Posts Tagged ‘Statesville’

Downtown Statesville in the heart of Iredell County will be alive with activity this evening with the Spring Art Crawl from 5:30pm ’til 8:30pm.  Looks like the weather is going to be great for walking around the downtown area perusing works of art from around 80 artists and stopping in at over 30 shops and restaurants.  This is a great way to enjoy Statesville’s historic downtown and maybe pick up some great art or get a wonderful meal.

For more information about this event and other Statesville Downtown activity, go to the Downtown Statesville Development Corporation website HERE.  It’s got a downloadable brochure with maps for the event and parking information plus a list of participating artists and businesses.

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Mooresville, NC and Statesville, NC, Iredell County’s two largest communities, are celebrating another year of being named by Site Selection Magazine as the Number 1 Micropolitan Area in the country for new and expanded corporate facilities and projects.  They’ve received this recognition for seven out of the last eight years.  See a Record & Landmark article on this announcement HERE.

Why does this matter?  Is this some narrow little area of interest that the rest of us can ignore?  Hardly.  This recognition has to do with jobs and job growth in Iredell and surrounding counties.  The recognition that our area has been successful in bringing jobs due to expansion of existing employers and bringing employers new to the area gives us hope that our economic fortunes will be more positive in the future.  Every day we see in the headlines that the key to recharging our economy is job growth, and companies have to be convinced that expanding their employee base is a smart economic decision.  Looks like our local governments and economic development professionals have been doing quite a good job in helping employers see our area as part of their future growth.

It may not yet be “Happy Days are Here Again” time, but this announcement sure gives me an uplift in thinking we may see some better times ahead.

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Sitting in the doctor’s office this morning, I read in a copy of Statesville Living Magazine that the city’s leaders are planning a presentation later in September on plans that will be proposed to freshen up Statesville’s downtown area over the next 20-25 years.  Of course, I didn’t take the magazine from the doctor’s office, but I figured that the information would be available in the Record & Landmark, and I’d just pull that up to provide the dates, times, locations, etc..  I searched the paper’s web site and did not find anything but a March, ’09 article on the initial plans to do the study.  You can see that article HERE.  If you go to read that article, I suggest you look at the comments that were added.  What’s interesting is the variety of views on what Statesville can or can’t do to invigorate the downtown area, including south Statesville/Shelton Avenue.  It brings up a point worth thinking about-  just what and how much can a city require/influence/legislate private property owners to do things that will benefit the city as a whole but will also be detrimental to the living circumstances and plans of some residents and property owners.  This is an issue that affects counties, states, and nations in similar ways.  On the one hand, we often hear people say, “don’t spend tax money on that”, or “don’t tell me what to do with my property.”  In the next breath they may say, “they (who?) ought to do something about those people over there who aren’t keeping up their property.”  My hat’s off to the people who work in government, especially local government, either as employees or as elected officials.  When you have responsibilities in these areas, you know there’s no way to please lots of people on any subject.  No matter what decision you make or support, there will be a loud group opposing it. 

I would think for those folks, it would be really hard to get out of bed some days.

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Before the Revolutionary War, the area that is now Iredell County was actually considered “Frontier.”  Most of the white man’s world was far to the east.  England and France were trying to out-do each other to see who would dominate the continent.  In the 1750’s and early 1760’s, they fought the French and Indian War.  Part of that action occured right in our area north of Statesville at Fort Dobbs.logo-250yrs-vert

This coming weekend, April 18th and 19th, the Fort Dobbs State Historic Site will have demonstrations of military and civilian life at that time.  HERE is a link to more information on this interesting event.

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One of the local groups which I support and work with is the Iredell Concert Association.  ica-logoThis group has been bringing a wide range of live musical performances to Iredell County for 40 years.  Each season, we arrange 5 performances beginning in the fall and ending the season in the spring.  For $40, you can have a season ticket for these performances plus attend performances put on by several other cooperating area concert associations.  Altogether, that $40 ticket admits you to around 20 performances- quite a deal!  This coming Sunday, November 30 at 3:00 pm, the ICA hosts The Wandering Minstrels, a mixed quartet who will be singing Christmas songs in the Old English street singer fashion.ministrelsbiltmore1The performance will be at Western Avenue Baptist Church in Statesville.   It will no doubt be lots of fun and help you get into the Christmas season.  If you don’t have a season ticket, never fear!  Tickets can be purchased at the door for $20, and you can buy a season ticket for the remaining performances, also.  For more information, go to the Iredell Concert Association website at Iredellconcerts.com.

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The November issue of Site Selection Magazine named North Carolina as having the best business climate in the nation for the fourth year in a row.  North Carolina has held that position in seven of the last eight years.  Check out the link to see more details.  Also, if you search for Mooresville or Statesville in their search tool, you’ll find that from 2005-2007, Mooresville/Statesville held the position of Top Micropolitan community in the nation for best business climate (don’t forget that Troutman is right in the middle of these two).  This year, they came in second to Thomasville-Lexington.  Not a bad position to be in- don’t want to appear greedy as communities, you know.  When you put that business environment together with our great climate, local amenities, and close proximity to our mountains and coast, it’s no wonder that so many people find our Lake Norman area such a great place to live and work.

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A recent article in the Statesville Record & Landmark told of the Statesville City Council’s initial approval of annexing and rezoning land for a plan to build a new regional mall just south of exit 45 between Statesville and Troutman.  The developer, Christopher Bitterlin, is a gentleman from San Diego, CA whose son is going to Davidson College near here.  Mr. Bitterlin toured the area as part of his placing his son at Davidson and really was impressed with our local communities and with the economic potential of the Iredell County area.  So, he formed a group of investors, including local folks, to buy property and start the process of designing and building this mall.  I know there are local people investing because I met one recently at a meeting of the Charlotte Regional Realtor Association Board of Directors (I’m one of them).  Don Harrow is Executive Director of the Piedmont Public Policy Institute, and when this proposed mall was mentioned, he said he is an investor (small world!).  Their immediate goal is to close on 50 acres in January and open the first phase sometime in 2011.  They will market this as a regional mall that will draw from a large area much like Concord Mills but on an upscale focus rather than outlets.  I have heard rumors that it may have Mall of America-like entertainment as a drawing card.  This project will be just south of the in-progress mixed use development, Larkin, that covers almost 1,000 acres with groundbreaking planned for early 2009.  Mr. Bitterlin considers Larkin to be complimentary of his project with a different but supportive approach.  Larkin got Statesville City Council appoval for a phase one sketch plan in August of this year.  In the face of all of our economic uncertainty, it is nice to see that there are those who feel we have the strength and circumstances to offer successful investment opportunities down the road.  More to come!

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