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      Downtown's Coming Alive by Mark Kelly

      Downtown Lynchburg is a special place. I know it used to not feel quite that way. For decades business and residents fled the central business district. But when I walk the Central Business District today, I can't help but feeling a vibrant downtown is within reach.{}

      At lunchtime, people are taking a break from work and searching for a place to eat; food carts are setup curbside, giving streets that big city vibe; and beautification efforts - walkways connecting Main Street to the riverfront - continue.{}A similar story on a Saturday morning downtown. One time, I got to the Community Market after lunchtime, and most of the produce was gone. As each day passes, downtown becomes more alive. I spend more time downtown than I used to. And every walk I take up and down those steep streets, the more I love the area - the shiny and new streets and the ones in need of some TLC. But more than anything, I love walking downtown and envisioning what it will look like in five ro 10 years. There's no doubt in my mind it will become more beautiful and reconnect Central Virginia to the beautiful downtown it left behind.