The founders of HDR researched potential strategies for how to revive downtown Harrisonburg. Upon learning about other communities' successes, they brought the idea of forming a Main Street organization to City Council in 2003, which was approved. A resolution was passed to support the formation of Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance and partial funding of the organization. In 2004, HDR became an officially designated Main Street program and member of Main Street America™.

HDR works in partnership with the Virginia Main Street program in the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development.

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