For the past seven years, the Office of Economic Development & Tourism of the City of Lynchburg has invested in the revitalization of the business community through its Local Redevelopment Program. The purpose of the Local Redevelopment Program is to reimburse a portion of the cost of small- and medium-scale commercial projects completed within the past year.
Local Redevelopment Program Criteria
The program awards funds for the improvement of buildings with at least 30% commercial space and a minimum investment of $25,000. Proper permitting is required to qualify and submitted project costs are verified by final building permit. Funds are used to create new spaces, refurbish old ones or add-on to existing structures, improving property values throughout the City. The Office of Economic Development & Tourism pre-certifies eligibility by building permit and notifies businesses that are eligible. Applications and finalized building permit are then due by May 1 of each year for work completed in the previous calendar year.
A total of twelve local businesses were awarded funds to reimburse a portion of their building expenses. Some of these include:
- Givens Books and Little Dickens: Givens Books and Little Dickens is a small, family-owned book and toy store that has been a distinctive and well-recognized part of Lynchburg for over 40 years. Owner Danny Givens has learned over the years that in order to make business sustainable, sometimes one needs to think outside the box or upside down. To that end, he wanted to attract more of the “teen to middle-aged adults” customer base, so he decided to add a new boutique and gift shop experience within the store that is now called “Down the Rabbit Hole”.
- The Glass House: Now Downtown Lynchburg’s premier concert and event venue, The Glass House had a long way to come when it first changed ownership. But with the past year’s updates to the bar area, the outer facade and windows, the patio and the stage area, it has become a flexible and modern event space that people are excited to visit and use.
- Lynchburg Grows: Lynchburg Grows is a local nonprofit that, as its name suggests, grows fresh produce for the City. Members of the community can volunteer to tend the crops and can purchase fresh, home-grown fruits and vegetables in season. In order to make future plans for this urban greenhouse viable, the organization renovated the Packing Shed, which is where all essential work outside of growing food is done (i.e. offices, kitchen, break areas, processing, storage, retail space and more). The work, which was completed in April 2019, included a new HVAC and electrical system, insulated exterior paneling, a new roof, new plumbing, new windows and much more.
- 2504 Memorial Avenue: Located next to the Memorial Avenue Wendy’s, a short distance from the Lynchburg Public Library and Venue Cinemas, this building’s previous tenant vacated the premises in Fall 2019, and owner Randall L. Mitchell set to work. He had the parking lot updated, replaced much of the outer facade with modern construction materials and removed and replaced the old sign. This building is now ready for a new tenant, and the fresh updates look great next to its neighboring Wendy’s, which was also recently remodeled.
Other businesses that received Local Redevelopment Program awards include:
- Bradley/Thornhill LLC on Odd Fellows Road
- H&B Properties/Gentleman John’s Barber Shop on Main Street
- Precision Tile on Oakley Avenue
- Derbyshire International on Fort Avenue
- Montvue Capital Management on Main Street
- WestRock on Concord Turnpike
- Schewels on Timberlake Road
- JenCal, LLC on Church Street
We’re proud to be able to support the investment of our local businesses through this program.