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Lynchburg working on new Master Plan for downtown; possible theater, ice skating rink

The City of Lynchburg is set to release its new master plan to update the downtown/riverfront area this fall (Photo: Kari Beal)

LYNCHBURG, Va. (WSET) -- The city of Lynchburg is working on its 2040 downtown master plan, but not everything in the master plan from 2006 has been completed.

30-years-ago, downtown was a ghost town, according to Bruce Christian, the chairman of N.B. Handy Company, which has been downtown since 1891.

"We have had people who come here to apply for a job and looked down and said I'm not going down that street because it dead ends there it just seems kind of spooky," he said.

In hopes to revitalize the area he became one of the stakeholders helping to shape the 2006 master plan.

Most of the plan "was" completed, including the famed bluff walk, but some parts weren't, like the canal park or the James River walk.

"So, just because we have the plan doesn't mean we have money targeted for every initiative in the plan," said Kent White, the Lynchburg Director of Community Development.

White said city council prioritizes which initiatives are most important and they work on those first.

"Council looks at this every single year as part of the budget process," he said. "Downtown is a much different place than it was 20-years-ago."

One of the biggest changes is all the residents and businesses that are now downtown.

White said this creates new priorities for parking and infrastructure so moving forward they are asking for community input.

In the meantime Christian said, overall, he's not disappointed in the city's progress.

White says this creates new priorities for parking and infrastructure so moving forward they are asking for community input.

White said the 2040 master plan may include an upper bluff walk, movie theater, and even ice skating rink.

But again, they are asking for community input, and plan to release the full plan this fall.

For full details on the upcoming meetings click here.

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