Monday, December 3, 2012

Streetscape Update!

In an effort to assist River District businesses this holiday season, major construction work on the 300 block of Main Street will come to a halt after December 7th and will not resume until after the New Year. Street parking and a two-way traffic pattern will be re-established on this block. Also, sidewalk access to every business will be available. During this time, crews will relocate to North Union Street for sidewalk improvements that will be confined to the block located between Main Street and Spring Street.

We ask that citizens continue to make a conscious effort to support the locally-owned businesses in the River District and help them have a very successful holiday season!

Click here for update map!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Main Street is Open for Business!

The City of Danville asks citizens to make a conscious effort to support local business. The construction on Main Street is taking longer than expected, but the businesses remain open and sidewalks are clear. Please use the parking highlighted in green the linked document, and access the 300 block sidewalk from Market Street and Memorial Drive. Thank you!

Monday, November 26, 2012

A Note to our River District Neighbors

To our River District Neighbors:
As you are all aware, we are experiencing some disruption and inconvenience as a result of the improvements being made to Main Street and its associated sidewalks.  Business volume for our merchants in the block from Memorial Drive to Market Street is down because of these conditions.  As we approach the holiday season, we are asking all of our neighbors in the River District to make a special effort to support Vintages by the Dan, 316 Cibo, and Deja Voo by making purchases whenever possible from these retailers.  Virginia Bank and Trust is open and anxious to serve its customers.
Whatever you can do to ease the pain for these merchants will be returned many times over by helping to maintain ongoing businesses in the River District.
My personal best wishes for a happy and successful Holiday Season.
Corrie M. Teague
Project Manager, Office of Economic Development
City of Danville

Monday, November 19, 2012

2012 River District Holiday Poker Run

Thanks to all who came out to support River District businesses during the Holiday Poker Run! Also, a BIG thank you to the businesses who participated in this event - The Attic Hound, Clement & Wheatley, Rippe's, Commonwealth Silver, The Watch Doctor, and Mark B. Holland, P.C.!

Check out the Young Professionals Group Facebook page to view more images from this event! 

Monday, November 5, 2012

Support Your Local Businesses this Holiday Season by Participating in the River District Holiday Poker Run!

Date: Thursday, November 15, 2012
Time: 5:30pm - 7:30pm

Visit participating businesses in the River District between 5:30 - 7:30 p.m. for food and fellowship . . . and receive one playing card per business.

When you "show your hand" at the "dealer's table" (which will be located at Clement & Wheatley), your 'poker hand' will then be entered into a drawing for a door prize - The best hand wins!   Poker hands must be turned in by 7:30 p.m. to qualify for prizes.

Click here to RSVP or you can sign up with the Danville Pittsylvania County Chamber of Commerce at or (434) 836-6990 !

Participating Businesses
Rippe's, Rippe's Furs, Rippe's Shoes, Rippe's Woman
559 Main Street

The Attic Hound
531 Main Street

Clement & Wheatley
 549 Main Street

Commonwealth Silver & Goldsmiths
601 Main Street

The Watch Doctor
603 Main Street

Mark B. Holland, P.C.
641 Main Street

While there is no specific order to visit the participating businesses, the Poker Run's last stop is at Clement & Wheatley where participants will "show their hand" to be eligible for prizes.

After the Poker Run...
You don't have to leave downtown Danville. Stay for dinner at 316 Cibo or Jake's on Main.

Sponsored by:
Young Professionals Committee
of the Danville Pittsylvania County Chamber of Commerce
Downtown Danville Association 

Friday, November 2, 2012

Vintages by the Dan opens in River District


Robin Jones opened Vintages by the Dan in the former Gourmet Frog location a little more than a month ago and has been steadily increasing the inventory of fine wines and craft beers in the store.
Click here to read this Work It, SoVa article!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

River District fountain concepts ready for review

Design ideas for the centerpiece fountain in Danville’s River District Gateway Plaza, at the corner of Main and Craghead streets, have been submitted and will be available for review and comment by the public on Tuesday.

