Livery Lofts Update

Livery Lofts Downtown Harrisonburg

Livery Lofts Downtown Harrisonburg

Matchbox’s newest downtown apartments are almost ready!  Livery Lofts (84 W. Water Street, above Bella Luna & Shabby Love) will feature 12 efficiency and 1-bedroom apartments on the corner of Water and Liberty Streets.  The spaces will be built in a similar loft setup to Matchbox’s most recent projects (i.e. City Exchange), but scaled down to fit the confines of downtown living.  Each unit will feature top of the line appliances and throwback ‘50s style refrigerators while preserving the rich architectural history of the building with exposed ceilings, wood work, and historically preserved windows.

Livery Lofts - Construction

Livery Lofts – Construction

Livery Lofts - Appliance have Arrived!

Livery Lofts – Appliances have arrived!

Livery Lofts - Cabinets are in!

Livery Lofts – Cabinets are in!

For more information on rental availability, please contact Mary Messerley at You can also read our Livery Building page for more history on the building and our overall motivation for taking on the project.

277 W Bruce St. Harrisonburg


Here at Matchbox Downtown, I feel like we constantly get requests for affordable housing downtown, especially recently given all of the exciting bars, restaurants, and retail opportunities coming to our downtown area.  We wanted to highlight an amazing property today that would provide very affordable, yet comfortable housing for anyone looking to be close to the action.

Built in 1930, 277 West Bruce is a classic downtown home within walking distance of downtown’s most popular venues.  The house features 8 bedrooms with 3 separate kitchens, amazing hardwood floors, and a large covered porch on a corner lot (neighbors on only one side).  This house sets up perfectly for a group of individuals to come together and recreate the sitcom Friends, just swapping out Greenwich Village for the booming metropolis of Downtown Harrisonburg.

277 W Bruce St Bedroom Downtown Harrisonburg Houses

277 W Bruce St Downtown Harrisonburg Houses

277 W Bruce St Living Room Downtown Harrisonburg Houses

277 W Bruce St Downtown Harrisonburg Houses

277 W Bruce St Downtown Harrisonburg Houses

If you are interested in viewing the property or would like additional information, please contact Cheyenne Bisbee at or by phone at 540.434.5150 x114.

Countdown to Christmas deals at The Yellow Button

The Yellow Button Harrisonburg

The Yellow Button Harrisonburg

Every day between now and Christmas, The Yellow Button (191 South Main Street)  is hosting clothing and jewelry specific flash sales to close out the year.  Each day a new item is placed on sale (yesterday was 20% off all sweaters, today’s feature is 20% off all Chan Luu jewelry), encouraging even the most steadfast of procrastinators to get out and start their holiday shopping.

Check out The Yellow Button for their most up to date sales and continue to follow Matchbox Downtown for all things Downtown Harrisonburg!

Matchbox In Motion: Over the Moon


Ren Blackwell and Anne Callie Skillman discuss their new store Over the Moon and its impact on Downtown Harrisonburg

Over the Moon (64 South Mason Street) is a “baby and maternity boutique” located in Downtown Harrisonburg.  The store caters to parents who not only want to provide their children with the best products available, but also want items that are hand selected and tested by professionals with experience in child care.  The owners of Over the Moon succeed in their hands-on approach by hand selecting products that they know and love.

Another unique aspect of Over the Moon is its integration within the community by leading instructional classes for new parents to help navigate the many mysteries of child rearing.  Previous sessions have covered everything from cloth diapering to making your own baby food.

Please visit Over the Moon for additional information and store hours.  Also, continue to follow Matchbox Downtown for promotions and coupons throughout the year!

2014 First Night in Harrisonburg

On December 31st, New Year’s Eve revelers will flock to Downtown Harrisonburg once again to enjoy music and entertainment from across the Valley.  This year’s vibrant lineup is led by Glick and Phillips and will also feature old standbys Little Walter and the Convictions, No Strings Attached, and Rhythm Road.

Event activities and performances begin at 6:00pm on December 31st with tickets being sold in the form of buttons for $6 in advance and $8 on the day of the event.   Your button will gain access to over 30 performances across 15 different venues all across Downtown Harrisonburg.   The event will be capped off with fireworks from Turner Pavilion at the stroke of midnight!

For more information on the event, please visit First Night Harrisonburg.

Eggnog Bowl 2013 at Friendly City Co-op

Friendly City Co-op (150 East Wolfe Street) will host its annual Eggnog bowl on Saturday, December 14th from 10:00am to 2:00pm.  The event will feature blind taste tastings of the best eggnog across the Valley and tasters will be asked to cast their vote for the best.

Admission is FREE and the event should provide plenty of motivation to get Downtown this cold and wintry Saturday.  We look forward to seeing you there!

Bella Luna Pizza Opens

Bella Luna Wood Fired Pizza, the hotly anticipated downtown restaurant at 80 W. Water Street featuring local ingredients, handmade pasta, and the only wood fired (900 degree!) oven in town, is now officially open for business.  Last night, food and drinks were open to the public and the response was overwhelming with an absolutely packed house.

Bella Luna Wood-Fired Pizza - Bread freah out of th oven!

Bella Luna Wood-Fired Pizza – Bread freah out of the oven!

Bella Luna is housed in the Livery building, a new renovation project by Matchbox that will also feature 12 loft apartments and Shabby Love furniture, a prominent furniture retailer out of Orange, Virginia.

Stay tuned to Matchbox Downtown for updates on Bella Luna and any special offers/coupons in the future.

Downtown Harrisonburg Plan Our Park Rendering

Plan Our Park and Ken Smith reveal Urban Park Plans!

Last night’s City Council meeting was one of the most highly anticipated in recent memory as the Plan Our Park committee and city park designer Ken Smith presented their ideas, concepts, and plans before the Harrisonburg City Council.

