DOWNTOWN GARNER ASSOCIATION
SEES GROWTH & NEW BEGINNINGS
Downtown Garner had a banner year , with the long-awaited opening of the Garner Recreation Center and the monthly Garner Night Markets bringing new traffic to Main Street . Several new businesses , including Aristotle Spirits , The Distillery at Rand Mill , and Nana ’ s Lil Sweets , opened in 2022 to welcome the new visitors .
The Downtown Garner Association ( DGA ) completed two major public art initiatives this year − auctioning off Art Around Town canvases and commissioning a new mural − and partnered with the Town of Garner to support the first Launch Garner cohort . DGA continued to work with the Town on the public-private partnership with Lansing Melbourne Group to develop a mixed-use project with over 100 apartments and 5,500 SF of new commercial space on Main Street .
DGA also said goodbye to Mari Howe , who served as Downtown Development Manager since 2015 . Howe remains with the Town of Garner as the new Special Projects Manager .
RECEIVES FEDERAL GRANT
U . S . Representative Deborah Ross visited Downtown Garner on July 22 to announce that she secured $ 1,030,405 in funding for a comprehensive rehabilitation of the Main Street- Rand Mill Road intersection , as well as the creation of 59 new paved parking spots .
The federal funds will be used to develop a pedestrian plaza and sidewalk and improve stormwater drainage . The new parking lot will transform an underutilized property into a productive asset , increasing accessibility and capacity for residents and visitors to enjoy restaurants , shops and more .
WELCOMES NEW STAFF
Shayla Douglas was hired by the Town of Garner as the Downtown and Small Business Development Manager in May . A native of Hamlet , NC , Shayla is a two-time UNC-Chapel Hill graduate , most recently completing her Master ’ s in Public Administration this spring .
Shayla will serve as a staff liaison between the Downtown Garner Association and the Town , as well as supporting small businesses across the entire Town of Garner .