Click here to access this Register & Bee article.

Thursday, September 20, 2012


The streetscape contractor is planning to mill the asphalt on the first block of Main Street between Memorial Drive and Market Street on Friday, September 21, 2012. There will be no parking available along either side of the street on this block. Cones and barricades will be placed that will limit the movement of traffic through this block of Main Street. When the milling is complete, the first phase of sidewalk construction will begin on the west side of the block and on-street parking will be available on the opposite side.  

Thank you for your patience during this process!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Open houses scheduled next week for citizen input on Downtowner site

The city of Danville and the Downtown Danville Association will hold a series of open houses next week to solicit additional input into the future use of the site formerly occupied by the Downtowner Motor Inn.

Open houses will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 20, and from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 21. All three events will be held at 527 Main St., which formerly operated as River City General Store and Taylor’s Hardware.

Click here for more information.

You're Invited to the Upcoming DDA Mixer!!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Opinion Poll - Downtowner Site

This is an exciting time for the River District. As many of you know, a strategy is being executed for the redevelopment of the River District. The Phase I Main Street Streetscape work will start in September and Phase II will take place next calendar year.  Community input has been vital along every step of the way.  Yet to be addressed is the new space being created by the demolition of the former Downtowner Motor Inn, which had been vacant for many years. That's where we need your help.

The Downtown Danville Association, Danville Regional Foundation, Danville Industrial Development Authority and City of Danville are conducting a community opinion poll to engage the community in making plans for the site. We want to hear from you. 

We ask that you please take the time to offer your opinion. This survey should take about 5 minutes and is anonymous.  The link is provided below.  Please forward this link to your contacts, friends and associates.  You can also access the link through the City of Danville website, located on the River District Development Project page.

Thank you for your time and interest in Danville.

David Parrish
Deputy City Manager
City of Danville, Virginia
PO Box 3300
Office (434) 799-5100

Monday, July 23, 2012

River District strategy tops best practices in 17 states

Danville’s success in redeveloping the River District as a place to live, work, shop and play and in involving the community throughout the process has garnered an award for best practices from a regional economic development group that represents 17 southern states.

The city won the award from Southern Economic Development Council (SEDC) in competition with other communities with a population of 40,001 to 100,000. Danville’s population is about 43,000.

Click here to access the full media release.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Detour removed for demolition of Downtowner

The detour of Main and Union streets that allowed for demolition of the former Downtowner Motor Inn has been removed, and cleanup of the debris is under way.

Normal traffic patterns were restored Monday morning.

Debris and a rear wall that is left standing are all that remains of the building. Additional engineering is being performed before the wall is removed. In the interim, the crew will shift its focus to cleaning up the site from last week’s demolition.

Demolition of the building started on July 6, with a detour of two blocks of Main Street and the closure of Union Street from Main to Spring streets to allow for the demolition.

Demolition contractor D. H. Griffin Wrecking Co. of Greensboro, N.C., used an excavator that had a 95-foot arm with a muncher attached at the end to crush the building’s concrete.

The company will remain on site until demolition and cleanup are complete.

Friday, July 13, 2012

IDA to Turn Building Into Parking

The Industrial Development Authority purchased the former Acree's Warehouse and they intend to turn into a parking garage.
Click here to view this WSET report.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Detour extended for demolition of Downtowner

Date: Wednesday, July 11, 2012


Detour extended for demolition of Downtowner A detour of two blocks of Main Street downtown will be extended through Monday, July 16, to allow for the continued demolition of the former Downtowner Motor Inn.

The excessive heat and late afternoon and early evening storms marked by heavy precipitation, wind, thunder and lightning have delayed the demolition crew. More storms are anticipated today and the remainder of the week.

Travel will continue to be restricted to one lane of northbound traffic for motorists traveling along Main Street toward Memorial Drive and Craghead Street. Detour signs route southbound traffic from Main Street onto Market Street and then to Spring Street. Once on Spring Street, motorists are directed to Ridge Street, but Floyd Street remains open.

North Union Street from Main Street to Spring Street is closed.

