By Cindy Brookshire
Could Selma, North Carolina be the focus of an upcoming HGTV show? Producers of Home Town Takeover, a proposed 2021 series with Ben and Erin Napier, are inviting towns across the United States to apply. The couple currently hosts Home Town, a popular series now in its fourth season.
Applicants must have a population less than 40,000, homes featuring great architecture waiting to be revealed, and a main street that needs a facelift.
Selma fits the bill with 7,000 residents, 270 town-wide properties listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and Raiford Street, home of Live @ The Rudy, which brought 26,000 visitors to the entertainment venue in 2019. Currently the street offers no restaurants for patrons awaiting show times, and only a handful of shops — the rest are vacant storefronts awaiting redevelopment.
The HGTV application was submitted February 6, 2020 by Activate Selma, a grassroots group of business owners, entrepreneurs, volunteers, residents and friends who have a heart for Selma. Patterned after 1MillionCups.com, they meet every Wednesday morning at Selma Public Library to spark creative problem-solving and push through broken record stories of the town’s past. The application is their first group project.
All are welcome to attend Activate Selma
Wednesdays @ 9am
At Selma Public Library, 301 N Pollock Street, Selma, NC.
“I knew when I first saw HGTV’s application that Selma would be a perfect fit,” said Selma Realtor Allyson Caison, who brought the idea to the group and was delighted when it was immediately adopted. “We have it all: small town charm, lots of architecturally interesting properties and a perfect location for growth. I am super excited about Selma’s application to HGTV Home Town Takeover. I think we have a good chance of being chosen.”
The group produced a six-minute video, written by Selma Parks & Rec’s Melissa Dooley and shot and edited by Pastor Todd Daniels of Selma Baptist Church. Selma Museum volunteer Cindy Brookshire created the written narrative, and the group chose five photos of uptown properties in need of HGTV’s “love”: a church, a train station, a filling station and two residential homes. Selma Planning & Economic Development Director Randy Cahoon-Tingle helped the group focus on three points: Selma is recovering from the past; Selma is well-placed for smart growth; and Selma has a dedicated and active community that needs a helping hand up.
Take a look — and share — the Selma NC Home Town Takeover application video on Youtube, which is posted on Todd Daniels’ video channel (tdanielsdrms).
“I am so proud of our Activate Selma team for all their effort in pulling together our application for an HGTV Takeover,” said Selma Mayor Cheryl Oliver. “This is a special group taking steps to lead a special town forward. Within two weeks, they pooled their talents and produced a quality product. Whether or not HGTV declares our submission a winner, this effort has already been a win for Selma. It has created a positive spin about our town and encouraged citizens and businesses to focus on our potential as well as what they can do to help Selma shine.”
More than 3,100 towns across the US have sent in applications to HGTV, including 14 towns in North Carolina: Eden, Kinston, Madison, Mayodan, New Castle, Oriental, Reidsville, Selma, Snow Hill, Stoneville, Thomasville, Wallace, Whitakers, and Whiteville.
Source: Allyson Caison and Cindy Brookshire