Business Improvement District on track

CHARLESTON, West Virginia (WSAZ) – The Charleston Business Improvement District was established more than a year ago to promote, beautify and improve Charleston’s amenities.

With nearly $100,000 pledged by homeowners between Virginia, the courthouse, Washington and Summers Streets, and $50,000 pledged by the city of Charleston, the investment has turned into more, said Lewis Payne, president of the Business Improvement District.

“We’ve turned that into over $700,000 when we applied for the grant,” he said.

Payne said the grant allowed them to hire staff to start a larger plan.

Payne and Suzy Salisbury of the Charleston Area Coalition said a plan would change the face of downtown.

“If we can express some of these concepts in beautiful color pictures, people will start to see the vision and be more receptive to that vision and really understand or even do what the business improvement district is all about,” Salisbury said. what is.” .

Payne said the program has an estimated cost of about $14 million, and both he and Salisbury are confident it can be achieved within 10 years.

“We want new businesses in the city centre, we want it to be cleaner, we want property values ​​to go up,” he said. “We don’t want a rental sign on one side of the building. We want to see everyone’s building full.”

Next year, Payne said, improvements to the area will come in the form of new public art and new street lighting.

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