West Bedford Slowly Growing From the Ground Up - FOX 21/27 WFXR Roanoke/WWCW Lynchburg News, Weather

West Bedford Slowly Growing From the Ground Up

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A 10-year project is set to have a major impact in the local economy in Bedford County and the town of Bedford.

Both the Harmony Town Center and the Army Reserve Center will take up about 70 acres of the property.

Although most of what you'll see is dirt now, Town Manager Charles Kolakowski is seeing beyond the grass for its potential, which he says consists of "drug stores or retail stores or a movie theatre."

The plan for Harmony Town Center is to be one of the largest projects the town has seen in 30 years. It'll be a mixed-use development of retail and residential.

The developer is now in talks with businesses such as banks and hotel groups. It's something that will be needed, too. The county estimates anywhere from 300 to 400 people will be visiting on the weekends when the Army Reserve Center opens in the fall.

"We're seeing some very positive signs right now," says Traci Blido, director of economic development of Bedford County. "We've started to get more and more phone calls from businesses ready to start investing."

"There's a big demand for new and also different traditional family homes that predominate in the area," says Kolakowski. "The addition of the diverse housing will be a very positive development."