Normal traffic patterns will be restored when the demolition crew deems the building is down to a safe and manageable level and can proceed with the demolition without an extended buffer.

D. H. Griffin Wrecking Co. of Greensboro, N.C., is the demolition contractor, and it is using an excavator that has a 95-foot arm with a muncher attached at the end. The muncher crushes the building’s concrete.

The city has a web cam set up that allows citizens to view the demolition on the city of Danville website. Go to, and then click on the Downtowner Demolition link on the left rail. The direct link is

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

River District 'not a pipe dream ... we're doing it'

Join us for an update about the Downtowner demolition on July 2nd!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Southern States wins technology award

Photo from Work It, SoVa

Southern States Cooperative Inc. has been named the winner of the 2012 Information Technology Innovation Award for integrating the use of mobile handheld technology with its existing Benchmate Systems’ Computerized Maintenance Management System.

Click here to read this Work It, SoVa article.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Grant Opportunity for Small Businesses

The Association for Enterprise Opportunity has announced a funding opportunity available for top performing microbusiness clients.

Chase and LivingSocial are sponsoring "Mission: Small Business" a grant program awarding $3 million to small business owners nationwide.

The program, which will provide 12 individual grants of $250,000, was developed to provide small businesses with resources needed to make a positive impact on their business.

Mission: Small Business invites small business owners who have been in business for at least two years and have less than 100 employees to apply for a grant for their business. Small business owners will be required to explain why their business is unique, outline a proposed plan for utilizing the grant to grow their business and describe how the business is involved with its community.

Business owners should click the "Register" button at to submit their application. Consumers are encouraged to get involved by clicking the "Support" button on the same site and voting for their favorite registered small businesses. The voting period is open from May 7, 2012 through June 30, 2012.

At the end of the voting period, small business applicants that have received 250 votes will have their applications evaluated and grant recipients will be chosen. Grant recipients will be announced on or before September 15, 2012.

***Information above was taken from an email from The Association for Enterprise Opportunity.***

Thursday, May 31, 2012

River District Restaurant Doing Well in First Year

Congrats to Jake and Connie Eckman for their first year anniversary (6/1) in the River District!!

Click here to view the recent WSET report about Jake's on Main!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Thursday May 10, 2012


Guatemalan Information Technology Company Relocates to Danville

Web Parts LLC has relocated its computer programming, applications and data center operation to Danville from Guatemala.  Web Parts enhances and promotes the use of Open Source Software allowing delivery of superior software products and services at substantial savings to businesses and consumers. The company will start with 10 positions, but it projects to provide 260 new jobs within three years.

The overall average wage of the jobs will be $65,000.

“We are hiring for several positions right now, especially several skilled computer programmers,” said Brad Mainland, who owns and operates the company with his wife, Priscila. “If you know anybody with good Java and PHP skills, please send them my way.”

The couple considered Michigan, Florida, West Virginia and Hawaii for their operation before choosing Danville as the place for their business. The capital investment for the project is $10 million.

The project would not have been possible without a $1 million Tobacco Commission Revitalization Opportunity Fund grant. The Tobacco Commission utilizes a formula to determine grant amounts. The number of jobs, wage levels and the company being involved in an information technology-related field helped build a case for a larger grant.

“The grant enables us to get started by purchasing computer and data center equipment,” Mainland said.

Mainland said he was impressed with the level of broadband infrastructure in Danville. “NDanville, Danville’s broadband network, provides me with extremely fast speeds for sending and receiving data, which is vital to the existence of my company. I am able to have two different providers for redundancy to ensure I am never completely down.”

Danville’s local network connects with the Mid-Atlantic Broadband Cooperative, which today owns and manages more than 1,500 miles of fiber, connecting Virginia’s rural southern region to long-haul fiber stretching from Atlanta to Washington, D.C.

With access to broadband through nDanville and Mid-Atlantic Broadband, Delegate Danny Marshall said southern Virginia is becoming a technology hub for IT companies. “Our investments in infrastructure and job creating projects are paying off well in southern Virginia,” Marshall said.

