The Town of Aberdeen has a lot going on, particularly in the downtown area. New shops and restaurants have opened, storefronts have been revitalized, and several beautification projects are underway to enhance the overall enjoyment of the downtown shopping district.
In its heyday 60 years ago, downtown Aberdeen was known as “The Shopping Center of the Sandhills”, but when U.S. Highway 1 was moved to its current location and widened, activity downtown decreased.
But Aberdeen never lost its sense of place. Its most striking characteristic has always been an authentic downtown.
The Town’s heightened efforts to bring renewed life to the downtown are paying off. It has created a grant program to encourage downtown business owners to improve the appearances of their storefronts. Prominent gateway and way-finding signs were installed to direct passing motorists toward downtown and other area attractions. There have also been changes in certain town regulations to encourage more foot traffic.
Most recently, Aberdeen was notified it was accepted into the North Carolina Main Street program. Sponsored by the NC Department of Commerce and the Main Street and Rural Planning Center, the program supports more than 1,200 towns across the state that are investing in creating quality places and stronger communities. Through the program, the Town will receive technical assistance, guidance and training opportunities.
“This is exciting. I am happy for downtown. I am happy for Aberdeen. This is a positive step and things are looking good down here,” said Aberdeen Mayor Robbie Farrell.
Farrell said he is pleased because the program can help enhance the town’s assets.
This summer, Aberdeen launched a new event called the Sunday Exchange, a free concert series cosponsored by Aberdeen and The Rooster’s Wife that proved to be very popular. The series conveyed the Town’s new vision statement and is just one example of the thriving arts community and diverse musical venues. Aberdeen is also noteworthy as a regional destination for home decor and design needs and offers an uncommon collection of creative shops and businesses.
The Town’s distinctive characteristics played a major role in securing Aberdeen’s spot as a Main Street community.