Port City named one of nation’s best downtowns

Port City named one of nation’s best downtowns

By Derrick Perkins (File photo)

What does Alexandria have in common with Fort Worth, Texas, Providence, R.I., Indianapolis and Provo, Utah? They boast the best downtowns in the country, according to Livability.com.

The Port City was ranked No. 5 on the website’s list of top 10 downtowns in America. Livability.com’s editors released the annual picks earlier this week.

The website’s staff made the selections after analyzing unemployment rates, income growth, and the vacancy rates of retail and office space, among other factors. They gave population growth and the ratio of jobs to residents particular weight, according to the website.

Livability.com’s editors cited Alexandria’s collection of Colonial architecture, busy restaurants, pedestrian-friendly streets, and bevy of mom and pop shops as evidence of the Port City’s stature.

“Having a great downtown is about more than just having a great main street,” said Matt Carmichael, a Livability.com editor. “A downtown should have a cultural and retail focal point, like a main street, but it has to expand beyond that, providing a solid core for the entire community.”

Frederick, Md., Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Bellingham, Wash., Eugene, Ore., and Birmingham, Ala., rounded out the list.