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  • Writer's pictureFernandina Beach Main Street

September Newsletter


The Gateway Project at 8th & Lime Streets in Fernandina Beach


Revitalized Reception



What was once a drab and deteriorating welcome sign at the intersection of 8th and Lime streets has been rejuvenated into a vibrant gateway that warmly welcomes residents and visitors alike.


The Gateway Project - a collaborative effort between the city, Nassau County, Keep Nassau Beautiful, and Fernandina Beach Main Street - is a shining example of what can be achieved when a community comes together. Local volunteers, businesses, and city staff all played a vital role bringing a touch of beauty and community pride to this important intersection, which sees an average of 12,000 vehicles per day.


The project began as a vision to create a welcoming and eye-catching entrance to Fernandina Beach, showcasing the town's unique character and charm. At the heart of the project stands the newly restored Welcome Sign. While several design options were presented to the community, nostalgia won the day, making the new sign an inspiring combination of old and new; the sign’s original design has been reimagined by modern, local craftsmanship.


Once the sign’s design was chosen, the project began to blossom – literally! The revitalized landscaping testifies to the project's commitment to sustainability and local ecology. Gerbing azaleas - a nod to local horticulturist Gustav George Gerbing - were specifically selected to provide a burst of color that harmonizes with the natural surroundings. Trees, donated by Keep Nassau Beautiful, frame the area, promising not just hues of color, but also years of tranquil shade. Work continues westward across 8th Street to unify both sides of the road into a true gateway to our city. New flag poles, lighting, irrigation, and additional landscape elements are being integrated to complete the envisioned design.


 

4 Council Updates


A Main Street America™ program's work is organized around Four Points: Economic Vitality, Design, Promotion, and Organization. Councils representing these four points are key to accurately representing the Fernandina Beach community as we identify their unique competitive advantage, leverage the power of residents and local stakeholders, and implement a series of short-and-long-term projects. Learn about the recent updates and projects our Councils have been working on:


Economic Vitality:

The Economic Vitality Council focuses on capital incentives and other economic and financial tools to assist new and

existing businesses. Examples that this council is working on currently include:

  • Ad Valorem Tax credits for property and business owners downtown

  • Distrx App with continued encouragement to claim your business. The first tour is available on the app with 9 highlighted stops in the downtown area. More than 65 local businesses are on the Distrx app which is free to Main Street communities. With this app, you can see a listing of businesses by category, information on hours and specials, and a map of locations.

  • Nominee for the 2nd Curb Appeal Award

  • Next Meet and Greet is at First Love Brewing on Wednesday, Sept. 13th from 8-9:30am.

  • Preparing the next business survey and working on the Strategic Planning Goals for 2024.

  • Coming soon...an announcement on a Facade Improvement Program matching grant for Main Street business and property owners.

Design:

The Design Council supports our community's historic preservation by enhancing the physical and visual elements of our business district. Currently, the Design Council is actively working on:

  • Key projects related to the Downtown Streetscape - specifically landscaping and sidewalks.

  • Reviewing landscape design proposals with the goal of securing a finished landscape design for Centre Street within the upcoming months. Our goal is to provide our City partners with a finished design that can be incorporated into the 2024 Streetscape Project to be executed in phases.

  • On the sidewalk front, we are actively supporting the Historic Streetscape Preservation Ordinance that will, hopefully, be reviewed by the City Commission in the upcoming agenda. There has been a lot of focus specifically on the hex pavers, especially in light of the sidewalk closures on Atlantic Ave. However, our goal is to ensure all historic elements that are integral to our cityscape be preserved to maintain the character of our downtown - hex pavers, granite curbing, historic brick and concrete street markers.

Promotions:

The Promotions Council hosts events throughout the year that position the Main Street Members and Partners as the center of the community and the hub of economic activity. These events create a positive image that showcases our communities unique mix of business and entertainment and encourages the “buy local” experience. Example of work accomplished recently by this council include:

  • Summer Sip and Shop August 18. New this year: “The Lounge” at JJ Cooper featuring spirits from Marlin and Barell.

  • Social Media Member Spotlights to highlight features and updates of our members once a week.

  • Volunteer Appreciation event at the Heirloom Yard

Organization:

This council is responsible for fundraising, marketing, and collaboration with other organizations on behalf of Main Street.

  • Island Hop Craft Beer Fest is Main Street's signature fundraising event and will be held for the third time on Saturday, October 7th, from 1-4PM (noon-4 for VIP's) at Central Park, 1200 Atlantic Ave. Admission includes tastings from 30 craft breweries, distillers, and wineries, music by The Honey Badgers and Vox, access to ten local food trucks and tents, and the Main Street Marketplace. Funds raised support Main Street programs, events, advocacy, and preservation. Join us for an afternoon of fun!



 

Upcoming Events

Join us for fun and community!



First Friday of the Month 4/7 - 10/6


Sounds on Centre Concert


Sounds on Centre is a free event, fun for the entire family. (No concert for July 2023)


Sounds on Centre is located at the intersection of Second Street and Centre Street in Historic Downtown Fernandina Beach Florida. First Friday Shows are 6:00 – 8:00 PM.




3rd Annual Island Hop Craft Beer Fest


  • Saturday, October 7, 2023

  • 12:00 PM 4:00 PM

  • Central Park (map)


VIP Entry is NOON! General admission at 1PM.


Get ready for the 3rd Annual Island Hop Craft Beer Fest!


Island Hop is a craft beer tasting of local and regional brewers. Island Hop is a family-friendly event with children under 12 admitted free. Proceeds from this event will support Fernandina Beach Main Street (FBMS). FBMS promotes a vibrant, business-friendly, historic community that is a destination for all!

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