“Dear Harrisonburg,” – A Letter from Principal Broker and CEO Randy Harman

Special Interest — 5 Min Read

“Dear Harrisonburg,” – A Letter from Principal Broker and CEO, Randy Harman


October 7, 2019 — I would like to start a conversation about downtown Harrisonburg and our #IGNITEHarrisonburg initiative so we can #BetheBESTBurg we can be. My name is Randy Harman and I’m the Principal Broker and CEO of Harman Realty. I don’t normally like long wordy posts, but would you please indulge me? Give me just a few minutes of your time.


Dear Harrisonburg,

Harrisonburg Virginia is growing and thriving, there is no denying this fact. Our City has certainly been good to me both personally and professionally. I am proud to call it home. My questions are simple. When you think about our downtown, what are your thoughts? Does downtown revitalization mean tearing down buildings to make way for new ones, for example, the historic Denton building being sold for a jail expansion? Does it mean restoring and renovating historic buildings to their original grandeur? Do you like to visit our downtown? Do we need new services and options? Have you ever thought of turning Court Square into a pedestrian walking mall? Do we need more retail shops? More restaurants? More residential offerings? More office space? Parking? More frequent and varied street festivals? Are downtown rents too high or too low? When downtown businesses disappear because they couldn’t succeed is that sad to you, or is this simply an expression of our competitive American marketplace? When you think of dining out do you think of venturing downtown or do you head towards the East Market or Port Road areas?

This week as I was walking on the square my mind drifted to my summer vacation when I visited Seattle, WA and Victoria British Columbia. The flowers and art installations were stunning, and the street culture was amazing. People everywhere, music, art, food, architecture and ENERGY. The dramatic displays of flowers, landscaping and water fountains with seating and tables were in abundance. I found myself looking at the sidewalks and the green space around our beautiful courthouse building, one of my favorite buildings anywhere, and I wondered if we could do m