The scenery of Downtown Nacogdoches is like something out of a movie, thanks in part to the state’s Main Street Program
“We’ve been in the Texas Main Street Program for about 18 years now and that was really the start of our revitalization,” said Gerry Larabee, owner of Heart of Texas in Downtown Nacogdoches.
Downtown was given a facelift over the years, century old buildings were restored and new businesses came in.
“As people have started to figure that out downtown is the place to be and it’s a great place for retail in terms of its walkability more businesses have moved in over the years,” said Amy Mahafey, Nacogdoches Main Street Coordinator.
Cities are not simply “fixed up” by this program. Instead, the cities across the state must meet certain goals to remain part of the program.
“We have to meet certain requirements every year to be considered a main street community,” said Mahafey. “It’s kind of like accreditation at a university you have accreditations at the Texas Historic Commission.”
So each city in the program has a Main Street coordinator like Mehafey and they must fulfill various initiatives throughout the year.
When it comes to downtown many believe it is a thing of the past and it is a better to have your business in a mall or shopping center but others disagree.
“There’s not really much charm in that,” said Larabee. “That’s some of the things people are looking for, they’re looking for an experience and being able to walk the brick streets and go into the different buildings and see the different architecture, our building is over 100 years old, so some people just come for that.”
Whether it be the brick roads or the old buildings many would agree there is just something special about Downtown Nacogdoches.
“I love the small town community, I wouldn’t be anywhere else it’s magical especially around Christmastime,” said Dolli Geyerman, owner of Dolli’s Diner and Olde Town General Store in Downtown Nacogdoches.
The Main Street Program has made a noticeable impact on Downtown Nacogdoches an impact seen by both visitors and business owners.
“The property values have increased, the sales tax revenue has increased because we do have more businesses down here now the businesses are doing better because they are more attractive so that brings in more outside money, the tourist dollars.”
All this brings in a bounty of folks from out of town curious as to what makes Downtown Nacogdoches so special.