McCoury to leave city post

Published 12:00 am Thursday, April 28, 2005

Elizabeth L. McCoury, the catalyst behind much of the historic downtown’s revitalization, is planning to leave Suffolk.

McCoury, the city’s downtown development coordinator for the past seven years, will be submitting her resignation in the coming months to move to southwestern Virginia with her family. Her husband, Virginia State Police 1st Sgt. H.G. &uot;Jake&uot; McCoury Jr., has accepted a promotion in the department’s Bedford office.

McCoury said she hasn’t started looking for a new job yet.

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&uot;I’m going to stay as long as I can but the schedule has been very challenging,&uot; said McCoury.

Downtown Suffolk has seen considerable growth since McCoury came to the city from Portsmouth. In recent years, she has been instrumental in pulling new eateries, businesses and professional offices into downtown: Baron’s Pub, Pisces Seafood, the soon-to-be-opening Main Street Jazz Club and Heirlooms of Tomorrow, to name a few.

McCoury is confident the city will continue on its path of revitalization.

&uot;It’s a freight train now, it will keep moving,&uot; she said. &uot;I feel good about it.

&uot;There is an energy, an enthusiasm downtown that wasn’t here before,&uot; she said. &uot;When I first came here, people had stopped coming downtown…because we didn’t have the Penny’s and Leggett’s anymore.

&uot;We had to come up with something different, something that made us special,&uot; she said. &uot;We’ve found our niche.&uot;

McCoury’s departure will be a tremendous loss for the city, said City Manager R. Steven Herbert.

&uot;I hate to see her go,&uot; he said. &uot;More than any single person, she is responsible for the good things happening downtown today.

&uot;She is widely recognized as one of the best downtown development people throughout the state,&uot; he said. &uot;Somebody is going to gain from our loss.&uot;