Main Street Center CEO impressed with tour of downtown Culpeper - Star Exponent: Local News

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Main Street Center CEO impressed with tour of downtown Culpeper

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Posted: Saturday, July 20, 2013 12:15 am | Updated: 6:34 am, Sat Jul 20, 2013.

  It was Frey's first visit to Culpeper, and she was impressed with what she saw. Frey, originally of Seattle, noted as positives the low vacancy rate and creative mix of retail and restaurants offered downtown, as well as the prevalence of downtown living, particularly above the storefronts.

  "What you see here in Culpeper, and we're also starting to see in a number of other smaller communities throughout the country, is you've got people and empty nesters who are coming back to smaller urban areas, taking apartments or condos on the second floor - that is really exciting," she said. "They want to be able to walk to their local coffee shop and walk to the theater and not have to worry about getting a car to go do every little thing."

  Former director of sustainability with the National Trust, Frey has a master's in historic preservation from the University of Pennsylvania. Having been named CEO of the National Main Street Center in May, she is on a tour of communities nationwide, with Culpeper being among the first she visited after towns in Texas, the state with the most Main Street communities.

 Frey said her outlook for Main Street America is positive.

  "The recession has affected things, but overall people are really looking for this authentic experience," she said. "Where you are going to find that is in the heart of your community, your downtown, your Main Streets. I think the prospect for Main Streets nationally is excellent. We have our challenges, but overall we are in good times ahead."

 Last year, Culpeper was named among recipients of the National Trust's Great American Main Street Awards.

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