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Japan Tobacco International has made a grant to the city of Danville to be used to design and build a fountain that will serve as the focal point for the entrance to the Tobacco Warehouse District.
This visible feature, at the intersection of the Downtown District and the Tobacco Warehouse District, will highlight the renovated area along the Dan River that is the lynch pin of the River District.
According to Steve Daniels, president of Japan Tobacco International Leaf Services U.S.A., the JTI Fountain is intended to memorialize the legacy of tobacco as an economic engine for Danville over a span of four centuries.
Although the tobacco industry has undergone significant changes in recent years, JTI is today a major force in the overall economy of Danville and the surrounding counties. The company has established itself as a responsible corporate citizen of the community, and this gift of $400,000 to erect the JTI Fountain in Danville expresses just how committed JTI is to the future prosperity of the region.
The River District will undergo a number of improvements in the next year or so. Main and Union streets will be beautified. Buildings that are now empty will be restored and occupied. The development of Bridge Street as a technology corridor will be ongoing. Buildings along Craghead Street will be prioritized for redevelopment.
David Parrish, deputy city manager, said, “This gift from JTI is clear evidence that the business community is supportive of the renaissance of the River District. I hope that it is the first of many corporate expressions of monetary support for this critically important project.”
Karl Stauber, president and CEO of the Danville Regional Foundation, said, “This gift from JTI is a statement of just how valuable the corporate community considers the River District to be for our future success as a viable city. The support of the City government, the Danville Regional Foundation, and now the corporate sector through JTI will ensure that before too much more time passes, we can all be proud of how our city looks and how it welcomes its citizens ‘down to the riverside.’”