Lynchburg, VA - Lynchburg's downtown bluff walk project has a $5 million price tag, but it's expected to create years of foot traffic and private sector investment. The work on it is well under way, and it's inching towards completion, every day.
What once was a barren bluff, has been transformed into a weaving walk-way.
"I think it's a great idea" said one downtown resident.
Residents walk out their front doors to an amazing new view.
"It's interesting to see it change and it's exciting to see it change to bring more people down and more businesses" said Kait Owens who lives in a downtown loft.
And that's the goal; getting foot traffic to move to the corridor between Jefferson and Commerce Streets. That part of downtown has already seen its fair share of change. Loft apartments are popping up left and right, making it a desirable place to live, even put a business.
"I love living down here and I hope it continues to grow" said one man.
"Since I've been here, the whole building is almost completely filled" said Owens.
"We're also hoping that we're going to activate a lot of commercial interests" said Lynchburg Mayor, Mike Gillette.
Gillette said the goal of the project was to get private sector investors to buy up space along the bluff. It is an enticing spot he says for business owners, with the potential to have two store fronts; one along the bluff, another along Commerce or Jefferson Streets.
"If you walk along the finished part of bluff walk right now, you'll notice that there are some buildings that are still undeveloped, they now become store front property, and so hopefully we're going to see a lot of that private development come in" said Gillette.
And it's all a part of a larger plan for downtown. According to city officials, over the last ten years that part of the city has seen the number of businesses increase by more than 200% and private sector investments totaling more than $100 million.
"But there's still more to come. I think it's just terribly exciting to see what this kind of project can do for a downtown area" said Gillette.
The walk will eventually run from Ninth to Washington Street. Developers anticipate completion during the summer of 2015.