46 residents, business and property owners worked 2 hours on the evening of May 22, 2012 to help develop an updated downtown vision statement. The Clayton Downtown Development Association organized the event which was held at The Clayton Center. Staff from the NC Main Street Center led the participants through the process. Participants were randomly assigned to one of eight teams which were tasked with several activities.
The first activity was to think about what drives Clayton’s economy from a national, statewide, regional and county-wide role. Each team developed a list of Clayton’s economic drivers. ED TEAM LISTS ED SUMMARY
For the second activity teams spent some time developing a list of downtown Clayton’s strengths and assets.
The third activity the teams developed a list of downtown’s weaknesses and liabilities. STRENGTH & CHALLENGES REPORT
As a group, everyone shared the information developed. Participants then started writing their team visions, based on Clayton’s economic drivers, highlighting downtown’s strengths and improvement of downtown’s liabilities. Once finished, each team shared their vision with the larger group. At the end, everyone was given an orange dot to “vote” on their favorite phrase or team vision. TEAM VISION STATEMENTS
From the Vision Forum team lists, the CDDA members will develop a final list of economic drivers, strengths and assets, weaknesses and liabilities and the final Downtown Vision: 2017, which will be presented to the Town Council at the July 16th meeting.
The CDDA will use the information gathered at the Vision Forum to further develop their 2013-2015 Plan of Work.
Richard Rairigh, President of the CDDA said, “The information provides specific goals to improve and maintain downtown, and get closer to the vision over the next five years.” He added, “It’s going to take a lot of work and participation from business, property owners and residents to make it happen.”
Some achievements of the vision set five years ago include streetscape improvements at Horne Square, an average 90-95% storefront occupancy rate, a downtown Façade Improvement Grant to help property owners retain and restore their original architecture, a Farmers Market, a downtown wayfinding project that is currently under NCDOT review and more activities and events occurring in downtown to help achieve downtown becoming the social and cultural hub of Clayton.