Welcome to Downtown 
Mount Airy, North Carolina

Historic Downtown Mount Airy is located in the foothills of the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains. The unique community of Mount Airy is rich in cultural arts and famous for our friendliness! 

The people and the businesses of Downtown Mount Airy are proud the serve the community, and consider it a pleasure to accommodate tourists year-round. We strive to provide an excellent and unique destination for shopping, dining, local wines, music, sight-seeing, and enjoying quality time together. We continually work towards growing and improving our city. 

For more information on 
Downtown Mount Airy 

April 2014

Mount Airy Downtown, Inc. 
Benefits of the Municipal Service District & Opportunities for Downtown


The North Carolina Main Street Center works to stimulate economic development within the context of historic preservation, using a comprehensive approach to downtown revitalization developed by the National Trust for Historic Preservation and utilized by the National Trust Main Street Center to assist communities across the country.


Main Street has been the most successful downtown economic development strategy that North Carolina has ever seen. In 2013, Main Street investment figures passed the $2 billion mark, and new downtown jobs exceeded 18,000. Main Street communities across the state have many reasons to celebrate!


North Carolina Main Street communities are generating investment while creating downtown destinations. Innovative tools and funding programs are spurring investment; partnerships are leveraging time and volunteer resources; healthy environments and authentic promotion and branding are building market share; and a diversified business mix is creating jobs.


NC Main Street Website


More on the

Main Street

Solutions Fund


The purpose of the fund is to provide maximum support to small businesses in designated micropolitans located in Tier 2 and Tier 3 counties and/or in designated North Carolina Main Street communities. The grants will be used to assist planning agencies and small businesses with efforts to revitalize downtowns by creating jobs, funding infrastructure improvements and rehabilitating buildings.


Mount Airy Downtown, Inc. 


Lizzie Morrison

Main Street Coordinator



206 North Main Street,

Suite 200

Mount Airy, N.C. 27030





More Recommendations

will be available soon along with a masterplan for Downtown Mount Airy! 


MAD is Planning for a Bright Future

 Following the North Carolina Main Street Resource Team visit and market analysis last month, we have received a full report from the North Carolina Department of Commerce. The report represents an implementation strategy of ideas and recommendations from a North Carolina Main Street resource team visit to Mount Airy. The resource team was comprised of people with expertise and first-hand experience in the downtown revitalization issues faced by communities such as Mount Airy. Team members were selected by the director of the North Carolina Main Street Center after consultation with the local program manager. Effort was made to include people with expertise in a broad range of community revitalization areas with special focus on organization, design, promotion and economic restructuring.  Mount Airy Downtown, Inc.is working to create a plan of action to stimulate economic growth for the

downtown district.



Benefits to the Municipal Service District

MAD is proud to serve the downtown district in Mount Airy as we work to benefit property owners, business owners, citizens and visitors as we implement the Main Street Program. 


  • MAD just completed a Main Street Solutions Fund workshop during the North Carolina Main Street Conference in New Bern, N.C. this week. This means we now are an eligible community to apply for the grant that provides up to $200,000 for projects that will directly benefit small business owners. See more about the Main Street Solutions Fund.  
  • MAD follows the Four Point Approach of the N.C. Main Street Program to promote and assist existing businesses while recruiting new businesses and jobs to downtown. Through participation in the program, businesses/property owners have access to free professional design work, facade grant assistance, and Main Street Solutions funding - just to name a few of the benefits. 

A Few Recommendations from the Department of Commerce

  • Downtown Mount Airy is made up of five distinct, but strongly interrelated small land use areas. These five areas include a: commercial core, government block, financial center, culture tourism area, transition area, and residential perimeter. These five areas are linked by land use, history, and design characteristics. Proposals for development within the downtown area should strive for a degree of compatibility in design and use. These unique districts and places should be maintained and strengthened. The VISION for downtown is to have an attractive, vibrant central business district which offers an array of opportunities for employment, retail, residential, entertainment, recreation and tourism. 
  • Before any area is transitioned from its original use to a mix-use space, an area plan should be initiated by the City and Mount Airy Downtown to ensure highest and best use of land and capitalize on investment. Development should emphasize continuity along Renfro and Willow streets and include pedestrian oriented elements and uses along with connectivity to downtown commercial core. Development in the area should respect existing architecture, which presently contributes to the area’s visual character. 
  • Special intersection treatments should be implemented along North Main, Virginia, and Market streets to enhance the cultural and pedestrian quality of the areas. Surface lots should be well landscaped, lighted, and easily identified. Entryways in the area should be enhanced and pedestrian links with the remainder of downtown strengthened. The downtown should be connected through walking trails, sidewalks, etc. with the Ararat River and Emily B. Taylor Greenways. 
  • The design committee should identify opportunities for further public parking lot improvements and work with city staff to prioritize and complete these projects. Improvements may include public art, decorative lighting, banners and landscaping with native plants and larger shade trees. 
  • Design and install a gateway sign on Main Street, and other "gateways" to the downtown area as a part of your wayfinding package. 
  • Mount Airy should plan lighting improvements as a part of the streetscape plan and develop a public-private partnership to fund the improvements. 
  • Schedule a visit with one of our urban development designers for an additional design training session. This training will cover design basics and provide committee members with the capacity to review applications for façade grant monies. City staff, interested property owners, merchants and others will also be welcome to attend.
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