By Carleigh Griffeth
Lynchburg, VA – The City of Lynchburg held a meeting Thursday night to update the community on Fifth Street construction. The big topic was not the contractor’s time table, it was finding new investors for the area.
Even though city officials did say Phase II of Fifth Street construction will be done this summer as planned, they were more eager to give residents something else to get excited about.
“Good things are happening on Fifth Street,” said City Planner Tom Martin.
Now that we’re getting so close to the end of Phase II of construction, businesses and residents feel a tingle in the air–and it’s not just the jackhammers. They’re discovering new ways to help remake, rebuild and remodel Fifth Street.
“There’s also a lot of buildings that can still be redeveloped and we want to make sure they know about all the incentives that are available to do that,” said Marjette Upshur, Director of Economic Development.
Incentives like tax credits at the state and local level for historical buildings, and grants from the city to improve buildings older than 25 years.
“Those incentives coupled with the streets cape improvements happening on Fifth Street, is why you see things starting to turn around on Fifth Street,” said Martin.
Martin made an example out of one such improvement, holding the community meeting in the Fisher Auto Parts building, which has been cleaned up, and put on the market.
“Being able to come into a new building that was boarded up six months ago, just to let people know that–hey, here’s an opportunity on Fifth Street,” said Martin.
“We want lights on in the building and we want the buildings well cared for,” said Upshur.
“We can breathe new life into it,” said Martin.