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Mayor Sherman Saunders joined state and local leaders and citizens today in celebrating the announcement that Danville has joined 28 other cities and town in being designed a Virginia Main Street community.
The designation will provide technical assistance from the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development, as well as access to grants for redevelopment.
Saunders, speaking at a ceremony held on Main Street adjacent First Citizens Bank, said the City is pleased to receive this Main Street designation.
“On behalf of the City of Danville, I would like to thank Secretary Jones (Maurice Jones, Virginia secretary of commerce and trade) and Bill Shelton (director of the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development) for giving us the opportunity to participate in this prestigious program,” Saunders said. “This recognition would not have been possible without countless number of individuals and organizations that have supported redevelopment efforts in the River District. We offer a special ‘thank you’ to all for your commitment and investment.
“Last May, we launched the new brand for the River District, with the tagline “Reimagine That.” Look at how this historic district has been reimagined into a vibrant place to live, work, shop and play. It is a place where the private sector has, and will continue, to invest. It is a place that we are proud to call home. Thank you for helping us celebrate this great achievement today and thank you for your support as we continue redevelopment efforts in the River District.”
The River District Association applied in November for designation as a Virginia Main Street community partner. At the ceremony this morning, Ernecia Coles, executive director of the River District Association, said, “This Virginia Main Street designation is recognition of what RDA has done for downtown Danville and a vehicle to take the organization to a higher level of performance as we strive to become a value-added partner for River District businesses, residents and the City of Danville.
“This designation also is a salute to the city and its successful efforts to attract industry, entrepreneurs and developers to the River District, as well as the many successful projects that have significantly changed downtown’s landscape and quality of life.”
Maurice Jones, Virginia secretary of commerce and trade, traveled from Richmond to Danville to make the announcement.
“This designation will make you eligible for technical assistance and grants that will help you in your journey to revitalize the River District that you are well under way in doing now.,” Jones said. “Downtowns are really the places where communities aggregate, particularly on the weekends. They are the places that are the souls of our cities, towns and communities all over Virginia. The Virginia Main Street designation helps keep these places alive so that they remain vibrant for our children and our grandchildren.”
Bill Shelton, director of the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development, and Del. Danny Marshall also were in attendance at the ceremony.