Chatham, VA - Chatham is preparing for the opening of the town's first loft apartments.
The units are being built in the former Chatham Elementary School building and locals say having all the new residents living downtown will be good for business.
The property on Main Street will open as 31 luxury units, with modern amenities.
"Once it's full, it will bring in a neighborhood of about $26,000 of tax revenue, but also it brings in people that help revitalize the town, " said Ron Brown.
Brown is the President of Chatham First, the local group that brought Echelon Resources on-board for the development of the lofts. He's also the owner of a popular restaurant within walking distance of the lofts. He hopes to see a boost in business soon.
"Obviously, we hope that they'll visit our businesses as well, but I'm hoping that those kind of people, particularly the retirees, might like to get some office space and maybe start some small businesses in the downtown area, " Brown said.
M&W Flower Shop just across the street closes at 4 p.m. everyday, but they're taking the new wave of residents into consideration as they plan for the future.
"Chatham is still that old town, small town living where businesses start to close down at 5 o'clock, but if activity were to increase in Chatham, yes, we would consider being open later to accommodate those that wanted to come shop, " said Micheal Rose, Head Designer at the flower shop.
Brown says pricey loft-living may be new to folks in Chatham, but with one-third of the building already leased, he's optimistic that the apartments will really take off.
"The people that do see them really, really like what's there so if you haven't had a chance to see it, you ought to get down and take a look, " Brown said.
Brown will be the property manager for the lofts once they open on July 1st. He says they will be offering discounted rates for teachers, firemen and police officers.
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