Mayor Sherman Saunders echoed that statement in greeting Web Parts. “We warmly welcome Brad and Priscila to Danville,” Saunders said. “Web Parts LLC is another example of Danville’s investment in broadband infrastructure paying dividends by recently attracting several companies to the region, including Noblis, Ecomnets, and now Web Parts.”

The company has temporary space at the Masonic Temple on Main Street while it considers options for a final location.  Employment inquiries may be directed to the company.


Big equipment moving in to take Danville Downtower down

Downtowner 01
Demolition of the former Downtowner Motor Lodge is continuing and a huge hole has replaced the parking deck.

Monday, May 7, 2012

                           To read the full article, please click here.
May 7, 2012



The city of Danville’s Office of Economic Development announces today the availability of a new River District blog. The blog has been created in order to keep downtown stakeholders and the public informed of projects specific to the River District.

The blog currently features information such as recent news releases, new business announcements, special events, upcoming meetings, and specific project updates such as the impending demolition to the former Downtowner Motor Lodge and the upcoming Phase 1 of the Streetscape Improvement Plan.

“Blogs are important communication tools today, especially with young business professionals,” said Anne Moore-Sparks, project manager. “Attracting young professionals to Danville and having the ability to quickly update or add information for public viewing gives our office a competitive edge when recruiting additional jobs and investment to our community.”

The blog can be accessed at

The Danville Office of Economic Development has made the use of social media a top priority over the past year. Economic development professionals are starting to embrace social media to promote their business locations at the regional level as well as at national and international levels.

“Economic Development is a very competitive business,” said Jeremy Stratton, director. “Using different forms of social media to market potential sites and buildings is a definite advantage over other localities that use a more traditional form of marketing and advertising. In this challenging economic environment when budgets are tight, where else can you reach as many people with as little cost?” 

In addition to the River District blog, the office has a Facebook page, a Twitter account, a website specifically geared toward economic development in Danville, and a site selection tool that markets available sites and buildings in the city. The website, the site selection tool, and the blog also have mobile versions so that you can access information from any location. The office also has plans to add a LinkedIn page and a YouTube Channel to its mix of social marketing.

The social media sites can be accessed from the Office of Economic Development’s website –

“It is important to find creative ways to communicate in today’s business climate,” said Corrie Teague, marketing manager. “By using a variety of social media tools, we show that Danville is a place that embraces technology and the spirit of innovation. Not only does it open the channels of communication from the City to its local residents, but it also allows us to reach out to others around the world. ”

Anyone wishing to have River District information posted on the blog is encouraged to send the information to Anne Moore-Sparks for review.

The market — which features local produce, meats, eggs, pastries, cheese, wine, potted plants, crafts and an assortment of other goods — on average has 55 vendors and 700 customers on Saturdays, said Jacob McCann, program director with Danville Parks and Recreation.

Regular vendors come from five counties: Pittsylvania and Halifax and Caswell, Person and Rockingham counties in North Carolina.

Forty North of Semora, N.C., is one of the new vendors in Danville this year. The farm typically sells naturally grown produce, duck and chicken eggs and pastured meat in Durham and Carrboro, N.C., but owner Keenan McDonald’s Danville ophthalmologist convinced her to sell here. Several Danville customers thanked her as they said they often have to go out of town for organic food.

About 1,000 shoppers will come on the first day of the year and the first 800 shoppers at the Community Market on Saturday received free tomato plants.

Donna Allen of Danville will put her tomato plant on the patio with her basil and oregano. Since she’s been living here the past seven years, she’s seen the market evolve with a huge variety of products. She likes seeing what’s new but mainly comes to support local farmers and visit with other regular shoppers.
“I spend more time in here than I do in the grocery store,” Allen said.

The farmers market is open from 7:30 a.m. to noon every Saturday. In July and August, the market will also open on Wednesdays.

