Painting the downtown

Sanford leaders see painting, washing project leading to more
Dec. 15, 2013 @ 05:04 AM

After months in the making, community leaders and members gathered Saturday to celebrate a cosmetic makeover in downtown.

"We are just so excited," said Sanford Mayor Chet Mann. "This is great for downtown and our revitalization efforts."

A three-block span of downtown Sanford was painted and pressure washed as part of the Benjamin Moore's "Main Street Matters" campaign. Sanford was the only North Carolina town or city to be selected after a six-week voting process this summer. With more than 130 communities vying to be picked, Sanford was one of 20 to be selected from the United States and Canada.

This type of work can make small downtowns thrive, Mann said, adding he was thankful for Benjamin Moore for this project and to Norato Roofing, which provided the labor for the project.

A vast majority of the painting on the three-block span on Steele Street from Gordon Street to Wicker Street was complete, according to Downtown Sanford Inc. Executive Director David Montgomery.

"Despite the weather, the enthusiasm is here," he said. 

This is a wonderful day for the city, said Sanford Council member Rebecca Wyhof.

"We've received a lot of wonderful community support," she said. "This is the start of a transformation for Sanford, and the first of many things to come."

A cake, resembling downtown, a photo booth, DJ and other activities were part of the celebration.

During the Sept. 10 municipal primary, the city's $14.5 million bond referendums — which include streetscape improvements to downtown Sanford and Jonesboro — were approved.

The Steele Pig provided free barbecue sandwiches and hot dogs, and according to a promotional flyer, the following businesses held sales or special events for the celebration:

* One on One Fitness Studio

* Hi-Lites

* The House of Shampoo

* Southern Jewelers

* A Few Nice Things

* Red Sofa

* Added Accents

* Jewels Thrift Shop

* Big Screen Beauty Salon

* Pretty Pretty Princess

* Books at a Steal

* Flowers by Eddie

* In Motion

* Shops of Steele Street