Downtown PKB moves to Main Street program

Photo by Jeffrey Saulton Wendy Shriver, executive director of Downtown PKB, left, and Lindsey Anderson, president of the Downtown PKB board executive committee, stand with the new Main Street PKB logo that was unveiled at the Downtown PKB annual meeting on Wednesday.

PARKERSBURG — During Wednesday’s annual meeting of Downtown PKB, it was announced the group is now a Main Street program.

Wendy Shriver, executive director of Downtown PKB, said the name will not change for a while.

“Downtown PKB is our organizational brand,” she said after the meeting at the Parkersburg Art Center. “If we want we can keep the name Downtown PKB; we will probably change that to Main Street PKB.”

Shriver said while the new name was unveiled at the meeting the first event where the name will be introduced will be at the Taste of Parkersburg.

In the past year, Shriver said, Downtown PKB saw several successes.

Photo by Jeffrey Saulton Wendy Shriver, xecutive director of Downtown PKB, speaks at the annual meeting of Downtown PKB at the Parkersburg Art Center on Wednesday.

“We added two new events, Wine and Jazz on Market Street and Riverfest,” she said. “This shows us organizations want to come downtown, so that’s exciting.”

Shriver said the new pole and gateway banners are up. One is on the side of the Chapman Printing building on Ann Street and on the former Citizens National Bank Building at the corner of Market and Fourth streets.

“Believe it or not, we saw 11 new businesses open downtown,” she said. “That’s 21 since I came to Downtown PKB.”

“I’m very excited about the energy and synergy we are seeing downtown,” Shriver said. “There are people wanting to start businesses. We have 14 family-owned restaurants, that is something that makes us unique.”

In the past year, she said, 31 individuals and businesses joined the Partner Program and raised more than $12,000. Shriver said the program has 18 friends, four supporters, one advocate and eight champions.

Shriver said the additional revenue stream is crucial to the growth of Downtown PKB and ability to diversify funding streams to be sustainable.

There were four business promotions in the downtown area.

“We have Savor Saturday, Market Street Merchants and Artists Walk, Small Business Saturday and a Storefront Decorating Contest,” she said.

Shriver said Downtown PKB has 6,500 followers on Facebook and there have been 30,000 views of its Facebook videos.

Parkersburg is the third West Virginia community to move from the West Virginia Development Office’s ON TRAC program to Main Street.

Main Street members receive more advanced technical services, including in-depth market analysis through the Main Street Transformation Strategies, Shriver said. They can ask for multiple services as needed and budget permits. They also receive design services to assist downtown property owners with building rehabilitation and historic property preservation.

Because Main Street West Virginia is celebrating its 30th year this summer, there will be a large campaign promoting downtowns and Main Street Parkersburg will be part of that.

Two awards were presented at the meeting. Bob Wright of Warfield Realty was named the Spirit of Downtown and Business of the Year was the Blennerhassett Hotel.