By the numbers
Danville Farmers Market
55 vendors on average Saturday
700 shoppers on average Saturday
Open 35 days this year
Runs 4.5 hours on Saturdays
Regular vendors from 5 counties
(Source: Jacob McCann, market manager)

Friday, May 4, 2012

Thursday May 3, 2012

New Hybrid Vehicle Company Locates in Danville 

Hybrid Vehicles of Danville, Inc. (HVDI) will locate its new manufacturing facility and headquarters in Danville, Virginia.  Jim Bailey and his wife moved from East Helena, Montana to operate the company in Danville.  Hybrid Vehicles will initially hire 25 people with plans over a three-year period to employ at least 150 employees.  The three-year capital investment total is expected to be at least $1,500,000.

The company will produce a hybrid vehicle solution for large buses and armored vehicles for Defense and Security applications.   The vehicle will have a proprietary cooling system operated by solar power in order to keep the interior bearable for the occupants. Many of the vehicles will be exported overseas where there is a burgeoning demand for more fuel efficient and versatile armored vehicles.  Jim Bailey has already established several international high level leadership relationships where the vehicles are in high demand.

The project would not have been possible without a $420,000 Tobacco Commission Revitalization Opportunity Fund grant.  “The TROF grant enables us to get started by purchasing equipment and hiring people to meet contracts that we already have,” stated Jim Bailey.

"This is another great day for southern Virginia.  The Tobacco Commission TROF program is the most effective incentive program that we have in the Commonwealth of Virginia.  Almost every economic development project of considerable size has received a grant, which made a difference of the company locating in southern Virginia versus a neighboring state,” explained Delegate Danny Marshall.

HVDI has entered into a joint venture with the Advanced Vehicles Research Center (AVRC).  HVDI is utilizing AVRC’s Military-Off-Road-Test-and-Training Site (MORTTS), an all-wheel Mustang 500 Dynamometer and a proprietary Milspec Cybermetrix data acquisition system for testing the armored vehicles propulsion characteristics and fuel economy performance.  AVRC also has a contract with the GSA that establishes a unique purchasing relationship with the federal government, the largest consumer in the USA. AVRC has agreed to provide access to the GSA contract to enable continued sales of these and new armored vehicles to come.

“We are pleased with the growing alternative vehicle sector that we are attracting to our region.  Danville offers an attractive operating environment and a growing number of entrepreneurs that collaborate together on projects to create better paying jobs for our citizens.  We warmly welcome Jim Bailey and Hybrid Vehicles to Danville,” stated Mayor Sherman Saunders.

The company has temporary space in Danville in order to start their operations and meet contractual order timelines.  Negotiations are on-going to secure a final location for the company.


Thursday, May 3, 2012

River District Streetscape Improvements

                                                                                      Credit: Artist rendering
River District
Based on feedback they received through a series of community meetings, the River District streetscape designers have modified plans to eliminate elements — such as expensive granite curbing — people said they did not care about to provide for more brick, cobble and pavers in the downtown design and improved the finish of Union Street.

John Schmidt, of Land Planning & Design Associates, said using concrete curbing left more money in the project’s $2.8 million budget to use additional cobble, brick and pavers in designing sidewalks and crosswalks.

The planners are also saving money by using existing streetlights, but refurbishing them and putting them on new foundations, as well as rewiring them and giving them new globe.

Union Street property owners complained their streets were being ignored in previous designs, so more money was allocated to tie the Main Street design into Union Street by using the same decorative trim on the sidewalks, planting trees and installing new lighting.

Schmidt said the survey and base mapping is 90 percent complete and the design plan is 75 percent complete. It is expected that all plans will be done by June 7 and the job will go out for bids.
The schedule calls for construction to begin in July.

Schmidt stressed that construction will be handled as quickly as possible, on a block by block basis, so businesses are no inconvenienced any longer than necessary. Access to all businesses will be available throughout the process, Schmidt said.

New utilities will be in place before construction begins, with gas and water moving underground with new meters and boxes. A storm water drainage system — something downtown Danville has not had before — will also be in place.

Plantings are being considered, with a hardy elm planned for Main Street and Crepe Myrtles for Union Street. Decorative flower boxes will be positioned on street corners.

