Martinsville, Virginia

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The Latest in UPtown Martinsville

The Latest in UPtown Martinsville

Welcome UPtown Partnership's new Executive Director, Kathy Deacon!

UPtown Partnership's entire Board of Directors is thrilled to announce the addition of Kathy Deacon as Executive Director to our organization and Martinsville-Henry County! Kathy began her first day on Monday, May 3, and will lead the implementation of revitalization activities within the UPtown Martinsville commercial district, utilizing the national Main Street Approach for UPtown economic development.

Kathy comes to us as a serial entrepreneur, and a business development and marketing professional with more than 35 years of experience. She worked in international developments in DC for nearly 25 years before moving to Stanton, VA where she founded and ran a consulting business, offering business development, marketing, and entrepreneurship services.

When asked about her new role, Kathy said "I appreciate the board's confidence in me. I'm delighted to land in this amazing community and to have the opportunity to work with the organization's board, committees, community volunteers, the City of Martinsville, and other community stakeholders in the important revitalization work that has begun in earnest in the UPtown District."


The Ground Floor is now open with rave reviews from the community

With the freshly opened doors of The Ground Floor, UPtown Martinsville is seeing more and more foot traffic in the area of East Church Street. Owners Josh and Morgan Blancas are transplants from Texas and always dreamed of owning a coffee shop. For the Blancas Family, Martinsville was the perfect size and had the perfect mix of friends, family, and most importantly - an opportunity to make a difference.

Fast forward to May 1, 2021, The Ground Floor opened with a bang! As Josh Blancas reflected on the day, he said: "On our first day of operation we had a line out the door for several hours and sold over 500 drinks in total. To put this into perspective, a busy coffee shop in New York City will consistently average 500 drinks per day. We figured we would have a great opening weekend but we never could have predicted it would be like that."


New developments are on the horizon at the former BB&T building

The City was able to preserve the landmark BB&T (formerly Piedmont Trust) building at the corner of Ellsworth and Church Streets. The 64,000 square foot, five-story building is iconic to the identity of UPtown. City leaders were able to negotiate a transfer from BB&T to the City, and, subsequently, have executed a contract to transfer the building to private developers.

While the final layout is still in the drafting phase, it is expected that approximately 50 new apartments will occupy the building, with the first residents moving into the space in late 2022 or early 2023.