403 Butler Avenue
Tybee Island, GA 31328
tel. (912)786-4573

Tybee Island Main Street Program


Vision Statement: 

The Vision of the Tybee Island Development Authority / Main Street Program is to improve the quality of life for those that live, work, and visit Tybee Island and enhance the cultural experience while preserving the community's barrier island heritage.

 Main Street is more than a group of people or organization.   Main Street is a lifestyle shared and continuously worked on by a community to maintain its town's sense of place, uniqueness and economic vitality.  


In 2008, City Officials confirmed their commitment to Tybee's Main Corridor by pursuing Better Hometown designation and achieving it in 2010.  Since then, volunteers work with the program's board and committees to actively lead sustainable improvements through their input and hard work.  The Georgia Office of Downtown Development merged Main Street and Better Hometown Programs in 2013, making Tybee Island one of the Georgia cities part of the largest MS (state) networks in the country.  Read the media release announcing the merger here.

Tybee is proud to be a Classic Main Street (MS) Community, in partnership with the National Main Street Center.  

Simply stated, Main Street is economic development within the context of historic preservation.  The program follows the proven Main Street 4-Point Approach(tm), which focuses on revitalization and enhancements appropriate for today’s marketplace for long-term vitality.    This approach advocates a return to community-reliance, local empowerment, and improving traditional commercial districts based on their unique assets: distinctive architecture, a pedestrian-friendly environment, personal service, local ownership, and a sense of community.

The program is led by a strong Board of Directors and Committee Members with assistance from the City's Executive Director Development Authority / Main Street and Volunteers to improve the community's quality of life through sound planning and implementation with private and public partnerships.  Assistance comes from partnerships on a local, state, and national level to provide resources, technical assistance, and advice to stimulate quality revitalization.  The "sense of place" is maintained to benefit Island businesses, residents and guests through understanding the local needs, opportunities and the island's unique assets year-round. Our approach is incremental in order to ensure a lasting effect with aspects of design / preservation, business assistance, promotion, and organization.   

Sign up for the monthly MAIN STREET E-NEWSLETTER             for the latest MS information.    

Click here to learn about the Board of Directors




Welcome to Tybee Island, where community, commerce, and culture on Georgia’s Coast make the quality of life exceptional!    To learn more about Tybee's history and clichere.

We are happy that you have chosen to make Tybee your hometown to enjoy year-round.  Details to help you settle in and enjoy living on Tybee are described in the Tybee Island Resident Guide, click here.

Living on Tybee and having a variety of services, shops, and restaurants to choose from is important for a thriving community.  Supporting our local merchants by buying locally is important to keep commerce strong and your neighboring merchants appreciate your support.


The Business Assistance Committee is pleased to offer those with a current 31328 address on their driver's license the opportunity to obtain a Locals Appreciation Card.  Many merchants offer specials year-round to those with a Locals Appreciation Card.  For the most current list of participating locations (updated 8-2014), click here.  

To obtain a card, please bring your current driver’s license to the Development Authority / Main Street Office at City Hall.



Bench Plaque in Memory of a Loved One
Individuals may purchase a Memorial Plaque for city benches located within the downtown area of the Main Corridor. 

Each bench will be memorialized with a permanent memorial plaque in honor of the loved ones that treasured Tybee and its heritage.  For more information, please click here 


This northernmost Georgia barrier island offers a variety of natural and cultural experiences while also providing goods and services to Residents and Visitors all year long.   

Throughout the commercial areas on the island there are over 35 restaurants, 25 specialty shops and art galleries, as well as necessary year-round services.  

Click each of the icons below for a complete list of establishments by category. 



The Design Committee's primary focus is on "curb appeal" while being sensitive to the significance of remaining historic character of the areas. 

With dedicated partners, members assist owners by advocating and assisting with improving the aesthetics of the commercial areas while remaining sensitive to community stakeholder input as indicated in Tybee Island's Quality Growth Report and Master Plan.
The committee also works with partners to improve immediate concerns affecting the perceived condition of these areas.    Over the past few years, the committee has been successful by:          
   1) improving communication between the business community and City staff and officials in maintaining and          improving streetscapes,
   2) advocating for cleaner and safer streets to enhance the consumers experience,
   3) developing plans to enhance the pedestrian-friendly environment through sidewalk enhancements and              verbiage for the City’s wayfinding signage,
   4) obtaining a grant in partnership with the City, Tybee Beautification and the Marine Science Center to combat litter through the Keep Tybee Tidy campaign

a.      With this grant, additional receptacles were purchased and strategically placed along the main corridor.  Educational panels and posters were also created and installed / distributed for continued public awareness.  