Phase I of the project will streetscape Main Street, from Memorial Drive to Floyd Street, and Union Street, from Main Street to Spring Street.

Phase II — reworking the 100-percent corner (the intersection of Main Street and Memorial Drive) to redirect traffic and create a plaza with a large fountain — recently got a jump-start by JTI Leaf Services, which is donating $400,000 to the city to design and build the fountain.

Friday, April 13, 2012

New River District Business

Click here to learn more about the district's newest business.  Welcome Adam and Lauren!

DRB 0413 BRICK01

 Photo Credit:  Danville Register and Bee

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Press Release

Wednesday, April 11, 2012



Japan Tobacco International has made a grant to the City of Danville to be used to design and build a fountain that will serve as the focal point for the entrance to the Tobacco Warehouse District.  This very visible feature, at the intersection of the Downtown District and the Tobacco Warehouse District, will highlight the renovated area along the Dan River that is the lynch pin of the River District. 

According to Steve Daniels, President of Japan Tobacco International, Leaf Services U.S.A., the JTI Fountain is intended to memorialize the legacy of tobacco as an economic engine for Danville over a span of four centuries.  Although the tobacco industry has undergone significant changes in recent years, JTI is today a major force in the overall economy of Danville and the surrounding counties. 

The company has established itself as a responsible corporate citizen of the community, and this gift of $400,000 to erect the JTI Fountain in Danville expresses just how committed JTI is to the future prosperity of the region.

The River District will undergo a number of improvements in the next year or so.  Main and Union Streets will be beautified.  Buildings that are now empty will be restored and occupied.  The development of Bridge Street as a technology corridor will be ongoing.  Buildings along Craghead Street will be prioritized for redevelopment. 

David Parrish, Deputy City Manager who is leading the local government’s effort to revitalize the River District, said, “This gift from JTI is clear evidence that the business community is supportive of the renaissance of the River District.  I hope that it is the first of many corporate expressions of monetary support for this critically important project.”

Karl Stauber, President and CEO of the Danville Regional Foundation, said, “This gift from JTI is a statement of just how valuable the corporate community considers the River District to be for our future success as a viable city.  The support of the City government, the Danville Regional Foundation, and now the corporate sector through JTI will ensure that before too much more time passes, we can all be proud of how our city looks and how it welcomes its citizens ‘down to the riverside.’”

Save the Date!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

April 13 - April 28, 2012
Alla Parsons Art Exhibition
Reception: April 21, 7-9PM
Between Reality and Imagination
at Gourmet Frog Art Gallery:  310 Main St., Danville, VA 24541
Alla Parsons is originally from Russia where she received her basic art training. In the United States she continued her art studies at the university level and earned a Bachelors of Fine Arts degree in Painting from Minnesota State University Moorhead and a Master of Fine Arts degree from Georgia Southern University. Her style can be described as Magic Realism - art in which some mystery or a secret seems to be hidden within the subject matter.  Juxtapositions of sharply rendered and detailed elements, both in the foreground and background, are used to develop an air of mystery or ambiguity.  Alla says: "My paintings are about the mystery of our everyday life". She emphasizes the objects of everyday life in new and unfamiliar ways.  She explores her physical, psychological and spiritual self as well as memories, family history and Russian heritage through her work. One can see her being influenced by Symbolism, Surrealism and Russian Icons.  In her work you can also see reflections on growing up in Russia, studying the works of the Old Masters in the Hermitage, and in the largest museums in Europe.
The Artists Reception is on April 21, from 7 to 9 pmwith the Artist Talk at 8 pm.

Thursday, April 5, 2012


The city of Danville announced today that Jarrett Welding and Machine Inc. is the recipient of a Local Enterprise Zone Job Creation Grant. The company is located in a Virginia Enterprise Zone and qualified for the grant because of recent job creation in the city. The grant amount was $18,750.

Danville’s enterprise zone program is an economic development program managed by the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development. The program is designed to offer state and local incentives for businesses to locate or expand within the designated zone areas. Danville has two enterprise zones, consisting of 3,551 acres of commercial, industrial, retail and office spaces.

