New life is coming to some historic buildings in downtown Danville in the form of boutique hotels.

City officials announced Wednesday that Roanoke-based developer Ed Walker and his team would renovate two historic buildings in the 100 block of South Union Street to bring boutique hotel suites to the river district area.

Historic buildings all over the downtown Danville area are getting re-purposed after sitting empty for years.

“Now, 10 years later it has become the identity of the city. It is becoming that for which we are most known. Now that people are beginning to restore and fix up the buildings the whole city takes pride in that,” said Danville Real Estate Developer Rick Barker. 

Barker has renovated 8 of the 9 buildings in the 500 block of Craghead Street. He says the need for hotel space shows that the renovations are making the city more of a destination. 

“There was a growing need to have some form of lodging within this very energized and growing part of our community,” said Danville Assistant Director of Economic Development Corrie Bobe.

“They really go into a community and understand the needs of the community, and the assets of the community. And then they really work on creative ways to enhance what’s in the community.”

The developer will covert the 2 properties into the boutique suites to let visitors access the new features in Downtown.

“We don’t have a boutique hotel anywhere in Danville. Much less in the River District. We really don’t have a hotel experience at all in our Downtown area so this is a major addition to our community,” said City Manager Ken Larking.

Michael Puckett says he’s lived in Danville most of his life.

“I remember when downtown was thriving, and then it went to the mall when the mall came and everything down here kind of went downhill. And now it seems we’re going back. But, in Danville, it seems like whenever one thing opens, another closes,” said Puckett.

The redevelopers will be making use of the Special Projects Loan Fund, from the Industrial Development Authority, to help fund this project. They hope to get the renovation process started sometime this year.