   5) obtaining conceptual design renderings for (Historic) Memorial Park and multiple commercial façade improvement recommendations.

The Design Committee works with partners at the GA Department of Community Affairs and the National Trust Main Street Center™ for design assistance.  If you are located within a commercial area and would like assistance with a rehab project, signage, facade improvements, or the like, please feel free to inquire here. The Design Studio’s Menu of Services can be viewed here.

In April of 2014, Design Committee members developed a Facade Improvement Grant to help commercial property owners / merchants interested in enhancing their curb appeal.  Click here for information. Applicable design guidelines when applying for a grant are available here.  

In August of 2014, with input from the Design Committee members, City Officials approved an update to the Sign Ordinance to allow murals on commercial buildings, which includes a review process based on developed guidelines.  For information about the process and guidelines, click here.  Mural examples, sensitive to the Island’s environment and heritage, are available in the Development Authority / Main Street Office at City Hall. 
For more information about how Tybee Island’s unique character is being preserved, click here for the Historic Preservation Commission page.  
Tybee's nostalgic feel is due in part to the architectural character, history and uniqueness only found here.
Experts in the field of historic preservation and architecture have long worked with property owners on the Island to preserve buildings that represent the history and spirit of Tybee.  For a list of Districts and Individual listings on the National Register click here.
Do you own a home and / or building that is over 50 years old?  You may be eligible to protect and preserve your investment by being listed on the National Register!
Want to know more about the National Register of Historic Places? Click here
Following is beneficial information about the advantages of HP provided during various presentations:
HP Federal Tax Incentive information
State Tax Assessment for Rehabilitated Historic Property
State Tax Credit for Rehabilitated Historic Property   
Every year, during the month of May, National Preservation Month is celebrated.  The National Trust for Historic Preservation has a unique annual theme to celebrate. 
Following are a list of annual themes: 
 2010 This Place Matters
 2011 Celebrating America's Treasures
 2012 Discover America's Hidden Gems
 2013 See!  Save!  Celebrate!
 2014 Embark.  Inspire.  Engage.
The Proclamation read by Mayor Buelterman in 2010 continues to be honored.  Following are a few photos of Tybee Officials expressing "This Place Matters" to them:    
 https://cityoftybee.sophicity.com/Assets/Images/BetterHometown/Tybrisa.jpg            https://cityoftybee.sophicity.com/Assets/Images/BetterHometown/W_PTSCHUS_email.jpg             
More photos are available for viewing here


The Development Authority / Main Street Program provides resources, offers assistance and incentives for entrepreneurs in keeping with identified needs and heritage of our town.  

A variety of information is readily available and workshops are hosted throughout the year for interested parties to gain knowledge about resources available to have a successful business.  Following is a list of business resources, financing opportunities and incentives for businesses owners and / or property owners.  A brochure detailing financial opportunities is available to download here.  The Business Resource Guide is available to download here.  Please call a member of the Business Assistance Committee or the Executive Director DA / MS for more information.

Downtown Revolving Loan Fund:  A low-interest loan program available through Georgia Cities Foundation and / or Department of Community Affairs to assist property owners in collaboration with a Development Authority to help with identified revitalization and enhancement projects  

Small Business Assistance Corporation (SBAC):  SBAC offers a variety of loan programs for new and existing businesses in the service delivery area.

Georgia Small Business Development Center (SBDC):  SBDC offers a range of services, including consulting, continuing education, applied research, minority business, international trade, commercialization, and client stories. 

Federal Income Tax Credit Program: A federal income tax credit equal to 20% of rehabilitation expenses that is available ONLY for income-producing properties.

One Georgia

Employee Incentive Program

Homesafe Georgia can help provide "bridge" mortgage assistance to many in Georgia who are unemployed or have had a dramatic decrease in HH income due to national economic conditions. 


Are you interested in opening a business or expand an existing business on Tybee?  We are here to help!  

General population and demographic information about potential clients on Tybee Island (i.e. your neighborly customers throughout the year) is available through the 2010 census information here Please call 912-472-5071 with questions.

Research findings from a Market Study (Phase II) done in 2011 with GA Tech yielded a helpful profile summary of overnight guests for merchants to access as they plan marketing strategies.  Click here for the summary report.   

Would you like to own and operate a successful business such as a kitchen, furniture, office or pet supply store on this nostalgic barrier island year-round?  

Following is a list of available commercial locations as of April 2014:
(Information is as provided and is not guaranteed.)

Commercial Vacancies for Sale or Lease within the main corridorr:



 Sq ft (approx.)



5 Silver Avenue



Solomon Properties


104 Tybrisa



Savannah Trust Realty 


1604 Butler Avenue




1601 Inlet Avenue

1961 est.


Solomon Properties


17 15th Street

1940 est.

1383 (previously gift shop / apt. with off street parking)

Solomon Properties


0 5th Ave. (@ Hwy 80)



Solomon Properties


406 First St.


186 (office space upstairs)

Brian Malins


405 First Street



Solomon Properties


10 Jones Avenue



Solomon Properties 


1002 Highway 80



Solomon Properties


1010 E. Highway 80, Suite 5



Amy Gaster 


1013 E. Hwy 80



Keith Gay 


1204 E. Hwy 80



Coldwell Banker Platinum



Since 2010, when the city became a nationally recognized Better Hometown (now known as Main Street) Community, many achievements have been accomplished based on the expressed needs of the community.  Following is information about each of the 4-Point Approach(tm) that has provided a successful foundation for cities since 1977. 
Click here for an overview video about Main Street.  The video was produced prior to the name change.  Information provided remains relevant.  Committees work with the MS Board of Directors to make necessary improvements a reality. This structure minimizes confusion, avoids duplication and maintains good communication. Work plans set direction for committees and Board liaisons provide updates at the Board of Directors monthly meetings for review and approval as necessary. Committees typically meet once a month.
Each year, the Board of Directors host a public workshop to review the previous year's works completed and plan for the next year.  The 2014 - 2015 Work Plan can be viewed by clicking here.  Thank you to those that provided feedback, from which the work plans were developed during the 2014 Retreat!  
Click here for a video about design for Main Street.  The video was produced prior to the name change.  Information provided remains relevant.  Design Committee volunteers follow: Vicki Hammons, Committee Chair; Bob Ciucevich - Quatrefoil Consulting; Sue Bentley - Solomon Properties; Bill Garbett - City Council Liaison; Jim Glass - Director; Diane Schleicher- City Manager; Mark Boswell - Boswell Design; Jane Coslick - Commissioner, Historic Preservation
Click here for a video about economic restructuring (now known as B. A. C.) for  Main Street.  The video was produced prior to the name change.  Information provided remains relevant.  Business Assistance Committee (B. A. C.) volunteers follow: Ted Lynch, Committee Chair; Sue Bentley - Solomon Properties; Jim Glass, Director; Deana Harden - Prevail Realty; Monty Parks - City Council member
Click here for a video about how Main Street stays organized with partners.  The video was produced prior to the name change.  Information provided remains relevant.  Organization / Outreach Committee volunteers include the Main Street Board of Directors and a variety of partners.
Click here for a video about Promotions for Main Street.  The video was produced prior to the name change.  Information provided remains relevant.  Promotions Committee volunteers follow: Brenda Marion, Committee Chair; Sam Adams - Resident; Michael Flores - TS Chu's Department Store; Karen Kelly - Resident; Billy Manucey - Resident; Steve Kellam - Director; Vicki Hammons - Director
If you would like to have a positive impact and work with one of the above committees,
please contact the Main Street Coordinator @ 472-5071 or click here.

Following are quick links to some of our Partners:

Savannah-Tybee Beach Shuttle
The shuttle leaves for Tybee from the Savannah Visitors Center Fridays, Saturdays & Sundays at 10:00am, 12:00pm, 2:00pm, and 5:00pm. The first stop on Tybee is at the Tybrisa / Strand Roundabout (approx. 30 - 40 minutes from Savannah departure) and then it stops at North Beach near the Tybee Island Lighthouse (approx. 15 minutes after the Roundabout stop).  
Cost is $5 / way / person.  Credit card payments are accepted for an additional $0.50 per one-way trip.
Click here for more information.  A map of the island can be found here.


Tybee Island Main Street Events Listing

November 29, 2014 - Small Business Saturday on Tybee!
Event Location
Start Date
11/29/2014 08:00 AM
End Date
11/29/2014 10:00 PM

Small Business Saturday falls between "Black Friday" and "Cyber Monday" every year. We celebrate shopping small at our locally owned and operated businesses throughout the year when we buy local. This special "shop small" Saturday is a nationwide movement when consumers, like you, hit the pavement and show your support of your favorite homegrown business.  Mayor Buelterman proclaimed Saturday, November 29, 2014 Small Business Saturday for Tybee Island at the November 13 City Council meeting.  Read the proclamation here.

Join us in celebrating our commercial neighbors, their uniqueness, and spectacular service this Saturday, November 29 as you do your holiday shopping.  Plus, remember gift certificates are also wonderful presents for those you care about!

Click here for more information about Small Business Saturday(r) participating locations.  Buy local Tybee!   

Contact Name
Chantel Morton
Contact Phone
Contact Email

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