Town of Parksley Wants Downtown Revitalization - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Town of Parksley Wants Downtown Revitalization

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PARKSLEY, Va.- Parksley is a town built in the mid 1800's that still incorporates some of its Victorian influence into its downtown area.  

Although many in town agree preserving the town's history is a good thing, some in the area say it's time the old town gets a new look.

The town is expected to house the new Eastern Shore Regional Library in coming years. Town Councilman Dan Matthews says the town is seeking a $700,000 grant to spruce up the area, including buildings that are aging and not structurally sound.

"You're looking at almost a brand new Parksley without changing the footprint, without changing who we are as a town," Matthews said. "Just being a small town with what you have, it's hard to survive, and this is really a once in a lifetime opportunity."

The grant will fund new sidewalks downtown and sidewalks connecting Town Square to the new library. 

It will also fund new signage, lighting, and a new outdoor stage and seating area.

The town hopes these new additions will help stimulate business growth in Parksley.

"Anything that's going to bring people to town, that's going to bring new businesses to town, that's going to make a destination for people to come to, of course is very vital for us," Jeff Stauffer who owns a Taste of Eden Produce said. 

Donna Phillips, who owns Floral Express & Gifts downtown, says most of her business comes from funerals and weddings--she would jump at anything that would increase foot traffic throughout the week.

"You know we've been here 11 years and people still say, 'I didn't know there was a florist in town. So yes, we would love to have more foot traffic."

The town says the state grant will give 18 total businesses in the area funding to improve their buildings through their Facade Improvement Program.

It would give each business up to $1,500 in grant funds for exterior improvements. 

The town has been holding public hearings and council meetings on the possible revitalization. They plan to maintain the town's history through the new plans.

They will submit the grant by March 30, Matthews says.

To find out more on the project, go here http://www.a-npdc.org/parksley/.

 

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