Retail—a sign of city’s revival

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For years, Danville suffered from “retail leakage,” as local residents took their shopping lists to Greensboro and Lynchburg. Danville officials hope to fix that leak this summer with the opening of Coleman MarketPlace, a 550,000-square-foot shopping center. It will include national retailers such as Target, Home Depot, Marshall’s, Old Navy, Dick’s Sporting Goods and Ross Dress for Less, as well as several restaurants and smaller shops.

“What this does is not only give our local residents the ability to do all of their shopping locally, but it keeps those dollars in the community, and then we also get to keep the sales tax revenue,” says Jeremy Stratton, Danville’s director of economic development. He expects Danville to become a regional retail hub, drawing shoppers from a 30-mile radius. “It’s good for everyone.”
The project, which ranks as the largest retail project in the region since the 1980s, also gives credence to Danville’s image as a city on the rise, Stratton says. Since 2004, the city has added 4,000 jobs and attracted $150 million in investment as it reverses losses caused by the decline of the textile and tobacco industries.

Stratton notes that over the last few years, the city’s sales tax receipts have increased, thanks to growth in restaurant sales and hotel/motel stays. With the opening of the Coleman MarketPlace, he says, “we expect to continue to have an upward trajectory with our sales tax. We’ve seen a lot of other communities that have been stagnant, so this is a big benefit for our community.” 


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