Covington looks at revitalization plans

Published: Oct. 12, 2021 at 6:04 PM EDT
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COVINGTON, Va. (WDBJ) - “One of the things we’re working on is having this serve as a catalyst for more outward growth in our downtown,” said Covington City Manager Krystal Onaitis.

Now owned by the city thanks to a grant from the Alleghany Foundation, the former Gordman’s building on Main Street holds potential for a range of uses.

“So this is really a metaphor for downtown,” Onaitis said. “We called it Project Sparkle because the intent is to try to bring back the sparkle and luster of out Main Street.”

“You know, it’s just good that people are seeing some change,” Mayor Tom Sibold said, “and hopefully we can get something nice in here.”

“I think people will be excited,”Sibold said.

Business owners like Deshawn Wooding and Honorata Hobendobler are the very people they are hoping to excite.

“I’m looking to expand,” Wooding, the owner of Love D Creations, said. “I’m really excited about what Covington Main Street has going on. And hoping to bring some high quality craftsmanship to the area that people can get.”

“It’s not just a revitalization of your standard architectural and esthetic things,” Onaitis said, “but really thinking about recovery of Main Streets and how they were impacted during COVID.”

Which ironically – as aid programs come online – gives the job of revitalizing Main Street an extra boost.

“This is like the stars are aligning,” said Sibold.

“So we’re really excited,” Onaitis said. “We’re on that cusp. It just all happened at the right time when we really needed it, and we’re just trying to harness all that potential and just fire away.”

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