LEXINGTON, N.C. (WGHP) — The barbecue festival in Lexington isn’t the only thing bringing more people to Uptown.

The new depot district, which is walking distance from Uptown, is undergoing a major development.

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The city of Lexington is looking at turning old textile and furniture manufacturing businesses, nearly three acres of land off East Second Avenue, into a mixed-use development for apartments and businesses.

The area has been rezoned so a developer can build a mixed-use development not far from uptown.

“Being down here, right in front of all those businesses, I think is going to potentially grow our business quite a bit,” said the owner of Salon 506 Aveda Carla Kearns.

This is the first large-scale residential development for the depot district, a district the city wants to turn into its next social district. The developer’s plans would bring 120 multifamily units and space for retail stores.  

“I hope that as things continue to grow and develop, that Lexington is still able to maintain its character and charm,” said the owner of Fox & Olive Sean Bishop. 

Kearns said, “We can just walk down the street and go back there, and people that live in the apartments, I think they can just walk up here and have a glass of wine, get their hair done, walk back home. I think it’s great for Lexington.”

The project will be divided into two phases.

In the first phase, developers will redevelop an abandoned building that was used for storage and church services. 30 units will be in that building.

The second phase will be construction on the land for five apartment buildings.

“What we needed to do was revitalize this area, and the vision of bringing retail locations here, a passenger rail stop here and now residential housing is something that’s going to continue to build up and build out in this area,” said the Mayor of the City of Lexington Jason Hayes.

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The developers are working fast. The first phase of the project will start in January.

 “It’s a perfect environment for small businesses like this to thrive,” said Bishop.

As an added bonus, the train depot is right across the street with trains connecting people to places all over the state.