New Market residents focus on improving town

New Market Councilman-elect Peter Hughes led another community discussion regarding the state of real estate in town Tuesday evening at the Community Center.

Leading the discussion were local Realtors Ed Newland of Home-Town Realty and Kathie See with Kline May Realty.

Hughes explained the state of real estate in New Market.

“There has been little to no growth over the past five to 10 years,” he said. “The trend has been the same in business. There has been little nightlife here in town and there seems to be a growing number of retirees and fewer younger people. When the recession hit, property values dropped 20 percent and they are still climbing to get back up to where they were.”

Hughes said the meeting turnout was encouraging.

“We had about 50 people show up, which is a really significant number,” He said. “The interest is high, anytime you can get 50 people to come to a meeting at 6 o’clock at night speaks to the level of interest here.”

Like with Hughes’ session a week prior, the meeting served as the meeting for New Market’s Tourism, Economic Development and Historic Preservation Committee and consisted of a discussion of trends, challenges and suggestions for real estate in the town.

“Most people said our resources are good with the golf course and the battlefield and a great country location but there hasn’t been enough growth to attract a lot of new home buyers, so we haven’t had a lot of homes built in town,” Hughes said, referring to a question and answer portion of the forum that he described as lively.

Hughes said that both Newland and See recommended that attention be paid to the town’s aesthetics.

“We need to make sure our town looks more attractive,” Hughes said. “We heard that we really should begin an effort to really spruce up New Market. There was a suggestion that maybe people wanted to know what they could do to make their property more attractive.”

Residents expressed concern for the appearance of some of the town’s defunct businesses and dilapidated structures.

There was some discussion in the previous week’s forum as to how that sprucing up would be accomplished. Some recommended an independent economic evaluation from a private firm, while others hope to keep that process in-house.

Hughes said that town residents should unite to address and move toward solving these problems.

“People were interested in knowing if there are incentives in place,” Hughes said. “They were receptive to the ideas of working together with groups of people in town to help make our town look better and work better together.”

Hughes said the process of revitalizing New Market will take time, but he hopes that through these discussions and through collaboration with Town Council and the chamber of commerce, that the addressed goals are reachable.

“I’m encouraged by the whole thing,” said Hughes, whose term begins July 1. “I feel that we’ve identified a concern we need to address and we’re taking the early steps to begin working on it together. I’m a process person. I’m looking at if we have to change, how do we provide the setting and the opportunity to do it smartly? Let’s identify the needs and begin addressing them. There’s no magic to any of this. It’s just getting people to get together to talk about the issues.”

Contact staff writer Nathan Budryk at 540-465-5137 ext. 155, or