Co-owners John and Cindy Carey purchased Jarrett Welding in April 2011 – rescuing the company from going out of business due to the death of the previous owner. The purchase saved eight jobs. Over the past year, the total number of employees has grown to 19.

“Our success is a true testament to our dedicated, loyal employees and overwhelming support from the community,” said John Carey. “We are thankful to the city of Danville for acknowledging our growth and assisting small businesses in the area. This grant will assist us in purchasing additional equipment and performing system upgrades.” 

Mayor Sherman Saunders said, “Jarrett Welding is a wonderful example of a small business that is thriving in this challenging economic environment. Providing quality jobs for the community is our top priority, and I applaud the efforts made by John and his team at Jarrett Welding and Machine.”

Several employees are graduates of Danville Community College’s welding and machinery programs and have been employed by the company for decades. DCC President Carlyle Ramsey said, “Danville Community College has enjoyed an extraordinary relationship with Jarrett Welding for more than 30 years. In the past few months, we have had several constructive conversations with the general manager, Jamie Parsons, about the future, and I believe that it is a very exciting future in terms of value-added jobs, especially in welding and precision machining. We look forward to referring highly skilled and talented technicians to Jarrett in the near future.”

The 40,000 square-foot facility is made up of three separate buildings and spans both sides of Goodyear Boulevard. The company manufactures custom-made wrought iron and design-build structural steel for schools, industrial applications and homebuilders. It also offers full-service CNC machining from custom parts to production runs. Clients include contractors, manufacturers and Homeland Security.  

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Monday, March 19, 2012

City Wins Economic Development Award

The city of Danville has won the 2012 Community Economic Development Award. The award, given by the Virginia Economic Developers Association, recognized outstanding communities in the commonwealth for their efforts in advancing the economic viability of their community through economic and community development programs.

The city of Danville’s Office of Economic Development submitted the winning application, focusing on the River District revitalization effort and its impact on community development, business attraction, and community involvement. All nominees were grouped according to population and evaluated among other similarly-sized communities. Danville’s submission fell into the population category of 40,001 to 100,000.

“I am very thankful for the award and the recognition,” said David Parrish, deputy city manager. “The city is committed to the transformation of the River District and has set an aggressive timeline to do so. We could not be successful without the support from the community, downtown stakeholders, and our partners in the effort – the Danville Regional Foundation and the Industrial Development Authority (IDA).”

All nominations were reviewed and evaluated by an awards committee, composed of community and economic development leaders from around the state.

Evaluation criteria focused on innovativeness, transferability, community commitment and leverage, measured objectives and secondary benefits.

The nomination will now be submitted to the Southern Economic Development Council for its regional competition later in the spring.

In November, 2010, the “renaissance” of the River District was launched with a trip, sponsored by the Danville Regional Foundation (DRF), to Greenville, S.C., to learn of its 20-year downtown revitalization efforts. From this trip, Council members, city staff and city administration started to develop a strategy for redeveloping the River District.

Since the trip, the city of Danville, along with the DRF staff and downtown leaders sought out a consulting group to help determine how to best utilize the land in the River District, design a cohesive feel to the area, and bring together property owners, businesses and residents within the district as well as the entire community in the redevelopment effort.

Out of 22 firms responding to the RFP, BBP & Associates, LLC and Allison Platt & Associates were selected to head the $100,000 project, which was predominately paid for through a grant from the DRF.

The city was recently approved for a $1.4 million grant from the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) to improve downtown Danville’s streets and sidewalks. The VDOT funds, in addition to matching funds from the city, will be used to widen existing sidewalks, install brick pavers, create move visible and pedestrian crossings, and provide amenities such as outdoor cafĂ© space, and new lighting. 

Phase One of the streetscape improvement plan includes Main Street, from Craghead Street/Memorial Drive to Floyd Street, and N. Union Street from Main Street to Spring Street. Land Planning & Design Associates from Charlottesville is responsible for this phase of construction, which will begin in fall 2012.