September 12, 2016

Audrey Whetten
Executive Director
919-559-5376 (cell)
704-484-3100 (office)

Why Uptown Shelby?
About the Uptown Shelby Association
• Our Work
• Vision + Mission
• Our Partners
About Uptown Shelby
• Vibrant Uptown Mix
• Getting Around
• History + Heritage
• Events
• Destinations
• Tourism
• The last 10 years
• Projects on the horizon
• Publicity

LP Shelby project – each piece was painted by a local
People enjoying the wide sidewalk of S. Lafayette St 2
artist and plays a Don Gibson song
About the Uptown Shelby Association
Uptown Shelby represents a significant and growing concentration of local
businesses, cultural vibrancy, and community fellowship. We are the social and
cultural hub of Shelby and Cleveland County.
As a pilot Main Street community (1980), the Uptown Shelby Association has a long
history of downtown revitalization work, including:
• Aesthetic improvements + historic preservation
• Business recruitment + development
• Marketing
• Community partnerships
• Events
• Grants + incentives

Mural in an Uptown alley USA board meeting outside in the newly-bricked alley
USA Vision + Mission
Our mission is to advocate, celebrate, and
enhance Uptown Shelby. We accomplish this by:
• Leading through long-term planning and
• Empowering Stakeholders
• Fostering Communication, Community
Engagement, and Collaboration

Our vision for Uptown Shelby:
• Social, cultural, and independent
business hub
• Vibrant, walkable district
• Celebrating our musical and artistic
roots, our small businesses, and healthy

A crowd sidewalk on E. Warren St during an Art Walk 4
Our Partners
• The City of Shelby actively supports our organization through direct funding (MSD +
additional appropriations) and by investing other resources into our district
• Our Uptown businesses + businesses outside Uptown
• Other community organizations:
Cleveland County Arts Council American Legion World Series
Foothills Farmers’ Market Cleveland County Chamber
Historic Shelby Foundation Cleveland County Schools
Keep Shelby Beautiful Raper-Roark Trust Fund
Earl Scruggs Center HealthCare Foundation of Clev. Co.
Don Gibson Theatre

USA volunteer thank-you and sign-up party Sign with Uptown maps at the Foothills Farmers’ Market
Vibrant Uptown Mix
• Employees
– Around 1000 employees are working in the Uptown district on a typical week day
– 2 major employers are just outside Uptown – Cleveland County government, Carolinas
Healthcare Cleveland
• Residents
– About 85 residents live in Uptown
– About 5000 residents live within a 1 mile radius (2010 census)
• Restaurants
– Currently 9 restaurants + 4 other food/beverage establishments
– 3 more restaurants opening in the next year
• Variety of retail
– Women’s clothing
Group ride at Bicycles bike shop
– Furniture/décor
– Art/music
– Lifestyle boutiques
– Niche: pet store, bike shops, bottle shops, olive oil, monogramming
• Arts
– Cleveland County Arts Council gallery, programs, and gift shop
– Buffalo Creek Gallery – artist co-op that just celebrated 10 year anniversary
– Signature Fine Arts Studio, A. Griffin Pottery, two music stores
– Art Walk events – 3 per year + Chalk Fest sidewalk chalk competition
– Local artists featured in businesses; sometimes pop up on the sidewalk
– Live music most nights of the week + buskers on the sidewalks
– Don Gibson Theatre hosts 50+ shows per year
Local artist set up for an Art Walk
Getting Around
• Wayfinding – 60 new large signs + pedestrian-oriented and
parking signs
• Parking – sufficient parking for our current needs + on our
radar to monitor as we grow. The City recently made major
lighting and asphalt improvements to the two largest public
parking lots in Uptown to encourage people to use them,
Wayfinding sign
and installed 27 new parking signs to help people find them.
• Walkability – streetscape plan is in process to add bike
Improved public parking lot
lanes, bump-outs, and pedestrian crossing counters, among
other features designed to make our district even more
friendly to pedestrians and cyclists.

