The Downtown Strategic Plan presents a vision to guide the evolution of Blacksburg’s Downtown into the years ahead. Rooted in community input and analysis, the plan provides a blueprint for action through policy, capital improvements, and development that advance community priorities. Downtown is broken into six distinct districts in the plan. Each district’s assets and opportunities have been evaluated and a unique vision for each is illustrated in the plan which is summarized below.
Final Visit Presentation (PDF)
Presentation Board (PDF)
The Original 16
The blocks bounded by Draper, Jackson, Wharton, and Clay are the historic center of Blacksburg. The area contains many of the structures that contribute to the Blacksburg Historic District, and has good urban form along many parts of Main Street. Alongside context-sensitive development, a range of policy initiatives will aid in the preservation and enhancement of this area’s historic character.
The district west of Draper and South of Virginia Tech’s Creativity and Innovation District is rich with assets, as well as opportunities to create an exciting synergy with the emerging innovation economy growing in the area. This area, comprised of two subdistricts, has the potential to become a vibrant neighborhood within Downtown that celebrates arts and culture while also knitting new and existing uses into the fabric of Blacksburg.
The blocks tucked between North Main Street and Virginia Tech’s campus are today an assembly of auto-oriented retail and residential uses. This area is also home to an important historic resource for Blacksburg: St. Luke and Odd Fellows Hall. The opportunity in this district is to create dense, student-oriented mixed use development, while also providing a more dignified environment for this important and historic site through sensitive redevelopment or other reuse of its neighboring parcels.
This district north of Turner and east of Main feels disconnected from Downtown today, without the pedestrian-friendly environment that typifies the blocks of Main to the area’s south. But new mixed-use
development along Main, and new streets that break up existing superblocks, will help to extend Downtown’s quality public realm north, while also reconnecting the Bennett Hill-Progress neighborhood to Main and the rest of Downtown.
This district is the physical, economic, and social center of Downtown, and plays an immense role in expressing Blacksburg’s character. Investing in new public spaces both large and small, the creation of new transportation facilities, and strategic development on key sites will further elevate this area as the front door to the Blacksburg community.
Old Blacksburg Middle School Site
This district presents an incredible opportunity for development that expands the town’s supply of housing, contributes to a mixed-use environment along Main Street, and creates new jobs for the community. The town’s active facilitation of development at this site will significantly expand on Downtown’s livability, accessibility, and vibrancy.