BEDFORD, Va. -

A Bedford street is getting a fresh new look.

New sidewalks and drains are being installed on Jackson Street.  Town leaders are making the improvements to encourage residential growth.

A developer is building 32 loft apartments in a vacant warehouse, near the intersection of Jackson and Grove Streets.

Economic officials would like to see more apartments or a hotel added in the other empty buildings nearby.

The new sidewalks will encourage foot traffic between the lofts and downtown businesses, which could lead to retail growth.

"Having the lofts downtown puts people downtown constantly," said Amanda Adams, executive director of Bedford Main Street.  "There will be a consistent need for downtown restaurants and downtown retail."

The new sidewalks cost around $50,000.  A $25,000 grant from the Virginia Main Street organization is funding part of the project.