New Plan for Downtown Waynesboro

By: Meg Gatto Email
By: Meg Gatto Email

Officials in Waynesboro have been trying for years to revitalize the downtown area of the city. The Downtown Development Group wants to see vacant store as things of the past.

Director of Waynesboro Downtown Development, Kimberly Watters, says, "We have three businesses that we've targeted: a bakery, a coffee shop and a high end restaurant. Those things aren't all that hard to do."

Watters says businesses like the ones mentioned will help to bring in people, which will in turn help existing businesses pick up new customers.

Waynesboro Florist store owner Webber Payne says, "Somebody wants to get a rose or flowers to take home to the wife, girlfriend or whoever, they just happen to stop in and buy something."

Payne says the downtown has struggled for years, though he hopes to see the area grow.

Payne adds, "We'd love to see new businesses downtown. The more businesses that are here, the more walk-in traffic that we all have and it'll benefit everybody."

Watters says, in addition to bringing new retail to the area, she's planning more family-friendly events to get people active in the downtown area.

She adds, "Last year, our Chili Brews and Blues festival was a huge success. We're going to do that again. Same with Christmas in the City. We're going to do a wine event tied with the art festival this year."

Watters says the key to success is making more people aware of what downtown Waynesboro has to offer.

"If we bring a thousand people down here, they may not shop that day that they're here, but they'll see something down here that’s interesting or that they didn't know was here and they'll come back," says Watters.

She also says, when more people come to visit downtown, she hopes they'll be inspired to donate their time because volunteers are a large part of the success of this area.


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