Feb. 25--Regardless of your race or class, in the Old Dominion and all throughout the land of cotton, it's clear that most misdeeds are forgiven but never forgotten.
Decades ago, Vinegar Hill, a neighborhood of established black-owned businesses and homes, was bulldozed by the city in the name of progress that never really came to fruition. Today's city leaders have since apologized, but it's clear many people, even those who never even had a direct connection to the area, still harbor contempt for the community climate that would allow something like that to happen.
Next month, the Charlottesville Regional Chamber of Commerce's Minority Business Council is slated to hold its monthly meeting at the recently opened Jefferson School City Center, a historic community landmark with special significance to the black community.
According to Andrea Copeland, the chamber's director of member education services, the move is two-fold. The first is logistical -- the council's growth has necessitated a move to a larger space, while the second is in celebration and honor of historical connections.
Organized last year, the council's goal is to support startup, minority-owned businesses; help existing ones to grow; and facilitate professional networking with the entire community.
CBRE|Charlottesville will manage the Jefferson School City Center, the company recently announced. Located on Fourth Street, the former school building has about 75,000 square feet of space and occupies a nearly 4-acre site.
The building's tenants include the Jefferson School African-American Heritage Center and the city's Carver Recreation Center.
"Since the Jefferson School is a national and state historical landmark, CBRE will adhere to all renovation and restoration guidelines set forth by the secretary of interior's standards for rehabilitation to ensure the property's distinctive features and finishes will keep their integrity if they warrant repairs," the company said in the announcement.
Barracks Road Shopping Center is gaining a new tenant in Lou Lou Boutique, which is slated to open soon.
According to the company's website, "since 2004, when the first store opened in Middleburg, Va., Lou Lou has desired to bring style, luxury and innovation to women without an outrageous price tag or sacrificing quality." Lou Lou Boutique has about 15 stores in Washington, Maryland and Virginia.
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