Developer to Renovate Building on 5th Street in Lynchburg

Lynchburg, VA - Fifth Street in Lynchburg will soon have new apartment space and even more retail.

Crews will renovate the duplex 701 and 703 on the street. It's been vacant for quite a while until a developer from out of state saw it and decided it just needs some TLC.

The building will get two apartments on the top floor and a new welcoming retail space, like maybe a grocery store, on the first floor.

Among 5th Street's boarded up shops, a New York developer sees hope.

"Fifth Street has a way to go. I think people have to take the first step. You have to have vision for 5th street. I think it's going to be an up and coming place," said George Sanchez, the developer.

Although Sanchez is from out of town, he's walked this street before and liked what he saw. But he admits it could be 5-7 years until Fifth is the cool place in town.

Cory Kick and Ethan Wolfe will drop by 5th for just one thing: A record from Speakertree. As for living here? Well, there's a chance.

-"Would you buy an apartment back here?" we asked.

"I think I would if the price is right," said Wolfe.

But first, they say something has to happen with all the construction. The city's improving the water and sewer on the road, and that's got many rolling their eyes.

-"All the construction and everything is inconvenient to drive through," said Kick.

But for the man with his sights set on the building, construction isn't a bad sign, it's the price of progress.

"The fact that the town is willing to put a lot of money in to the downtown area. That is a big attraction to me," said Sanchez.

The goal is to start construction in the next three months and hopefully open the two apartments and commercial spaces in a year.

Of course, just talk of putting a grocery store in there is exciting for the neighborhood, which sits in a food desert. But that's not final just yet.