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West Main Street Experiencing Wave of Revitalization - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

West Main Street Experiencing Wave of Revitalization

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Businesses on West Main Street in Charlottesville Businesses on West Main Street in Charlottesville

A Charlottesville neighborhood stuck in between the city's two main business districts is experiencing a new wave of revitalization.

Midtown stretches along West Main Street from the University of Virginia corner to the downtown mall. The city's beginning a project to create a vision for midtown that blends history with a new view for the future.

JM Stock Provisions & Supply is carving out a niche.

"We strive to be a full service grocery with the whole animal butcher counter being the main draw," said James Lum, co-owner of JM Stock Provisions & Supply. 

James Lum and his business partner picked Charlottesville.

"Richmond was an option. Lynchburg was kind of an option. Charlottesville really seemed like the only place that had a market for it," said Lum.

They set up shop in their midtown storefront on West Main Street.

"We love the fact that it is kind of a little bit up and coming," said Lum.

Stock is just one new name finding its place in a neighborhood that was known as a motor mile for car dealerships when Blue Moon Diner opened up.

"There's finally a focus on this strange little no-man's land between the University and the Downtown Mall," said Laura Galgano of Blue Moon Diner.

City planners are getting in on midtown's revitalization. They've hired an urban design firm to draw up plans for parking, streetscape improvements, and historic preservation.

"We know what some of the development is going to be, but how do we do the rest of it and what does the public realm look like there?" said Jim Tolbert, director of Charlottesville's Neighborhood Development Services.

Laurie Blakey saw a future in this West Main space built in 1895.

"It's been everything from a dried goods store, to a bookstore, to a church," said Laurie Blakey, Pearl's Bake Shoppe owner.

Blakey expanded Pearl's Bake Shoppe to Charlottesville from its first bakery in Richmond.

"West Main is the center of everything between the corner and the downtown mall," said Blakey.

The location honors Blakey's grandmother in her hometown where Pearl's hopes to find business success.

"We're excited to be back home in Charlottesville," said Blakey.

An Alexandria-based firm is beginning the study of West Main. Public meetings to get ideas from neighbors and businesses will start later this year. 

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