What is  Downtown?

The Oxford English Dictonary's first citation of "downtown" or "down town" dates back to 1770, when Boston, MA deamed the word for the center of their city. Since then, the term has been gradually adopted by cities across the United States and Canada usually referring to the historical core of the city, which was also the commercial heart of most cities.
After the surge of downtown prosperity from the late 1800s to early 1900s, the rise of car buying and highway travel, drastically reduced the use of downtowns. Many people were now able to travel further distances for goods and extracurricular activities, thus the rise of malls became a hot commodity.
It is not until recent decades that many cities have realized the value of having a vibrant and successful downtown.

Benefits of Revitalizing Downtown Monroe

-Protecting and strengthening the existing tax base
-Creating a positive community image
-Attracting new businesses
-Creating new jobs
-Preserving historic architectural resources
-Tailoring the needs of the community
-Building a sense of community


The Main Street Approach to Downtown Revitalization

Downtown Monroe refers to proven techniques for community revitalization developed by the National Main Street Center. These techniques include Economic Vitality, Design, Organization, and Promotion.

Our Vision

The success of Downtown Monroe will be due to a lively mix of quality retail shops, professional services, restaurants, entertainment, and upper-floor residential space, providing a variety of opportunities for a distinct cultural experience. Downtown will retain a safe, friendly, small-town pedestrian-oriented atmosphere for residents and visitors while engaging a positive spirit enhanced by its distinct sense of place built upon its rich agricultural history and architecturally significant buildings.

The varied mix of retail and service businesses and continued expansion will strengthen Monroe’s sense of community and quality of life through the cooperative marketing and promotion efforts of our Downtown

Our Mission

To recognize, revitalize, preserve and promote the historic, cultural, social and economic significance of Monroe’s Downtown.

Downtown Monroe is a North Carolina Main Street community, designated by the N.C. Department of Commerce Main Street & Rural Planning Center. The City of Monroe is charged with administering the program at the local level and building public-private partnerships to spur economic development that achieves measurable results such as investment, business growth, and job creation. 

As a Main Street America™ Accredited program, Downtown Monroe is a recognized leading program among the national network of more than 1,200 neighborhoods and communities who share both a commitment to creating high-quality places and to building stronger communities through preservation-based economic development. All Main Street America™ Accredited programs meet a set of National Accreditation Standards of Performance as outlined by the National Main Street Center.