Developer Jim Abdo buys scores of Little Washington buildings with plans to liven up town

(WJLA) - Many Rappahannock County residents are thrilled that a new developer is coming to town, promising to liven things up.

Jim Abdo has big plans for Little Washington. He bought about a half-dozen buildings to renovate, and hopes to fill them with vibrant businesses, shops and restaurants.

"These are empty buildings - we want to bring them back. Fill them with life," he says.

Abdo has vowed to maintain the historic fabric and feel, while bringing in tax revenue and vitality.

"Some people are just opposed to change," he said. "But I'm not going to turn this into a tourist trap. This town is going to remain the same, but with more vitality."

In Little Washington, Main Street doesn't even have a sidewalk - many locals say that is just fine with them. Some are worried about an outsider coming in and changing their town.

"We don't have a stop light in the county. We don't have any fast-food joints," says resident Demaris Miller.

Washington, Virginia is familiar with visitors - the renowned "Inn in Little Washington" brings in throngs of diners, and the locals have grown accustomed to its popularity.

Some here are taking a wait-and-see approach.

"Im not so worried - just curious," said one resident.

One thing appears certain - the quiet in the town will likely soon be replaced by the sounds of renovation, at least for a while.