In the past few years, Lynchburg, Virginia’s historic downtown district has seen substantial growth. You might be wondering: why are so many people suddenly moving downtown? Lynchburg has been investing in its urban riverfront, and these improvements certainly show.
Since 2001, Lynchburg has seen $69 million in city-funded utitlity and streetscape investments that support the Downtown and Riverfront Master Plan and Main Street organization. In fact, over a decade ago, Lynchburg vowed to invest $1 million per year for 20 years in streetscape improvements alone. As the anticipated Bluffwalks project nears completion, Lynchburg’s downtown core is becoming more pedestrian-friendly, popular and attractive each day.
As Lynchburg’s population and economy continue to grow, the downtown area is becoming an appealing place to live and work.
Here are the top three reasons why people move downtown each year:
1. Businesses are migrating downtown and succeeding
Tucked in old renovated factory spaces with lots of character, brand new shops, restaurants and businesses continue to open their doors downtown. In fact, in just the past couple of years, all of these spaces have opened up:
- Crisp, a trendy juice and salad bar on Church
- TOOLRY, a coworking space on Jefferson
- CAO, an artisanal chocolate shop on Main
- ThriveWorks, a life coaching business
- Yoga Goodness, a new yoga and meditation studio on Jefferson
- Kegney Brothers, an Irish pub on Main
2. Trendy loft spaces are opening up
Developers have seen significant success in redeveloping old factories and converting them into modern loft spaces. With soaring ceilings, exposed brick and pipes, and natural hardwood floors, these cozy lofts are full of character and charm. Some of these popular spaces include: Midpoint Apartments, Cliffs Edge, River Lofts, Imperial Tobacco Lofts, City Market Lofts and Redpoint Lofts.
3. Nearby neighborhoods are getting busier each year
Each year, more people and businesses are migrating just west of downtown to Rivermont Avenue and the Boonsboro areas, further enforcing Lynchburg’s downtown economy. Historic neighborhoods surrounding downtown, Diamond Hill and Garland Hill, are experiencing an influx of new homeowners willing and ready to tackle restoration of stately 100-year old homes with close proximity to restaurants, shops and services in Downtown Lynchburg.
Redevelopment is a big component of downtown Lynchburg’s recent surge of businesses and urban population growth. Loft development is just one of many ways that local developers have seen success downtown. Entrepreneurs also play a big part in continuing to build downtown Lynchburg. They see the opportunity for growth and affordable spaces to rent, and have pounced on the opportunity to build their business in a bubbling community. Interested in starting a business? Here are seven resources that may be helpful.
Photo: Douglas Hunter, Red Point Lofts