About Downtown Garner

Jason Waters and Patrick Byrd

The Garner Revitalization Association


Formed in 2005, the Garner Revitalization Association  (GRA) fosters downtown revitalization through the administration of Garner’s Main Street program in a public-private partnership with the Town of Garner.  The organization received 501(c)3 status in 2007.  This 5-9 member Board of Directors works with the town’s Downtown Development Manager to set strategic priorities for downtown economic development within a context of historic preservation.  GRA’s Board of Directors meets on the third Wednesday of the month at 4:00 pm on Main Street in Downtown Garner.

GRA develops a Plan of Work each fall during the board’s annual retreat to set priorities for the coming year.  In addition, the Historic Downtown Garner Plan (2009) and the North Garner Plan (2003), developed with input from the community and adopted by the Town of Garner, continue to provide a long-term vision for this area.

Board of Directors

  • Jason Waters, City of Raleigh Utilities, Chair
  • Patrick Byrd, Rising Stream Media & Full Bloom Coffee
  • Jihan Hodges
  • Brent Miller, Wake County Public Schools
  • Ralph Strickland, NCDOT
  • Mary Elizabeth Twiddy, Edward Jones
  • Neesy Green, First National Bank
  • Adna Rubio, Foundry Commercial

Main Street Program

The Main Street Program promotes downtown-based economic development within the context of historic preservation.  The National Trust for Historic Preservation developed this concept in 1980 and has spent the last 35 years bringing Main Streets across America back from the brink of ruin.  Today, more than 1,200 towns and cities utilize Main Street America’s Four Point Approach to support downtown revitalization in their communities.

North Carolina Main Street Center

Following a competitive application process, Garner was accepted into the North Carolina Main Street Program in 2009. Since then, the NC Main Street Center staff has worked with the Garner Revitalization Association and the Town of Garner to assess community needs, identify local assets, develop an economic vision for downtown and create a strategic action plan to implement the Main Street Four Point Approach.®

The Garner Main Street Program received accreditation from the North Carolina and the National Main Street Centers in 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015.

Town of Garner

Garner A Great Place to BeGuided by the Historic Downtown Garner Plan, the Town of Garner strategically invested over $3.9M and leveraged $4.7M in private investment since 2009 to foster downtown revitalization and support Garner’s Main Street program. In 2013, the town committed $8M, paid for in part by bond funding, to construct a 40,000 square foot Recreation Center as a new civic anchor on the corner of Main Street and Montague Street.

All America City

AllAmericaCityThe National Civic League named Garner one of 10 All-America Cities for 2013. The award recognizes citizen initiatives and engagement, cross-sector collaboration, innovation and inclusiveness. It showcases grassroots solutions for meeting pressing community challenges and needs. This prestigious honor has been dubbed the “Nobel Prize” for civic accomplishment.