Below you can see the plans for Phase One, Phase Two, and Phase Three

Downtown Harrisonburg Plan Our Park Phase One Rendering

Downtown Harrisonburg Plan Our Park Phase One Rendering

Downtown Harrisonburg Plan Our Park Phase Two Rendering

Downtown Harrisonburg Plan Our Park Phase Two Rendering


Downtown Harrisonburg Plan Our Park Phase Three Rendering

Downtown Harrisonburg Plan Our Park Phase Three Rendering

The total project is expected to cost between $9 million and $11 million and will be unveiled in three phases over a multi-year period.  At Matchbox, we are very excited to see such an innovative and thought provoking project in our downtown!

Real Estate market in Harrisonburg on the Upswing

Harrisonburg Housing - Townhouse

Harrisonburg Housing – Townhouse

After years of instability and heavy market swings, the real estate market across Virginia and primarily in Harrisonburg is showing signs of stability and growth.  According to the Daily News-Record, Harrisonburg’s market has stabilized and has even shown substantial growth across multi-family and retail properties.
“Multifamily homes, or apartments, increased in overall value from $577 million to $587 million…retail and office totals went up $1 million and nearly $2 million, respectively.”

Signs are pointing up for real estate across Harrisonburg, which is great news not only for businesses across the area but also owners of property across the Valley.

Harrisonburg Housing Avalon Woods Townhome

Harrisonburg Housing Avalon Woods Townhome

Rally for the Park in Downtown

Rally for the Park

Rally for the Park


On Tuesday, December 10th the Plan Our Park committee and design team will host ‘Rally for the Park’, where Plan Our Park members will meet at Turner Pavilion and hand out hot chocolate beginning at 6:15pm leading up to an important City Council meeting that same evening at 7:00pm.   At the City Council meeting, Plan Our Park will present its ideas and concepts for a unique downtown park that will serve as community space for members of Harrisonburg and visitors of downtown in particular.

The Plan Our Park committee was formed by a private group of residents in conjunction with world renowned landscape architect Ken Smith to create a park that combines Harrisonburg’s unique attributes and  sense of community into one interactive, open air space.

The City Council meeting will be held on Tuesday, December 10th at 7:00pm at 409 South Main Street.  The meetings are open to the public and can also be viewed on CitySpan (Channel 3).  Make sure to attend and become an active member of your downtown community!

Downtown Holiday Tour: Sunday, December 8th at 1:00pm

Kite Building date unknown

Kite Building date unknown


Back of Kite Building 2013

On Sunday, December 8th the Downtown Renaissance will lead participants through a tour of downtown historic properties including Matchbox’s current location 202 North Liberty Street.  The tour will also include historic sites such as the Virginia Quilt Museum, the Old Town Neighborhood, and the City Produce Exchange Flats.

The Downtown Holiday Tour demonstrates the importance of preserving historic buildings in the modern era.  By maintaining and repurposing these buildings as opposed to tearing them down, we are able to create a living museum and provide an analytical window across different eras of American history through architectural preservation.  The true benefit to this work is that we are able to become engaged and active participants in our own history and historical record going forward.

Visit the Downtown Holiday Tour for more information.  Tickets can be purchased in advance for $20 or the day of the event for $25.

Harrisonburg named Top 5 College Town in America

Travel + Leisure

Travel + Leisure

Travel & Leisure has released its list of America’s Best College Towns and Harrisonburg, Virginia has made the top 5.  Featured in their November 2013 issue, Travel and Leisure highlights the best college towns across America as voted on by Travel & Leisure subscribers as well as the general public.  Harrisonburg ranked #5 overall out of 744 towns ranked across 55 different categories!

Harrisonburg’s active outdoors community in conjunction with downtown fixtures such as Capital Ale House and Three Brothers Brewery were highlighted in the brief article. Visit Travel & Leisure’s full list of America’s best college towns.   Go Dukes and Go Harrisonburg!

Matchbox In Motion: foodBARfood


Amanda Cannon talks about foodBARfood, her new restaurant venture with Jeff Minnich located at 126 West Bruce Street.  Amanda discusses her downtown roots, foodBARfood’s concept and cuisine, and explains what it means to be a modern restaurant owner in the Valley.

For more information on foodBARfood check out their Facebook page and stayed tuned to Matchbox Downtown for updated construction photos and opening event details.

Capital Ale House Downtown Harrisonburg

Capital Ale House “Steal the Glass & Meet the Brewers” Night

Located in the heart of downtown at 41 Court Square, Capital Ale House has long supported Harrisonburg breweries and businesses through its use of local beers  and ciders.  Tonight’s event at Capital Ale will feature a “Steal the Glass” theme where patrons will receive a free pint glass from each brewer when purchasing a beverage of their choice.  The brewers scheduled to attend the event are both local, Harrisonburg’s own 3 Brothers brewery and Dominion brewery.  Each brewer will serve a multitude of beers ranging from 3 Brother’s Belgian Stout and Vanilla Porter to Dominion’s Baltic Porter and Oak Barrel Stout.

You can find more information about the event at Capital Ale House’s website and event announcement.

Harrisonburg Holiday Parade & Tree Lighting!

Harrisonburg Holiday Parade 2013
Harrisonburg Holiday Parade 2013

As if you needed any more help getting into the holiday spirit, The City of Harrisonburg will have its annual tree lighting and holiday parade this Friday, December 6th.  The Holiday Parade will begin at 7:30pm at the corner of Gratten and Main Street and conclude with the tree lighting in Court Square.  The famous JMU Marching Royal Dukes will also be performing a holiday concert for everyone’s enjoyment throughout the evening.

For more information, please visit Harrsionburg’s Holiday Parade page on Facebook.