Young women walking on the Court Square from the farmers’ market to Uptown shops 7
Getting Around
• Traffic flow – All our streets and most of our
alleys are two-way, which facilitates
convenient traffic flow and visibility for our
businesses. The plans for our district were
inspired by the design of Washington DC, with
wide streets and alleys that ended in a view of
a monument. The grid-like layout allows for
efficient navigation on foot or in a car.
• Bike racks – We have several bike racks
around Uptown with plans for several more.
• Proposed rail trail – the City is currently in Map of the Uptown Shelby MSD
negotiations with Norfolk-Southern Railroad to
purchase the railroad easement that runs Group ride around Uptown
about 12 miles from just north of Uptown all
the way to the SC line. They hope to create a
rail trail in partnership with the County and
other organizations.

History + Heritage
• Central Shelby Historic District Walking Tour – see brochure
• Destination Cleveland County – This nonprofit was founded to save two buildings
that were in jeopardy, the 1939 State Theatre and the 1907 Cleveland County
Courthouse. Through a volunteer-driven effort, both bulidings were developed to
serve as catalysts to create positive economic impact on the community and region
by bringing visitors from out of town.
• Historic Shelby Foundation – advocates for, educates about, and facilitates

The former Clev. Co. Courthouse sat unused until
The former Belk building was converted into small 2014 when it opened as the Scruggs Center, which
commercial spaces which serve as incubators for retail. now welcomes 10,000 people/year.
History + Heritage
Shelby has a strong track record of
preservation. A few examples:
• 1917 US Post Office is now the Cleveland
County Arts Council
• 1939 State Theatre is now the Don Gibson
• 1907 Courthouse is now the Earl Scruggs
Center: Music + Stories of the American
The 1909 Hudson’s building being painted (c. 1950). South
• 1875 Bankers House is an active event
The same building on the opening day of Newgrass venue
Brewing Co., Aug 2015.
• 1909 commercial building (formerly
Hudson’s Dept Store) is now home to
Newgrass Brewing Co
• Over $10 million has been invested in state
tax credit projects.
• The Uptown Shelby Association advocates
for historic preservation as we work with
developers, business and property owners.

Events Shelby Alive summer concert

• Second Saturdays – April – October
• Arts on the Square festival – April
• Don Gibson Singer-Songwriter Symposium – April
• Uptown Art Walks – April, July, October
• Shelby Alive! Summer Concert Series – May – August
• Chalk Fest – June
• Seeds to Silverware farm-to-table dinner – September
• 7th Inning Stretch Festival – August
• Art of Sound Music Festival – September
• Beer festivals – October
• Mush, Music + Mutts festival – October Arts on the Square festival
• Fright Night Costume Crawl – October
• Tree lighting + carriage rides – November - December
• Small Business Saturday – November
• Christmas parade – December
• Rhythm + Roots Run and other races – throughout the year
• Foothills Merry-Go-Round Festival* – April
• American Legion World Series* – August
• Cleveland County Fair* – October – largest county fair in the
* = located outside of Uptown Shelby
About 3,500 people attended the opening day of the
• Earl Scruggs Center Foothills Farmers’ Market at the City Pavilion

• Don Gibson Theatre
• Cleveland County Arts Council
• Foothills Farmers’ Market
• Newgrass Brewing Company
• Antique Market of Shelby
• Buffalo Creek Gallery
• Shelby Café
• First Broad River Trail + boat access*
• The Banker’s House* – historic Second Empire Italianate home built in 1874
• Walker Woodworking* – most of their customers come from Asheville, Greenville,
Charlotte. Their Greenbrook Design Center (showroom) will open this winter in
• City Park* – restored historic carousel, Rotary train, sports tournaments
• Gardner-Webb University* – private university about 15 minutes from Uptown. We
draw students throughout the year and crowds of families during move-in, move-out,
and graduations.
* = located outside of Uptown Shelby
Tourism Data
Regarding the Uptown customer base: “Perhaps the most telling change between the
2006 and the 2016 zip code survey is the number of visitors from outside of the region.
The rest of North Carolina increased from 9% of the visitors in 2006 to 17% in 2016.
South Carolina remained stable while other states made a 3% appearance on the chart
in 2016 where they did not have enough visitation to warrant a percentage point in
2006.” – Center City Master Plan update 2016
This year Cleveland County ranked in the top 10 in NC for an increase in tourism
spending. We tied with Montgomery and Catawba counties with a 4.5 percent increase
in visitor spending. Visitors spent $101.10 million in the county in 2015, up from $96.74
million spent in 2014, according to travel statistics collected by Visit North Carolina.
Google Analytics consistently indicates we get
strong out-of-county traffic: (Charlotte and Atlanta
are consistently our #2 and #3 sources of web
traffic after Shelby. Nashville and Raleigh are
consistently in our top 10.
Since 2008-09, there has been a 60% increase in
city occupancy tax; 64% increase in county
occupancy tax, showing a significant increase in
out-of-town visitors to our area.
Group ride hosted by Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine during their
Bluegrass, Bikes & Beer Tour
Tourism Data
Interactive display at the Scruggs Center

