River District Development Project
Parking in the River District
July 25, 2019 - Next streetscape phase set to begin (PDF)
May 28, 2019 - Mayor officially welcomes restaurant to River District (PDF)
May 9, 2019 - Danville welcomes pharmacy to River District (PDF)
The city of Danville is in the process of implementing a development plan for its "River District (PDF)," generally consisting of the traditional central business district, historic tobacco warehouse district and manufacturing area, and contiguous areas. This area has been the commercial and administrative heart of the city since the 1790s.
This year marks the ninth year of the project. The city has established design guidelines for the look and feel of the district. The Design Guidelines (PDF) list appropriate materials, outline procedures and explain what types of architectural elements are expected for the district's existing buildings and new construction. A seven-member commission appointed by City Council enforces the guidelines.
In addition, five phases of streetscape improvements are complete and a sixth phase is underway. These phases are bringing a fresh look to Main, Union, and Craghead streets, with new sidewalks, brick pavers, streetlight poles, benches and landscaping. Public, outdoor Wi-Fi hotspots are available in the River District.
Signage, Utilities, & Parking
Wayfinding signage and utilities upgrades are in place. Patton Street was altered to allow two-way traffic to provide better access to businesses and parking lots serving stores on Main Street. Parking areas have been opened at 500 Main Street and the former Acree's warehouse on Bridge Street. A completed parking study serves as a guide for the future.
Fountain, Plaza, & Trails
The amenities also feature the JTI Fountain and Main Street Plaza, which quickly has become one of Danville's favorite public gathering spaces. A new trailhead for the Riverwalk Trail is in place and a pedestrian lane on the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Bridge connects walking trails on the north and south side of the Dan River.
Public seeding also has resulted in the purchase of once vacant, deteriorating buildings. These buildings are stabilized and then returned to the private market for repurposing for commercial and residential uses.
As a result of the new amenities and stabilization of buildings, private investments are being made in the district, and they outpace public seeding by four-fold. New to the River District this year is Commonwealth Pharmacy of the River City, the district's first pharmacy.
In the coming months, the pharmacy will be joined by a specialty grocery store and a restaurant serving Memphis-style barbecue. Urban living options continue to grow, with the continuing construction of apartments for lease.
Today, the River District boasts a new look and vibe thanks. To capture the spirit of the changes and to send a clear message within and outside the Danville community about what makes the district special, the city in 2015 unveiled a new brand for the district.
The brand uses the tagline slogan: "Danville River District: Reimagine That." Our message is clear, here in the River District, the status quo is a no go.
The River District is a vital element to the future of Danville and the surrounding region. Please check back in regularly to this site for updates and to provide feedback. Thank you for your interest and involvement in your community.