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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
The last 10 years
Projects on the horizon

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
Community partnerships
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
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
About 85 residents live in Uptown
About 5000 residents live within a 1 mile radius (2010 census)
Currently 9 restaurants + 4 other food/beverage establishments
3 more restaurants opening in the next year
Variety of retail
Womens clothing
Group ride at Bicycles bike shop
Lifestyle boutiques
Niche: pet store, bike shops, bottle shops, olive oil, monogramming
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 Hudsons 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
Hudsons 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 Caf
First Broad River Trail + boat access*
The Bankers 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 arent 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 Johns 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 (Charlottes Got a
Lot) May 2016
Gravity Magazine Nov 2015
Buffalo Creek Gallery NC Weekend | UNC-TV
July 2015
Red Bridges Barbecue:
Voted #1 on Thrillists 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