This blog includes news about City Hall, city schools and other 22401 news.Pamela Gould reports on City Hall. You can reach her at 540-735-1972 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Robyn Sidersky reports on city schools. You can reach her at 540-374-5413 or email@example.com.
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Downtown notes from out of town
- Charlotesville is getting a 3,465-square-foot grocery store in its downtown, according to a story in The Daily Progress. Fredericksburg residents have wished for years for a downtown grocery store. Potential grocers in the past have said small retail spaces and insufficient parking were some of the obstacles to making that happen. Those have been problems in Charlottesville, too, but a father-son team there hopes to get over them by offering a variety of products in a small space. (It appears Charlottesville could be getting a Trader Joe’s, too.)
- Occoquan leaders are starting new events and revamping old ones to try to lure people with money to spend in a bad economy, according to this story from InsideNOVA.com. Merchants there say restaurants seem to be faring much better than retail shops in the recession.
- Lynchburg has had to make a $250,000 loan payment for a private boutique hotel for the third year in a row, reports The News & Advance. The city’s Community Development Block Grant funds are being used to make payments on a federal loan made to the Bluffwalk Center, a high-end hotel and restaurant complex that the city touted for years as a crucial anchor to its downtown revitalization plans, and the hotel has set up a plan to repay the city. Many still say the hotel has helped the downtown along, but the thought of taxpayer money paying a private business’s debts (That sounds familiar…) is causing controversy. Lynchburg has been lauded for the public-private partnerships it has set up to make big projects happen in its downtown. Those projects always include some risk, and this is a glimpse at what a government has to be prepared to do if it’s going to take on partnerships like this.