A major change is coming to downtown Byrdstown and it’s all going to happen over the next six months.
County Executive Richard Daniel said downtown Byrdstown will be undergoing a cityscape project with the help of an Assets Enhancement Grant and a partnership with locally operated People’s Bank.
“We desperately need this,” Daniel said. “When we lost the garment factories in Byrdstown our businesses started to leave and decline and we would like to bring business back to Byrdstown because we are going to have a very attractive downtown area for people to come in and visit.”
Daniel said a total of 10 downtown buildings will receive exterior upgrades such as new paint and awnings. A lot more greenery will also be added around the downtown area as well.
“The appearance of downtown will not even be the same as it is now,” Daniel said. “Basically we want it to go back to the way it would have looked when the building were first built. We aren’t trying to change anything, but just go back to how it looked maybe 50 or 60-years ago when the buildings were new.”
To Daniel, changing the appearance of downtown is important, but more important to him is filling up some of the vacant buildings. He believes a new look will attract more interest in the downtown area.
“You need to have something to attract people in,” Daniel said. “We have a lot of craftsmen here and we need a location for people to sell their crafts. There is so many different things that we can do to attract new business into downtown. There is a lot of things going in our favor here in Pickett County.”
The total project will cost about $100,000, but that will be paid for with an Assets Enhancement Grant that Pickett County received earlier this year. Daniel said People’s Bank has also agreed to provide interest-free loans to business owners.
“We have had a very good response and that’s good because this is a major change,” Daniels said. “We aren’t changing old building to look new, we are fixing up old buildings to make them look the way they should.”