Buena Vista looks to future downtown revitalization

Published: Sep. 17, 2020 at 8:30 AM EDT
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BUENA VISTA, Va. (WDBJ) - When developer Ed Walker came to Buena Vista three years ago, there was hope for a rebirth of the city’s downtown.

But he has now announced that he will sell the buildings he bought and move on from the GoBV project.

“It’s time for us to pass the baton on to all the great people in the area,” explained GoBV Project Manager Jamie Goodin.

But they say it’s not a retreat.

“In many cases we have made properties revenue generating for potential new developers and property owners to come in with their ideas and take control of their downtown,” Goodin said.

“There were some physical improvements that he made," said Tom Roberts, Buena Vista director of community and economic development. "And also helped to keep the momentum going.”

But going where? Buena Vista has now turned to a team to put together a plan.

“We were engaged before Ed Walker decided to sell his buildings," said Chuck D’Aprix of Downtown Economics International. "So we plan for any eventuality, we plan for whatever comes our way in terms of coming up with a plan.”

It’s a two or three-month process that starts with surveys and other data gathering.

“Who are we as Buena Vista? What do we want for the future?" said Roberts. "And so I think that’s going to be a really important thing that we’re asking the community.”

“We really see this as an action plan, not just a study,” D’Aprix said.

Producing a report around the end of November that tells the city what to do now.

“We’ve a lot of work ahead of us, yeah,” D’Aprix said.

Copyright 2020 WDBJ. All rights reserved.

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