Downtown Harrisonburg Becoming More Urbanized

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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) -- Efforts are underway to urbanize downtown Harrisonburg.

Property managers said,once you have provided a place for people to live, they need to provide the hub for people to sustain their lifestyle.

This trend to have restaurants and shops on the first floor, and apartments up above, is a trend similar to those in larger, metropolitan cities, around the United States.

Mary Messerley, the property manager for Matchbox Realty, said the city is slowly becoming more than just a college town.

"Downtown Harrisonburg is not a place to just drive through anymore, downtown is a place to stop at. It is a place to eat, sleep, live, shop, be," said Messerley.

Now, the area is expanding to support the number of people moving into the city.

Luke Smith just moved downtown and said another big draw to the area, was having everything available at his fingertips.

"We have barely used our car since we got here. Unless we want to go out to the mountains in West Virginia or up to the Skyline in the Blue Ridge, we really haven't even used our car," said Smith.

Teal Golden, another person living downtown, said she previously lived in a rural area, where she had to drive to get to the things she needed.

"I'd have to plan out my whole day to get to shopping or eating. I think it's nice to just walk and not have to plan my day," said Golden.

Messerley said the downtown area, which used to be a skeleton, is now becoming a living, breathing being, supporting the number of people wanting to move to the area.


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