By 1812Blockhouse

The streetscape project in downtown Shelby took another step forward on Monday as a decorative arch was installed over Main Street. The metal arch arrived recently from its place of manufacture in Florida.

The effort was first announced back in February 2021, when two members of the Shelby Community Improvement Corporation (CIC) shared details of the three-phased downtown revitalization project taking place along Main Street over the next two to three years.

CIC representatives Jake Penwell and Cody Albert reviewed where the CIC has been in recent years and the re-orienting that has led to the current effort. As an entity focused on collaboration between public and private sectors, the group now has three main focal points — serving as a catalyst for economic growth, rebuilding the core of the city pursuant to the Revitalization and Placemaking Plan, and solidifying its own organization .

The Main Street streetscape was designed to feature pedestrian improvements, an arch, enhancements on the Black Fork bridge, and the installation of trees and other decorative elements. From the outset, the goal was to entice people locally and those passing through with obvious signs of vitality, thereby encouraging them to stop and patronize businesses.

When finished, the Black Fork Commons Plaza will include a fountain/splash feature for kids, a plaza, and a pergola/outdoor fireplace. The Plaza’s cost is $1.6 million, and it too has been fully funded with 12 local donors. The fundraising was kicked off by the Shelby Foundation’s gift of $250,000.

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