Tryon, TDDA leverages funding totaling $3.2M

Published 10:06 am Tuesday, May 10, 2011

According to a recent report prepared by the Town of Tryon in partnership with the Tryon Downtown Development Association (TDDA), Tryon’s business area has received overall funding totaling $3.2 million since 2008.
The town and TDDA recently submitted the final report to the N.C. Rural Economic Development Center for a $75,000 Economic Innovation Grant (EIG) awarded to Tryon in 2008.
TDDA officials said the report illustrates a remarkable example of how small grant funds might be leveraged to accomplish larger community goals.
The $3.2 million in private and public investment in Tryon’s Central Business District and adjacent General Business corridors occurred despite the general downward, national economic trend over the three-year grant period
The report numbers include all downtown development and improvements since the beginning of the grant period, including infrastructure, business startups, promotional materials and ancillary private upgrades.
Tryon’s designation in 2007 as a N.C. Small Town Main Street community facilitated the town’s competitive bid for EIG funding. The Main Street affiliation also gave the town program assistance from key personnel in the N.C. Department of Commerce’s Western Division of the N.C. Small Town Main Street program.
The “Tryon Downtown Historic District and Revitalization Project” originally proposed five connected elements, including:
• Historic district designation;
• Public restrooms in Rogers Park;
• A depot master plan;
• A historic downtown walking tour and
• The Tryon tourism website,
Each element was calculated to enhance economic development and heritage tourism potentials in Tryon’s downtown corridor. The walking tour element also included signage for The Tryon Horse, The Tryon Toymakers Cottage and Missildine’s Drugstore.
Though Tryon’s central business district has not yet achieved designation as a National Register Historic District, the town and TDDA are addressing the issues identified by the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) to accomplish the final goal.
Working toward that designation, the town and TDDA have taken the following steps:
• Generated a new detailed historic survey of downtown Tryon;
• Written and approved the Tryon Historic Preservation Ordinance;
• Established and populated the Tryon Historic Preservation Commission and
• Created and implemented a Façade Improvement Incentive Program to facilitate the town’s re-application to SHPO’s study list.
TDDA officials said the Façade Improvement Incentive program funded by the EIG also proved  effective in leveraging private investment for other downtown façade improvements, both directly through partner projects and indirectly through privately funded façade improvements by adjacent building and business owners.
Conspicuous among these latter “angel” investments are the recently completed renovations to The Tryon Depot and Sunnydale’s. Officials said these large-scale improvements will further facilitate National Register certification for the proposed downtown historic district in the future.
According to the TDDA, the EIG project has sparked short-term recovery in Tryon, bringing people together to support innovative management and marketing strategies, which, in turn, promote regional economic goals through historic preservation and heritage tourism.
The town and TDDA leaderships said the real success of the EIG project rests upon building community awareness, interest and involvement to accomplish end goals. They said they appreciate the many individuals and organizations who stepped forward to assist with implementation of this economic enhancement project.
For further information about Tryon’s ongoing downtown development projects, contact the Town of Tryon (828-859-6655) or a member of TDDA (828-859-6484).
– article submitted by Crys Armbrust, Town of Tryon, TDDA

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox