Danville, VA -- The River District is really coming along in downtown Danville. Monday, another big moment as crews broke ground on the new fountain.Many say the fountain will be a big draw for downtown Danville, and that could mean big bucks for local stores.
Inside downtown's Chestnut Lane, co-owner, Audrey Pearson does her own kind of renovating. She spent the day redecorating her store, while just outside a bigger construction project is being celebrated.
City officials gathered for the groundbreaking of the River District's new fountain. Danville Deputy City Manager, Ken Larking, says this nearly half a million dollar project funded by JTI, should bring in more people to downtown stores.
"We're hoping that this will just bring a lot of folks here and make people feel great about Danville," said Larking.
Larking says over the last few years in the city, they've seen $78 million in private investments. He says this fountain could lead to even more.
"Hopefully it will put a few dollars in some people's pockets downtown," said Steve Daniels, President of JTI Leaf Services.
"I think it's going to bring a lot more foot traffic down here. I'm hoping it is going to be a place people will go and hang out," said Pearson.
But helping local businesses isn't the only benefit. A lot of people are excited that driving into downtown Danville, the fountain will be the first thing you see, welcoming you into the River District.
Not all stores are excited about it. Some say it takes away from parking. But local leaders say these types of construction projects help in the long run.
"I know it's been tough on folks with the construction trying to get in and out but we believe that when it is all said and done it will be a beautiful area," said Larking.
The fountain is expected to be completed in about 4 months. But we're told they are ahead of schedule so it could be finished a lot sooner.