Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Stanardsville Is Getting A Makeover

Greene County is waking up and becoming the place to live, with Four Seasons, Greenecroft and more.

Main Street in Stanardsville is getting a big makeover with new professional buildings, a hotel, boutiques, stores and a new look, which are most welcome.

Read more about the changes in this article that was posted on the Greene County Record website http://www.greene-news.com/ on 11-8-07:

Town of Stanardsville: in the midst of a makeover

Record Reporter
November 08, 2007

It looks as if Stanardsville's Main Street is getting a facelift. The Lamb family has converted some of its rental properties on the south side of Main Street between Ford Avenue and Celt Road from residential to commercial, and is sprucing them up.

A family by the name of Morris has opened a new flower shop in one of the Lamb buildings. Lillian Baird, who opened the Little Shop On Main Street early this year is moving to larger quarters in one of the others.

On other parts of Main Street, Sandy Johnston has opened a salon and Sim Neely, a professional woodworker who does architectural millwork and ornaments in addition to custom furniture and built-ins, has opened a showroom. ReMax is in town and Alan Pyles, owner of the Lafayette Inn, has expanded his holdings to include the Town Centre, where he is offering space for lease.

Don Pamenter, president of Stanardsville Revitalization, or *STAR*, has been talking about bringing the Town back to life for years.

Early last year he followed that talk with applications for grants, and *STAR* started winning them.

A professional planner started to help show *STAR* the way a la the Virginia Main Street program, designed to help localities revitalize the economic vitality of hometown commercial districts.

John Pluta and Holly Horan invested in putting their Noon Whistle Pottery's name on the Virginia Department of Transportation sign just east of the Route 33 business exit and traffic started to flow into Town. Now, it's as though Stanardsville is on a roll.

"We're doing a general upgrading of our Main Street properties in keeping with the *STAR* program," says Larry Lamb, speaking for the Lamb family. Linda Morris, speaking for the Morris family that is leasing one of Lamb's properties, worked for University florists in Charlottesville before she - and others of her family - invested in Stargazer Florists Etc.

"We do all the traditional arrangements, but we also love to be creative," says Morris. Stargazer also does gift baskets - either already made up or by special order, and caters to walk-ins.

Baird says it is because "people have been really supportive and want to see more change on Main Street" that she is moving her Little Shop On Main Street from the corner of Main and Celt into one of the Lambs' new commercial rentals.

"It's got hardwood floors and three fireplaces, one in each room," says Baird, who will be selling antique and vintage goods as well as some reproductions when her new store opens, at the latest, on December 1.

Johnston set up her salon called Signature in the Victorian that houses ReMax, across from the Lafayette. Her new puppy, a Dandie Dinmont Terrier "will be a shop dog, keeping my clients amused," says Johnston. Neely opened Riverdale Fine Woodworking. His work, he says, has included "Craftsman furniture, a Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired entertainment center and a Japanese-style writing desk. I also made the sign outside my shop and do Christmas decorations turned with a lathe. They are wooden balls you can see through."

Neely does his actual work in his home, and uses his tiny Main Street shop "for appointments and slide shows."

And the Town Centre?

Suffice it to say Pyles, who is the president of the Greene County Chamber of commerce, believes in Stanardsville.

"What you're seeing now is the beginning of the reality of the revitalization that's been talked about behind the scenes for three years," says Pyles. "It's been a lot of work … a lot of paperwork done by people who have a lot of patience. They have made our ongoing efforts so much easier because people can now see what they're buying into."

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