waterway by ferry or steam train in the late 1800s until a bridge was erected in the late 1920s. On unpaved roads, tourist and residents enjoyed the island’s tropical garden, restaurants, and the island’s biggest attraction – the beach. During the Florida Land Boom of the 1920s, Vilano Beach was platted, and in the 1940s, scenic highway A1A was constructed. Following World War II, Vilano Beach blossomed with small motels and “motor courts” along its highway.
In 2003, Vilano Beach was designated a Florida Main Street Community, committed to balancing historic preservation with development. Dotted along the commercial business district are restored historic buildings such as the Magic Beach Motel, and the new retail development, the Vilano Beach Town Center. Today, Vilano Beach is a year-round tourist destination with numerous small businesses and gorgeous ocean front views.
“Now that the recession is behind us, there is new interest in Vilano Beach,” says Executive Director Sallie O’Hara. “We are in close communication with developers who are looking at infill projects for our underutilized lots. We have recently received a $5,000 public art improvements grant and hope to continue to grow, attract and accommodate more tourists in our beautiful beach town.”
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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 24,604 jobs, 7,337 new businesses and produced $2.5 billion in reinvestment.