The Earl Scruggs Center has had about 10,000 visitors per year
since they opened in Jan. 2014. They are beginning to get motor
coach tour group bookings from other states.
– 68% of guests are from North Carolina
– Almost 5% from South Carolina
– Remaining 27% has been a mix from the 47 other states +
13 countries.

The Cleveland County Arts Council welcomed about 20,000 visitors
last year, a 9% increase over the prior year. They primarily see a
Gibson Theatre marquee at night regional draw from surrounding counties + Mecklenburg.

The Don Gibson Theatre regularly draws out-of-town visitors to their
shows. A recent study showed 38% of guests coming from outside
the county.

The Foothills Farmers’ Market draws an average of 650/week
during the summer and 400/week in the fall, including visitors from
out of town.

Tourism Data
The American Legion World Series drew about 120,000 people in 2016, including visitors
from 10 states. This represents about a 40% growth in attendance since 2011. The
World Series typically draws about 1,500 out-of-town visitors per year, who explore
Shelby and the surrounding area when they aren’t at the stadium.
Newgrass Brewing Company has become a tourism destination for craft beer fans.
Some people make a day trip from nearby metro areas just for the brewery while others
take a detour on their east-west travels across the state. Their active schedule of live
music also draws visitors from the region.
The Inn of the Patriots, south of Shelby in Grover, has welcomed nearly 30,000 visitors to
their Presidential Culinary Museum since they opened in 2010, including visitors from all
50 states and 86 countries. They have been covered by CNN, PBS, Fox, The New Yorker,
and The Washington Post, and recently received two Lux Awards out of London.

Children playing on the Court Square during a festival A full house at the ALWS champion game
The last 10 years
• Foothills Farmers’ Market – founded in 2008
• Don Gibson Theatre – opened Nov 2009
• Earl Scruggs Center – opened Jan 2014
• City Pavilion – opened May 2015
• Newgrass Brewing Company – opened Aug 2015
• First Broad River Trail + boat access – opened Spring
Aerial view of the Scruggs Center + Court Square

The City Pavilion, home of the farmers’ market and
The First Broad River Trail suspension bridge other events 16
The last 10 years
• Strong business growth and significant public + private investment
 Since 2008: $13.8 million in public investment and $17.9 million in private

• Street-level, commercial occupancy has increased 10% in four years, from 78% in
Aug. 2013 to 88% in Aug. 2017.

• Young people are moving back to work,
start businesses, and raise families

• In the last fiscal year alone:
– 9 buildings renovated
– 11 net new businesses
– $1,771,200 in private investment
– $2,672,832 in public investment

