Project Scope

The Town of Elkin is a rural community in Surry County adjacent to Wilkes County, located on Big Elkin Creek at the center of the Yadkin River Valley in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The confluence of the Yadkin River and Big Elkin Creek has drawn people to the area since the arrival of the Paleo-Indians 10,000 years ago. The Sioux tribe was one of the first to settle this area, as well as the Cherokee. By the mid-eighteenth century, around 1740, the first English and Irish colonists arrived in the area and began establishing “western” settlements. Elkin was settled around 1840 by families who opened several manufacturing facilities.  Elkin was officially chartered by the State of North Carolina in 1889. In time, Elkin grew to be a prominent manufacturing town, with sophisticated watermills powering shoe and textile factories. .

Team Members

  • Mike Burriss – VP, Metccon- 2014 CPN  President
  • Michael West – Principal, West & Stem Architects
  • Bill Blancato – Member, Doughton, Rich, Blancato PLLC
  • Fred Patrick – Director of Facilities Design & Construciton, UNCG
  • Michael Schiftan – Owner, DevCon Resources
  • Will Lambe, Director, Community and Economic Development Program, Development Finance Initiate, UNC School of Government
  • Carolyn Frynerger – Master Candidate Intern, UNC School Real Estate/Planning


Elkin is a typical rural North Carolina town whose reality changed over the past decade with the demise of its manufacturing and employment base.  The development and implementation of a revitalization strategy for the assessed properties will benefit from continued community engagement combined with outside assistance for planning and financing initiatives.

Successful community based revitalization plans have the following ingredients:

  • A clear branding strategy and marketing plan.
  • An overall revitalization plan, including implementation strategies.
  • Marketing studies that support the plan.
  • Architectural standards and guidelines.
  • Financing and funding strategy.

Elkin should continue to implement its strategic plan, as well as explore opportunities for the four selected properties by taking small, manageable steps in the context of a big dream plan.  The community needs to feel the success gained by each step toward the overall goal.  With that in mind, revitalization efforts should focus on implementation of the following priorities:

  • Continue to partner with DFI to investigate redevelopment opportunities for the Smith Phillips, McNeill and Holcomb properties;
  • Continue to partner with DFI to stabilize the financing for the Liberty Warehouse;
  • Develop strategies to encourage revitalization consistent with the Downtown revitalization goals;
  • Explore sources of funding and financing vehicles for Downtown redevelopment;
  • Continue efforts to support and market the Liberty Warehouse and the winery tourist opportunities;
  • Investigate further opportunities for pedestrian and bicycle connectors between parts of downtown;
  • Investigate long-term opportunities for Chatham Mill, including mixed residential, recreational and industrial/commercial uses.

Final Summary

Elkin has many opportunities and obstacles to complete revitalization of its community.  The CPNI Team attempted to address some of the opportunities presented to the Town in respect to Downtown redevelopment and the Legacy Property assessments.  The community’s success in revitalizing the community will be reflective of the leadership’s ability to develop a community endorsed strategic plan, which incorporates the Downtown Master Plan, and prioritizes work efforts and allocation of limited resources.

Click here to read the Elkin Report