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Downtown Fairbury, A Good InvestmentDowntown Fairbury - A Good Investment

January 2011 - New investment dollars are pouring into downtown Fairbury's Commercial Historic District. It is estimated that over $2 million has been spent by property owners to make improvements in the District in 2009-2010, and more projects are in the works.

The beauty and significance of Fairbury’s Commercial Historic District is being preserved with the help of local economic development incentives, made possible by the passage and adoption of Legislative Bill 840 Local Option Sales Tax, which allows Nebraska communities to collect sales tax revenues and retain them to be used for local investment projects, keeping the money in the community, resulting in job creation and additional tax base revenues.

The Fairbury Commercial Historic District is listed in the National Register of Historic Places and encompasses an area spanning approximately ten (10) blocks, containing ninety-seven (97) historically-significant properties, one of the largest inventories of cohesive, existent buildings in the entire Midwest. Virtually every street in the historic district is paved with brick, dating back to 1916. The streets themselves are also listed in the Register. Around the courthouse square lies the oldest buildings in the commercial district, which were built in the early 1900s, when Fairbury experienced it’s most aggressive growth period. The buildings around the square as well as those nearby, look very much as they did many decades ago, giving Fairbury a timeless and nostalgic flavor, impossible to duplicate with modern architecture.

Works from various artists are on display at New Earth Clay PotteryThe district is distinguished by the prominent courthouse square, where the architecturally and historically significant Jefferson County Courthouse, built in 1891, stands. This majestic structure, constructed of handcut limestone, symbolizes an enduring pioneer spirit , sparked by hope and prosperity; and still serves as the center of commerce today.

Visitors to Fairbury’s Downtown Historic District will find an array of antique and specialty shops, restaurants, art galleries, unique lodging properties and a world-class day spa, all within walking distance. Entertainment options include the original Bonham Theatre, featuring two, first-run movies nightly, a bowling alley and two bars, all located in historic buildings. Fairbury’s principle financial and governmental institutions are also located in the district, as well as healthcare providers, drug stores & professional offices. Fairbury’s primary retailers for automobiles, parts & repair services, as well as newspaper and radio stations all remain rooted in the commercial district, all making substantial investments in property improvements.

Luxury accommodations at Fairbury Executive SuitesContinued investment and the combination of public/private partnerships signifies a vote of confidence by business owners and City leaders that Fairbury's Downtown Commercial District is viable and worthy of investment for the future. Funding has been approved for a variety of improvements ranging from new sidewalks, curbs and guttering; to facade improvements, including repairs, new awnings and signage. Interior renovations have also been made in order to accommodate new and expanded businesses.

World-class day spa experience at Pure Serenite Spa"The availability of economic development funds has increased the property owners' ability to improve their properties and has helped to spark new investment by raising awareness of opportunities housed within the District," according to Julie Lambert, Business Development Specialist and owner of Main Street Consulting Group, a business development and marketing firm located in Fairbury. “A walking tour around ‘the Square’ is all it takes to see the improvements that are taking shape – a tangible result of the investment that Fairbury has chosen to make in local business,” said Lambert.

The west side of the Square looks much like it did nearly 100 years ago

 
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