Seeds to Silverware, a farm-to-table fundraiser for USA

Summary of progress since 2007 from the
2016 Center City Master Plan update
“In May of 2007, the City of Shelby completed its first City Center Master Plan. This plan outlined four key
strategies for improving Uptown and the surrounding City Center area. Details of the plan outlined branding
and marketing, catalyst projects to refocus uptown from a locals oriented place to a regional destination,
physical improvements to improve connectivity, and organizational strategies to advance the plan.
The Shelby community including the City of Shelby and Cleveland County alongside key partners at the
Uptown Shelby Association, Destination Cleveland County, and the Cleveland County Chamber have
embraced the plan and pursued it with vigor. Major accomplishments since the completion of the original
plan are almost too numerous to count. Highlights include the conversion of the former Cleveland County
Courthouse into the Earl Scruggs Center – a state of the art interactive music education center that
highlights Earl Scruggs himself along with the music and culture of the region that brought him fame; the
Don Gibson Theatre, which brings musical acts from across the United States to Uptown Shelby throughout
the year; and the growth of the Foothills Farmers Market that attracts vendors from across the region to
showcase their food and craft.
The private sector has responded with significant investment in Uptown Shelby. Longstanding businesses
have expanded and moved, new businesses have joined the district, buildings have been purchased for
renovation, and ongoing events and activities are driving customers to the district.
The result of these nonprofit, public, and private sector efforts have been a renewed sense of pride in Uptown
Shelby, a sense that the community is ready to go to the next step in revitalization, and an acknowledgement
that not every recommendation of the original plan has made it to realization. As a consequence, the City of
Shelby endeavored to create an update to the 2007 plan. This effort reflects a sincere desire to evaluate the
current market conditions of Center City Shelby, look at new investment through the lens of current
successes and opportunities, and make recommendations for the community to take Uptown Shelby and its
surrounding neighborhoods to the next level.” – Center City Master Plan update 2016
Looking to the future:
Uptown projects on the horizon
• Multi-million dollar infrastructure +
streetscape construction project underway
(electrical, water, sewer, aesthetic
• $1.2 million renovation project: The String
Bean – expanding from Belmont
• $1.8 million renovation project: Greenbrook
Design Center (showroom for high-end
custom cabinetmaker Walker Woodworking),
Uptown Indigo event space, and a penthouse
• Jimmy John’s opening late summer 2017
• TBA restaurant opening late 2017

• Proposed rail trail (under negotiation)

Young people are increasingly returning to Shelby to work,
raise families, and start their own businesses.
Recent Publicity: Shelby
• Our State magazine – December 2016
• WTVI PBS Charlotte – filmed Sept 2016
• Take a Look at Shelby (Asheville Grit) – Sept 2016
• Cleveland County among top 10 in N.C. tourism spending increases (The Shelby Star) –
Sept 2016
• Around Carolina: Shelby (TWC) – Aug 2016
• Daytrip to Shelby to Visit Bridges Barbecue Lodge & Newgrass Brewing Co (The
Wandering Gourmand blog) – July 2016
• Happenings magazine (Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority) – March 2016
• Multiple articles (Newgrass, ESC, DGT) – Getaways for Grownups blog, March 2016
• Around Towns: Shelby (Charlotte
Magazine) – Aug 2015
• All there is to do in Shelby: A photo
tour of 14 things to explore (Charlotte
Agenda) – July 2015

Tuesday nights are pickin’ nights at Newgrass Georgetown, Indiana band The Hart Strings busking in 20
Uptown Shelby
Recent Publicity: Businesses
• Newgrass Brewing Company:
– Newgrass Brewing Announced as winner
of NC Brewer of the Year (Charlotte’s Got a
Lot) – May 2016
– Gravity Magazine – Nov 2015
• Buffalo Creek Gallery – NC Weekend | UNC-TV
– July 2015
• Red Bridges Barbecue:
– Voted #1 on Thrillist’s Best Barbecue
Joints in America – 2016
– The South's Top 50 Barbecue Joints –
Southern Living 2016
– Red Bridges Barbecue Lodge | NC
Weekend | UNC-TV – June 2015
– Ultimate Barbecue Bracket – Garden & Gun
Shoppers and bikes in Uptown on a Saturday morning


Thank you for considering Uptown Shelby as a potential site for your investment. I hope
this information has piqued your curiosity about our community.

We would be happy to talk with you about the growth in our district. Please let me know
how we can be of assistance moving forward.

Kind regards,

Audrey Whetten
Executive Director

211 S. Trade St
Shelby NC 28150