Back to all news
July 14, 2015

Group Hopes to Revitalize Downtown Waynesboro

WAYNESBORO, Va (WVIR) -

The group charged with revitalizing Waynesboro's downtown area is back with a new name and a renewed mission.

Waynesboro Downtown Development Inc. (WDDI) is getting a total makeover with new staff and a new marketing push.

Two years ago, WDDI Executive Director Kimberly Waters resigned two years ago. Director of Economic Development and Tourism Greg Hitchin says the board at WDDI took the opportunity to ask some questions about where they fit within the state's community development program, known as Virginia Main Street.

South River Fly Shop Owner Tommy Lawhorne, who is also board chair the newly named Destination Downtown Waynesboro, says they need to make downtown appealing.

“Getting the rest of these buildings brought up to where they're presentable and that people want to rent them,” Lawhorne said.

The city supports Destination Downtown Waynesboro, but Hitchin says it starts with the community.

“It has to be driven from the ground up. It can't be driven from the city down,” he said.

Lawhorne says it's finding out what the people are interested in.

“You can find something that they're interested in that you can get them to help you with, it just opens the door,” said Lawhorne.

Lawhorne is also hoping to capitalize on the return of the Blues and Brews Festival to the city on September 19.