PACE program enhances Main Street

Nov. 19, 2012 @ 09:13 AM

Efforts by People Achieving Community Enhancement or PACE have encouraged people to make downtown Thomasville a destination. This year, they upgraded trash receptacles and installed decorative lamp posts.
The group also is responsible for the development of PACE Park, which includes a frequently used amphitheater, and other projects which impact the life of downtown Thomasville.
But there’s one more effort they want to remind Main Street business owners about — their facade program.
PACE will match funds, up to $5,000, for any business owner who wants to improve the facade of their building.
"We provide matching funds to businesses that fill out applications wanting to make changes to the exterior of their buildings," said Doug Elliott, president of the PACE Board of Directors.
Southern Sisters is among the businesses which have taken advantage of the PACE program, along with incentives offered by the City of Thomasville, Davidson County Board of Commissioners and a grant from the Thomasville Historic Preservation Commission.
Ben Watford, who sits on the PACE Board of Directors and served as project manager of the street lamp installment, believes the facade program represents a golden opportunity and hopes more will join the effort.
"We'd like to see more people take advantage of that," Watford said. "I would like to see the facade program take off."
The street lamp project, completed in October, placed 14 decorative fixtures along both sides of Randolph Street. Street lamps were purchased by business owners and individuals.
"We were mainly able to accomplish that through donations from individuals, who bought each street lamp several years ago," Watford said. "It just takes several years to (clean up the city). We started with the Farmers Market, then moved to the PACE Park amphitheatre and now are looking to improve facades."
Among other recent projects, PACE replaced waste receptacles downtown and oversaw the reconstruction of sidewalk sections using brick pavers that provided a more attractive look for pedestrians.
"The green metal receptacles with the cutout of the Big Chair are a big improvement over what was there up and down Main Street," Elliott said. "We're really pleased with the growth."

Staff Writer Daniel Kennedy can be reached at 888-3575, or kennedy@tvilletimes.com.