The Clinton Main Street Program is teaming up with others to help vacant properties in the downtown and surrounding area receive a new lease on life as part of a larger effort to fill empty buildings and improve the focal point of the city.
Downtown properties for sale or lease will be open for touring from 4 until 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 18, as part of a first-ever event of its kind in Clinton. The event will be kicking off at the Clinton City Market, where booths will be set up by local realtors, the Clinton-Sampson Chamber of Commerce, Sampson County Economic Development and the Sampson Community College Small Business Center, among others.
“The Clinton Main Street Program is venturing into a partnership with realtors and other business partners in order to host our first ever ‘Downtown Clinton Available Properties Open House,’” said Clinton-Sampson planning director Mary Rose. “This event is planned as an opportunity for individuals from eastern and central North Carolina to visit our community and investigate the potential for leasing or purchasing available properties within historic downtown Clinton.”
There are nearly 20 properties that are currently scheduled to be showcased as part of the open house, ranging from homes to office space, and those that fall somewhere in the middle. The available properties are on Sampson, College, Main, Fayetteville, Vance, McKoy, Wall and Elizabeth streets. Among them, there are 16 available for lease, two for sale and one for sale or lease.
City officials said with sizable renovations that have transformed the downtown in recent years, filling vacant buildings and growing the area has become a top priority. The city has also enjoyed many successful “firsts” in the past year or so.
On the heels of the well-received inaugural Alive After Five summer concert series last year, an equally successful sophomore season was put on this year. There was also the success of the inaugural “Christmas In the City” event in December, the much-publicized installment and dedication of the praised “Milling Around” public art piece in May and the partnership with the Sampson County Meth Task Force to hold the first ever “Drive-in to Drive Out Drugs” in April.
“Our downtown program prides itself on successful partnerships,” said Rose.
She is hoping the available properties open house will prove to be yet another.
Aside from the projects and the events, there is much to boast about, with more than 180 businesses and organizations located in downtown Clinton and nearly 1,000 who work there, city officials said. Annual events bring over 10,000 attendees throughout the year.
The Sampson County Courthouse, the Sampson Community Theatre and the new art piece act to attract people from Clinton and well beyond. Among the potential areas for growth downtown, a market analysis completed in July identified food service, furniture, appliances, clothing and accessories.
There are a number of incentives available to those who locate downtown, including a facade grant program — three new facades have already been completed — and an economic incentive program which defers city and county taxes for five years upon completion of property improvements. Several properties downtown are included within the Clinton Commercial National Register Historic District, which also makes them eligible for certain state and federal tax credits.
Downtown has also received its fair share of investment, as can be seen through public dollars exceeding $3 million in recent streetscape projects, parks, benches, trees, public art and parking, as well as $1 million in private investment in the last year.
Those interested in looking at available properties can stop by the City Market, at 215 Lisbon St., beginning at 4 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 18, to visit booths hosted by several organizations. Included in them are Butler & Faircloth Real Estate, Carr Real Estate Co., Clinton-Sampson Chamber of Commerce, Clinton Main Street Program, Sampson County Economic Development Commission, McCullen Real Estate, Small Business Center and Venture Manor.
For more information, contact Mary Rose or Audrey Whetten at 910-299-4904.
Chris Berendt can be reached at 910-592-8137 ext. 121 or via email at email@example.com.