STAUNTON, Va. (WHSV) -- New construction projects are popping up in downtown Staunton.
"Honor the past, but move along with the future. I'm not saying build rocket ships and stuff, but you know," said Irma McKenna, who lives in New Jersey.
There are not any rocket ships in Staunton, but work in the wharf is just part of changes across the city that continue to bring tourists like Irma McKenna to town.
"And I come down and my niece and I always take a day to come into town and check the shops," said McKenna.
This new construction project in the Wharf District is just one example of historic downtown Staunton continuing to grow. It's precisely due to that growth that local leaders said Staunton continues to thrive.
"If the center of your community is healthy and viable and active and interesting, then that is going to trickle out like a rock in a pond to everything else around it," said Julie Markowitz, with the Staunton Downtown Development Association. "A lot of people just don't realize how much development there's been down here. We have 30 restaurants, 30 salons, 100 specialty retailers. And they're all different. They all have, it's changed so much even in the last five years as to the selection of businesses where you can shop."
But the changes are not just for the tourists. "It's a town we can be proud of," said Mary Ellen Barrett, who lives in Staunton.
Growth and change brings the locals back too. "If we can keep the charm of the past in Staunton and keep developing and growing and renovating, I think it's very important. Especially for a historic town," said Barrett.
Projects like the one in the Wharf District are making folks excited to see what the city will offer next, as long as there aren't any rocket ships.
The owner of that construction project on Lewis Street said that he'll be ready to announce his plans for the spot in the next two weeks.
When he does, he said WHSV will get a first look at the plans.
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