The City of Lexington is making big investments in its Depot District in an effort to revitalize the area into a bustling mixed-use district, complete with an amphitheater, entertainment venues, retail, restaurant, service, and residential buildings, and multimodal transportation hub.
Integral to the Depot District’s success – and the catalyst for the entire redevelopment project – is the City of Lexington’s desire to re-establish a passenger rail stop to connect Lexington to the Raleigh-Charlotte passenger rail line’s “economic corridor” that will enhance citizens’ access to education and job opportunities in the corridor.
The project has been in the works for years, and the city has worked extensively with community leaders, citizens and volunteers to outline a vision and planning process for the district. And its efforts are starting to yield positive results. Lexington has landed a TIGER II infrastructure grant, completed an environmental impact study, and acquired and started renovating several vacant buildings in the district.
The City has worked with Amtrack, North Carolina Railroad Company, Norfolk Southern, the Federal Railroad Administration, and the NC Department of Transportation to determine the necessary steps and investments for acquiring a passenger rail stop. And while the city knows the process can be lengthy – up to 20 years – it is encouraged by the steady successes achieved to date.
The Depot District’s amphitheater is complete and opening for business shortly. And Bull City Ciderworks, makers of hard cider, relocated their production and distribution to the area in 2015. This addition has created both jobs and a festive anchor for the district where food truck rodeos, fundraisers and other events have already drawn crowds and established the Depot District as one of Lexington’s hot spots for fun.
Most recently, the City of Lexington, in partnership with Davidson County and the Piedmont Triad Authority for Regional Transportation (PART), will resubmit a federal grant application to the U.S. Department of Transportation in Spring 2017 to build the Depot District Multimodal Transportation Center. The City is relentless in its pursuit of this critical infrastructure for the future of Lexington.