History of Concord Downtown Development Corporation
In the early 1970s Belk Department Store moved out of Downtown Concord to a newly constructed building where Carolina Mall is located today. Sears and Penney's soon followed. The city's once bustling downtown area suffered. By the early 1980s downtown was filled with empty buildings and deteriorating real estate values. The public perception was that Downtown Concord was in a state of decline. Downtown merchants found themselves unable to compete with the mall and turned to the Concord-Cabarrus Chamber of Commerce for assistance. In 1973 a merchants association, the Downtown Concord Revitalization Committee, was formed. For more than a decade this committee instigated many projects while also experiencing periods of inactivity.
In the late 1980s the Downtown Concord Revitalization Committee pursued participation in the North Carolina Main Street Program, a downtown revitalization program administered by the North Carolina Department of Commerce. The North Carolina Main Street Program utilizes the National Main Street Center's four-point approach to downtown revitalization: organization, promotion, design, and economic restructuring. At this same time the City of Concord began a streetscape improvement program. The City also pledged financial support for a downtown non-profit corporation by endorsing the establishment of a municipal service district. In 1990 Concord was designated a North Carolina Main Street community. The Concord Downtown Redevelopment Corporation [CDRC] was formed as a non-profit corporation with the mission of implementing the National Main Street Center's four-point approach to downtown revitalization. In 1995 CDRC's name was changed to Concord Downtown Development Corporation [CDDC].
Through the efforts of Concord's Main Street program and the City of Concord, Concord's central business district is now attractive and thriving. Today Historic Downtown Concord supports a healthy and diverse professional and retail economy, with a growing presence of the arts, history, and entertainment. With an increase in economic activity, a renewed sense of vitality has occurred.