Where We’ve Been and Were We’re Going
Opportunity at work in the crossroads of Southern West Virginia. This old slogan for the City of Princeton, WV sums up its past and future. Our town, moved by a spirit of entrepreneurship and new growth is still your place of opportunity. Now just as then, Princeton is about opportunity.
The municipal leadership in Princeton values the historic roots and future growth of the City and has taken an active role in historic preservation through strategic concentration on structures and areas that have a historical significance to the greater community and create a unique community that is ready to thrive into the future.
“Opportunity at work in the crossroads of Southern West Virginia”
Within the last decade, a variety of organizations brought new meaning to downtown restoration. Grassroots leaders have led initiatives that spawned the creation of unique murals, a lively street life, and occupancy in once-vacant commercial spaces. This was accomplished by leveraging the artistic abilities of those with incredible talents and building a community that encourages even more talented individuals to come to Princeton to share their abilities.
The focus of much of this work has been concentrated along the Mercer Mile (a mile-long stretch at the epicenter of the City). Once a popular economic thoroughfare, home to corporate names such as Leggett’s and others; however, the declining use of rail and quick access to products in adjacent communities forced these big names to abandon their operations in Princeton. The rejuvenation brought about by local talent sprung the creation of local businesses. Sites that were once corporate conglomerates are now occupied by niche “moms and pops” that serve to satisfy the needs of residents and travelers to the Mercer Mile.
Today, the Mercer Mile is home to a variety of specialty retail shops and art venues. Less than half a dozen properties on this strip remain vacant, with plans already in the works for occupancy/renovations at these locations.
While other parts of the City have grown in recent years, the Mercer Mile is a shining example of what is possible in Princeton. The City has attempted to further incentivize growth by bringing about public solutions, such as establishing the Princeton Economic Development Authority and Princeton Land Reuse Agency, while also relying heavily on the City’s Code Enforcement Department. The hope is that similar revitalization is able to take hold throughout the City to create a better, stronger Princeton over the next ten years.
Median monthly housing costs are much lower in Princeton than the national average.