Lynchburg, Martinsville downtowns get boost to renovate vacant buildings
Economy, Virginia

Lynchburg, Martinsville downtowns get boost to renovate vacant buildings

Crystal Graham
virginia economy
(© vepar5 –

Two shuttered downtown buildings will soon breathe new life thanks in part to a combined $1 million in funding for the two projects in Lynchburg and Martinsville.

The Mixed Use on Main Street Grant funds will help transform the former A&P grocery store in Lynchburg and the former Woolworth’s building in Martinsville into commercial and residential spaces.

“Downtowns are the heart and soul of so many communities across the Commonwealth, and through these investments, we will transform derelict structures into vibrant businesses and create new housing opportunities,” said Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin. “Strong infrastructure is key to any successful economic strategy, and this program is designed to keep those downtown districts thriving and catalyze both economic development and community pride.”


The Lynchburg Economic Development Authority, through a private developer, will renovate the former A&P Grocery store at 400 12th St. from a single-story structure into a four-story building for mixed use. The project will create a commercial space on the ground floor with 10,000 square feet of retail space, as well as 28 apartment units. The $500,000 in funding will go toward renovating and remodeling the ground floor for a committed food and beverage operator. The residential space will include studios, one-, two- and three-bedroom units.


The city of Martinsville, through a private developer, will renovate the former Woolworth’s building, which was built in the 1920s and has been vacant since 1996. The East Church St. building is now being renovated to provide additional housing units and retail spaces to the Uptown Martinsville district. The project will include six apartments, as well as 4,000 square feet of retail space and 600 square feet of office space.

About MUMS

MUMS is a pilot program created as a joint effort with the Industrial Revitalization Fund and Virginia Main Street programs, both administered through the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development to support the revitalization of vacant or underutilized downtown spaces to create opportunities for commercial development and housing units in communities that are active participants in VMS.

Awards are available up to $500,000 for the rehabilitation of mixed-use buildings that must include the creation or preservation of housing units and can be provided as either grants or loans.

“This unique program allows us to make targeted investments back into our communities, giving them the resources and flexibility needed to generate sustainable economic growth,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Caren Merrick. “These two remarkable projects will create 15 new jobs and build 34 new housing units in downtown commercial districts, and I look forward to seeing the continued positive change that this revitalization will enable.”

For more information on MUMS, visit

Crystal Graham

Crystal Graham

Crystal Abbe Graham is the regional editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1999 graduate of Virginia Tech, she has worked for nearly 25 years as a reporter and editor for several Virginia publications, written a book, and garnered more than a dozen Virginia Press Association awards for writing and graphic design. She was the co-host of "Viewpoints," a weekly TV news show, and co-host of Virginia Tonight, a nightly TV news show. Her work on "Virginia Tonight" earned her a national Telly award for excellence in television.