VGR Hosts ‘Downtown Strategies’ in Region


~ Virginia’s Gateway Region helps communities focus on their downtown business districts ~


Nov. 9, 2021 

HOPEWELL, Va. — After a successful Retail Academy conducted by Retail Strategies LLC in Fall 2019, Virginia’s Gateway Region invited Downtown Strategies — part of Retail Strategies — to visit again in October. What has become a signature Gateway Region event, VGR and its community partners toured with the Downtown Strategies team to each individual community and also sponsored a reception at Guncotton Coffee in Downtown Hopewell.   

Downtown Strategies’ tour of the Gateway Region allowed consultants to experience up close and personal, the uniqueness of VGR’s member localities, and explore the potential of its towns, cities and commercial hubs. 

“VGR was excited to invite Downtown Strategies to our region — VGR and its Board of Directors are interested in this initiative because of the ‘placemaking’ value it brings,” said Keith Boswell, VGR President & CEO. “By paying more attention to creating a destination, we capture more of the potential prosperity for the region’s economy — I hope all of our stakeholders found as much value in their engagement as we did.” 

“Part of the mission of VGR is to deliver innovative solutions to their communities,” said Jenn Gregory, president of Downtown Strategies. “Bringing our team to the individual cities and counties gives us a first-hand look at each downtown so we are able to provide practical and innovative solutions to bring economic vitality to the downtown cores and enhance quality of life for the citizens of the Gateway Region.” 

The Hopewell Downtown Partnership, was proud to have VGR, its communities and the Downtown Strategies Team join together at Guncotton Coffee for an after-hours reception in Hopewell’s historic and burgeoning downtown. 

“I was pleased that we were able to hold this reception in Downtown Hopewell — that was a huge compliment as we’re one of the only walkable downtown areas within the region,” said Heather Lyne, Executive Director of The Hopewell Downtown Partnership. “We will be working on branding with Downtown Hopewell because of the increasing density of businesses there — but also to define Downtown Hopewell as a destination. We have wonderful assets that people can enjoy such as The Beacon Theatre and our great restaurants.” 

“Downtown Strategies will help Surry County in pursuing our comprehensive plan initiatives in revitalizing the downtown. We’re looking to build upon the restaurant scene we have here, as well as the grocery store project we have underway,” explained Yoti Jabri, Surry County Director of Economic Development. “We’re really looking into ways we can change the look of our downtown and spur some entrepreneurship that will lead to a more vibrant ecosystem.” 

Downtown Strategies

About Retail Strategies 

Retail Strategies is a leading national advisory firm focused on retail market analysis, strategic planning, retail recruitment and development. Our mission is to provide the real estate expertise, tools and human effort that position deserving towns as alluring locations for national businesses. With confidence, we pursue this mission by delivering unparalleled customer service as a unified team with unmatched real estate expertise. Our activities pay a return in sales taxes, added jobs, and businesses that enhance and add to the unique qualities of your community. 

About Downtown Strategies 

Downtown Strategies, a division of Retail Strategies, specializes in downtown revitalization, placemaking, strategic visioning and planning, community engagement, and development for the purpose of enhanced economic vitality and social wellbeing for communities and their citizens. 

About Virginia’s Gateway Region 

Virginia’s Gateway Region Economic Development Organization is the regional economic development organization that markets the tri-cities of Colonial Heights, Hopewell and Petersburg, and the surrounding counties of Dinwiddie, Prince George, Surry and Sussex. VGR focuses its efforts on new and existing business investment and job creation with the goal of funding the region for economic prosperity.  

Press Contacts:

Jill Vaughan
Virginia’s Gateway Region 

Caroline Hannum
Retail Strategies