Over the years, there had been multiple efforts to revitalize downtown Valley Center. Unfortunately, these efforts fell by the wayside and never garnered the long-term support of the community. In early 2016, Ryan Shrack, Community Development Director for the City of Valley Center, sought out and received approval from the Valley Center City Council to establish a Main Street steering committee in partnership with the Valley Center Chamber of Commerce. The steering committee met for nearly a year and established bylaws, a mission, and a vision for the fledgling organization, and initial work plans. The steering committee adhered to the Four Point Approach to downtown revitalization as recommended by the National Main Street Center, which works with the National Trust for Historic Preservation. A few of the early projects accomplished by the steering committee included putting new planters in downtown Valley Center, sponsoring new events on Main Street, and working with other community stakeholders to improve the physical appearance of the heart of the community.
In 2017, the Main Street steering committee officially became Main Street Valley Center with the approval of their 501 (C)(3) non-profit organization by the federal government. A majority of the steering committee members became members of the organization’s board of directors. Chris Strunk was elected to serve as the first president of the board of directors. It was during 2017 that the Main Street Enhancement Grant program was created to assist downtown building and business owners make physical improvements to their historic buildings. This grant program has funded multiple improvement projects that have had a significant impact on improving the physical appearance of downtown Valley Center. Other programs and events continued to grow during the early years of the organization.
Main Street Valley Center is still a young organization but has accomplished a great deal in leading the revitalization of the community’s downtown corridor. Currently, there is nearly a zero percent vacancy rate in downtown Valley Center. New businesses have located downtown and improvement projects continue to breathe new life into the historic Main Street buildings. The programs and events sponsored by Main Street Valley Center continue to have a positive impact on the businesses located downtown and on the community as a whole. Main Street has once again become an important gathering place in Valley Center. New programs and events will be created as the organization continues to grow.