Covington redevelopment kicks off with Project Sparkle

Published: Feb. 18, 2022 at 5:26 PM EST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

COVINGTON, Va. (WDBJ) - Folks in Covington will tell you the old Gordman’s building is more than an empty store.

“Right now,” said city manager Krystal Onaitis, “we’re standing in Project Sparkle.”

It’s the catalyst, officials hope, to trigger a revitalization of downtown.

“We have a really rare opportunity here to take what is essentially a shell building of 30,000 square feet, three floors, and redevelop it into something that is new and attraction-oriented,” Onaitis said.

“I’m not going to say exactly what we’re doing here,” teased developer Dave Bostic of Cross Creek Hospitality, “but it’s going to involve food, entertainment, safe environment, family-friendly.”

Bostic already worked on a similar plan in West Virginia.

“White Sulphur,” he said, “very little traffic had went through that town for many years, and we started to create destination atmosphere: restaurants, music venues, barbeque, micro brewery, things that people would travel to see.”

“We’re hoping to garner that stronger small business community,” Onaitis said, “and also grow our Main Street organization, Old Town Covington, as we really want to increase its presence and create that destination feel when you come to downtown.”

The effort comes with the hiring of a new small business liaison and a strategic plan to bring things back.

“There is a lot of hope here,” said Bostic, “and there is a lot of more energy and movement behind the efforts that are going to transform this town, to revitalize this town.”

Copyright 2022 WDBJ. All rights reserved.