Grants to help revitalize downtown Mt. Holly

by Sarah Melton

The grants have been used to perform upgrades at 117 N. Main St. in Mount Holly.

Eden Investment Group is changing the face of Mount Holly with help from the Mount Holly Community Development Foundation.

In late December, the Foundation awarded façade grants totaling $14,100 to Eden for improvements on North Main Street in downtown Mount Holly.  The Community Foundation of Gaston County “Run for the Money” funds assisted the Mount Holly foundation in the grant initiative.

Eden was formed a little more than a year ago by four entrepreneurs with backgrounds in financial planning, motivational leadership, marketing, real estate investment, business start-ups, construction, design and contracting.

“We have set out to take all of the knowledge that we have gained to create environments for small businesses to succeed and for those that dream of having their own business to receive the encouragement and advice to turn their dream into a reality,” said Preston Wilson, a partner with Eden and co-owner of William Henry Signature Salon and Spa.

Revitalizing North Main Street in Mount Holly was Eden’s first project as a team. The grant money replaced windows on the second floor of the Farrah Building, which is the largest building on the block, and helped with façade improvements at 121 N. Main St., which is occupied by Barbie’s Encore Dance Productions.

“We have also had the opportunity to work with William Henry Signature Salon and the Fuller family on the transformation of buildings across the street,” Wilson said. “We have been in contact with other building owners about some other potential façade improvements in the early part of 2011.”

Eden’s partners have committed themselves to the research of Mount Holly and the North Main Street block for the last several years, Wilson said.

“Corporately, we were convinced this was the right place, at the right time, with the right people,” he said. “The current leadership in the town has some true visionaries. I look for a tremendous amount of change in the economics of this little city in the next several years.”

Barbara Lawrence, chairman of the Foundation’s Downtown Revitalization Committee, said that Eden was awarded significantly more than what the foundation had been able to give in previous years.

“Eden is doing a lot of work and the type of work they are doing meets the requirements of the community,” she said. “It just worked out to be a real good situation.”

Wilson said that the Foundation has been a tremendous blessing to the Eden Group.

“They have a wealth of knowledge of the city’s past and are passionate about its future,” he said of the Foundation. “Their awards and contributions to our project is making it possible for us to continue beyond our original plans.”

More change is coming to downtown Mount Holly. Wilson said new tenants will be coming to the vacant storefronts in March, including one business that will be new to the region and serve as a destination point. He declined to name the tenants.

“We are very pleased with what we have been able to accomplish with the support of the citizens and leadership of Mount Holly and the Foundation during the last quarter of 2010,” Wilson said. “With what we have on our agenda for the first quarter of 2011, I can’t imagine how things will develop by the end of 2011.”

To learn more about Eden Investment Group, call 704-350-5662 or visit www.edengroupusa.com.

For more information about the Mount Holly Community Development Foundation, including grant and volunteer opportunities, visit www.mounthollyfoundation.org.

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